|Author||Regina Renz (Kielce)|
|Title||THE SIZE AND INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF PEASANTS IN KIELCE PROVINCE IN THE YEARS 1918–1939
|Keywords||peasants, agrarian, social, and religious structure, gender, Province of Kielce, interwar period.|
According to the census of 1921, owners of farms below 5 ha dominated in the Province of Kielce. They made as much as 63.6% of the total number of farm owners, of whom 26.7% were owners of dwarf farms with less than 2 hectares. Owners of medium-sized farms of 5 to 10 ha accounted for 28.9%, and those owning farms over 10 ha – 7.1%. The average size of a peasant farm in the Province of Kielce was 4.6 ha, close to the national average of about 5 ha. The rural areas in the Province of Kielce were overcrowded. Nearly 70% of families of smallholders and those living in dwarf farms lived in poverty or deprivation. Most dwarf farms existed in the powiats of Będzin, Zawiercie, Końskie, Opoczno, Olkusz and Sandomierz. Most owners of smallholdings (from 45% to 50%) were in the central part of the province in the Kielce-Sandomierz Upland and in the Nida river valley. Medium holdings with an area of 5 ha to 10 ha, which secured decent living conditions, were situated in the Province of Kielce mainly in the powiats of Jędrzejów, Kozienice, Miechów, Opatów, Radom, Włoszczowa. Big holdings (from 10 ha to 15 ha) were mostly situated only in the powiats of Jędrzejów, Kozienice and Radom. In the interwar period proletarianized landless peasants and smallholders increased rapidly their numbers. The share of smallholders and semi-proletariat increased from 63.6%. in 1921 to 73.6% in 1938. Thus, the rural poor in the Province of Kielce at the end of the interwar period accounted for over two-thirds of the peasant population. There was a decline in the population owning medium holdings from 28.9% to 22.5%. The wealthiest peasants accounted for only 3.9% of the peasant population.