Feeling overworked? Research reveals medieval peasants had SEVEN TIMES more vacation than the average American employee

I’ve been thinking recently about alternative economic systems.

The current American system is Jewed. More work, less pay. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Jewish globalism and crony capitalism are not enshrined in the American constitution.

One of the economic systems I’ve been trying to find time to do more research on is the medieval guild system. By chance, I just found an article in the Daily Mail that revolves around academic research that shows that the medieval worker lived a more natural life than the typical Westerner today. By natural I mean that it’s not natural to spend one’s life stressed by overwork and then die about the time you retire on Social Security.

Daily Mail

Life has got immeasurably better for the average man or woman over the last 700 years, thanks to inventions in technology, medicine, civil liberties and democracy, to name just a few developments.

But it seems that there is one area where the life of a medieval peasant can be envied – their holiday allowance.

The 16-day-a-year vacation of the average American worker is notoriously bad, but compared to the 25 weeks off enjoyed by a 13th century labourer, it is positively shocking.

According to Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston College, before capitalism was invented in the 19th century people mainly worked very leisurely days.

In a paper titled The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, Schor said: ‘A typical working day in the medieval period stretched from dawn to dusk work was intermittent – called to a halt for breakfast, lunch, the customary afternoon nap, and dinner.

‘Depending on time and place, there were also mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshment breaks.’

And while their working day was easier, according to Schor, they also had far less of them.

She said: ‘The medieval calendar was filled with holidays – official [church] holidays included not only long “vacations” at Christmas, Easter and midsummer but also numerous saints’ and rest days.

‘In addition to official celebrations, there were often weeks’ worth of ales – to mark important life events (bride ales or wake ales) as well as less momentous occasions (scot ale, lamb ale, and hock ale).
‘All told, holiday leisure time in medieval England took up probably about one-third of the year.’

As well as these days off for religious and celebratory purposes, evidence has also shown that people used to take further days off as well.

In her essay, the professor revealed that records from 13th century England show many families only worked 150 days a year on their land and in the 14th century, even servants often only worked 175 days a year.

Compare that to the fact that American workers took an average of 16.2 days of vacation in 2015, according to Project: Time Off, and suddenly medieval England doesn’t seem so bad after all.

My ancestors were all farmers. They enjoyed a great deal of leisure time, even if they weren’t living high on the hog. This comment at the DM is revealing:

Show you how ignorant modern scientists are about rural life. Anyone who has been raised on a farm knows you work hard for three months of every year broken into two periods. Those are planting and then harvest with a couple of days spraying during the growing season. The rest of the year is relatively relaxing with daily feeding of animals IF YOU HAVE them and maintaining buildings and equipment. The rest of your time is spent socializing and watching the crops grow. That pretty much has been farm life for thousands of years.

7 thoughts on “Feeling overworked? Research reveals medieval peasants had SEVEN TIMES more vacation than the average American employee

  1. Very interesting, now that I’m retired I don’t know how I did it. Taxes are a major reason for the hours. Please post more on this, who knows, it might turn into a pretty good book.

  2. Yep, i’ve seen this before too. They had a lot of vacation and even if work was indeed tough, they had a lot of breaks.
    I also agree with william, that taxes are a bit part of why we don’t have that much free time and i’d add one more, women coming into the workplace and driving wages lower and lower, because if before a company needed you, now you need the company because competition is fierce, so they can set whatever wage they want.
    Really, if governments waste so much taxes through arming muslims and other shit like promoting diversity, the citizens should hold it accountable and make it lower taxes, especially on regular citizens. Isn’t the point of taxes to allow the government to protect their own citizens? Can’t see how arming ISIS or having CIA do drug trades helps that.

  3. I was just reading over at FOTM blog that Merkel was taking a vacation within 2 months of the election, but that Germans get like 6 weeks vacation a year anyway. Not bad, though not as good as a farmer!

    Did you ever watch Bill Still’s “Money Masters” documentary (1996)? It’s pretty good, though it’s been a decade since I first saw it, so I don’t recall if he covers “guilds” or not. It’s a “weekend event” in that it is 5-hours long.

    There are several copies online at youtube, here’s just one I grabbed, but I think he still sells DVDs as well:

    The Money Masters – Full Documentary (1996):

    The Money Masters is a 1996 documentary film that discusses the concepts of money, debt, taxes, and describes their development from biblical times onward.

    1996 PBS Documentary tracing the history of money from Roman Empire to modern times culminating with a detailed look at the Federal Reserve fractional.

    A better understanding of the criminals behind central banking like the Federal Reserve and Bank of England etc.

  4. Two weeks? I remember when employees had to work a certain number of months before they got one week and years before two weeks. Western Europe has gotten a month plus for years.

  5. Two key things enabled factory work to be physically possible for long hours day in and day out, year round.
    At first, candles and lamps and then the electric light. Second, caffeine in coffee and tea.
    Before the electric light people slept more in tune with the hours of the day. Much more sleep in winter and less in summer. People in very cold places still do this. They work hard in summer and sleep a lot in winter. Maybe Edison was in fact an evil scientist who removed people from nature – for ever.

    Without caffeine, people sleep longer and better. I stopped taking caffeine 20 years ago. I have to watch it because “food” makers love to put caffeine in their products – including some for children. Caffeine is addictive and that is why Coca Cola is a rich company, and (((Starbucks))) sells the same drug and makes big bucks. Most Western city office workers these days buys take away coffee in a paper cup at a huge price. They can’t wait an hour or so to make coffee in a jug at work or home?

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