The nobles who dominated the diet did nothing to remove the most crying evil of the country - the miserable state of the peasants, who had been freed from personal serfdom by Napoleon in 1807, but were being steadily driven from their holdings by the landlords.
About 80% of holdings (amounting to about 6o% of the cultivated area) are cultivated by the proprietor; of the rest approximately 13% are let on lease and 7% are worked on the system known as mtayage (q.v.).
of uncultivable area covered by lakes, rivers, towns, &c. Only the roughest estimate is possible as to the sizes of holdings, but in general terms it may be said that about 3 million persons are proprietors of holdings under 25 acres in extent amounting to between 15 and 20% of the cultivated area, the rest being owned by some 750,000 proprietors, of whom 150,000 possess half the area in holdings averaging 400 acres in extent.
Henceforward he who inherits a barony must pay r¦o, he who inherits a knight's fee too shillings or less, and for smaller holdings less "according to the ancient custom of fiefs."
A further act was passed in 1906 (the Agricultural Holdings Act 1906) which improved the tenant's position in respect of freedom of cropping, disposal of produce and compensation for disturbance.