Peasantry was the system in which peasants hold the legal rights over their lands. Jamaican peasantry was originated within the plantations themselves. “Caribbean peasantry is a relatively recent social product, a population reconstituted into a new economic form during the decline and fall of the slave-based estate system. Planters only tolerated the peasantry” (Mintz, 2007).
Peasantry was originated by the planters’ who failed to maintain the combine antagonism against the peasantry. Some of the planters hoped to find the advantage in the labor market by selling their lands. Thus, they sold their lands to the ex-slaves in the hope that in this way they could secure their labor force. Many of the planters were under high debts, thus sold their lands so that they could get cash. Mintz has closely analyzed the origination and establishment of Peasantry in Caribbean. According to Mintz, “these adaptations were a “mode of response” to the plantation system and a “mode of resistance” to superior power” (Mintz, 2007).
Caribbean peasantries were reforming peasantry, in which the slaves had become the peasants in the way of resistance response to a highly forced regimen. This was also the mode of response, towards the plantation system and its implications. It could be called as the mode of resistance of the forced life style. Thus, the peasants were the slaves who did cultivation over small lands and had to grow more and more crops to suffice their needs and sell as commodities (Mintz, 2007).
The evolution of proto-peasantry was due to some of the particular reasons, which compelled the peasants to grow more for their own needs and to fulfill many of their necessities and, more importantly to sell the extra food grown. Thus, proto-peasantry was the following adaptation of life style of the slaves. They were obligated to grow more so that they can provide benefit to the planters. This also enabled their creativity, resourcefulness and intelligence (Mintz, 2007). The peasantry was always completely bound to the system of plantation. Thus, it could be said that proto-peasantry was the mode of resistance to the ongoing plantation system. Peasants were allowed to grow food for themselves and their families; while in proto-peasantry the slaves could not grow food for themselves, but they had to work for the planters. The planters may provide a small part of their land to the slaves, where they could grow food for themselves.