This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book aims to point to only one factor as responsible, more than any other, for the decline of the farmworkers’ living standards, then it would have to be the growth of population. Social relationships in the countryside of the past were very different in reality from those which might be conjured up by the pastoral pictures of poets, artists, and novelists. A human bond, fostered by long association, frequently existed between master and man, it is true; but very often it was weakened by mutual indifference, or never flourished because of the casual nature and brief endurance of the association. The social gap that developed between employer and man was widened further by a deterioration in the conditions of the many work-people.