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A statare was a kind of unlanded farm worker in Sweden, somewhat like a very short-term indentured servant. The statare system was formally abolished in 1945 as part of the modernization of Sweden in which the country moved towards having a comprehensive welfare state.
Statare were Swedish farm workers who did not own any land. They were unlike modern farmworkers because they were not paid in money. Instead, they were paid in kind. Essentially, they were given room and board in exchange for their labor. This meant that they were paid very poorly. It also meant that they had little or no chance to build up any wealth.
Statare had to be married. Both members of the statare couple had to work for the farmer who took them on, as did any children that they had. Statare would sign contracts annually in which they agreed to work in exchange for lodging and food.
Because this system was so hard on the workers, it was eventually abolished as Sweden became more modern. The abolition of the system occurred in 1945.
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