In the higher parts there are fine plains where Glaser found numerous Himyaritic remains, and which he considers were undoubtedly cultivated formerly, but they have long fallen out of cultivation owing to denudation and desiccation - the impoverishment of the country from these causes is increasing.
The P0 valley and the valleys of Emilia and the Romagna are best adapted for rice, but the area is diminishing on account of the competition of foreign rice and of the impoverishment of the soil by too intense cultivation.
There has been an increase of wealth among the few, but along with this a general impoverishment of the mass of the people, and the peculiar institution of the mir, framed on the principle of community of ownership and occupation of the land, was not conducive to the growth of individual effort.
As illustrating the general impoverishment of the Russian peasantry, it may be stated that the arrears of taxation owed by them have increased enormously since 1882, when they a, ounted to £2,854,000, until in 1900 the total amount was put k £15,222,000.
The economic and moral condition of the peasantry was little improved by freedom, and in many districts there were signs of positive impoverishment and demoralization.