from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Italy, a system of halving the produce of the soil between landowner and landholder: same as metayage. See the extract.
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The mezzeria system of agriculture, which, if not absolutely the same, is extremely similar to that which is known as “conacre,” rendered the lot of the peasant population very far better and more prosperous than that of the tillers of the earth in any of the other provinces.
In Tuscany the conditions of the _mezzeria_ were extremely favourable to the tenant; and if a cheerful country life under a mild and enlightened government were all that a State need desire, Tuscany enjoyed rare happiness.
 Estates were not very large: the prevalent agricultural system was, as it still is, that of the _mezzeria_, a partnership between the landlord and tenant; the tenant holding by custom in perpetuity, and sharing the produce with the landlord, who supplied a part of the stock and materials for farming.
They are worked on the _mezzeria_ system; whereby peasants and proprietors divide the produce of the soil; and which he thinks inferior for developing its resources to that of _affitto_, or leaseholding.
_mezzeria_ system; whereby peasants and proprietors divide the produce of the soil; and which he thinks inferior for developing its resources to that of _affito_, or lease-holding.