PROLETARIAT, or PROLETARIATE, a term borrowed from the French and used collectively of those classes of a political community who depend for their livelihood on their daily labour, the wage-earning, operative class as opposed to the capitalowning class. It is of frequent use by those social reformers who base their theories on the supposed antagonism of capital and labour. The Latin prolctarius, from which the word was formed, was the name given to the body of citizens possessed of no property and who therefore served the state with their children (proles, offspring). This division of the members of the state was traditionally ascribed to Servius Tullius.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)