Enclosure movement

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Enclosure movement: under England's feudal system, most of the rural area consisted of open fields and forests with large sections set aside for workers to raise their own grain and graze livestock. With the rise of the cottage industry, private employment and both agricultural and industrial production for the market instead of the manor, more and more of the open fields (commons) were enclosed with fences for the exclusive use of their owners, usually the landed aristocracy, while many of the smaller holdings were consolidated into large ones. The movement required many Acts of Parliament and extended over the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth centuries. The lower classes were opposed to the movement. It resulted in an increase in agricultural production and the creation of a rural proletariat which then formed the labor force of the developing British manufacturing in the Industrial Revolution.[1]


  1. Percy L. Greaves, Jr. "Mises Made Easier ", 1974. Referenced 2014-07-10.