Enclosure, waged labour and the formation of class consciousness: rural Middlesex c. 1700-1835

Carter, Paul
December 2001
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Winter2001, Vol. 66 Issue 3, p269
Academic Journal
This article examines the role of enclosure, growth of waged labor and rising class consciousness in Great Britain in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Wage labor grew in the 18th century but the existence of common rights blunted this growth. A cursory glance at contemporary records establishes how widespread commonable land was in rural Middlesex in the 17th century. In 1650 Enfield Chase was recorded as covering a little over 7,900 acres. However, the Chase did not only afford common rights to Enfield. A petition to parliament in 1659 shows widespread use of the Chase by the inhabitants of Enfield, Edmonton, South Mimms and Monken Hadley.


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