The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century

The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century

Read FREE!

The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century

The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Any one who turns over the Statutes and State Papers of the sixteenth century will be aware that statesmen were much exercised with an agrarian problem, which they thought to be comparatively new, and any one who follows the matter further will find the problem to have an importance at once economic, legal, and political. The economist can watch the reaction of growing markets on the methods of subsistence farming, the development of competitive rents, the building up of the great estate, and the appearance, or at any rate the extension, of the tripartite division into landlord, capitalist farmer, and landless agricultural labourer, the peculiar feature of English rural society which has been given so much eulogy in the eighteenth century and so much criticism in our own. From a legal point of view the great feature of the period is the struggle between copyhold and leasehold, and the ground gained by the latter. Before the century begins, leases for years, though common enough on the demesne lands and on land taken from the waste, are the exception so far as concerns the land of the customary tenants. When the century closes, leasehold has won many obstinately resisted triumphs; much land that was formerly held by copy of court roll is held by lease; and copyhold tenure itself, through the weakening of manorial custom, has partially changed its character. The copyholders, though still a very numerous and important class, are already one against which the course of events has visibly begun to turn, and economic rent, long intercepted and shared, through the fixity of customary tenure, between tenant and landlord . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.