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the open field system and why it changed

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The open field system and why it changed? The open field system was the method of farming used in the middle ages but was still been used in the 18th century Britain. Open field system was a self-sufficient method of farming but with Britain changing so was the method of farming was going to change. It was called the open field (3 fields) system was the system of farming at the beginning of the 18th century. Nearly every village, mainly in the more fertile areas of the midlands, East Anglia and central southern England used the open field system. The village would usually have 3 fields but could vary between 2 to 4. One field would grow wheat the other grew oats and barley and one was left open and was called the fallow and left open to allow nutrients to return to the soil. Each year the crops would rotate so the fallow would be in a different field each year. ...read more.


In the winter some animals were kept for eggs, milk etc. and hay from the meadow were used to keep them warm. The common land was a piece of land that everyone in the village would own, although there were no legal documents. It was also a place were villagers could grow vegetables and small animals. There was three parts to the common the meadow, woodland and the common. The squatters would live on the common land in a wooden shack the men would look for jobs in the village while the children and women would look after animals on the common. The Glebe would be the land which would be farmed on in the church and would be looked after the church parson so the church could receive a little money for the crops. The Squire and the Aristocrats would own most of the land in the village. The land would be rented by the people to farm on, and the Squires and Aristocrats would take a share of the profits. ...read more.


Now there was a strain for food prices were raising so farmers were becoming richer. So farmers could take out loans so they could invest money in the new farming methods of enclosure while the bank would get money through interest. There was also an improvement in roads and canals were being built. There was also an improvement in transport through trains and later on trams so the food could go a further distance before it would rot, so they could sell their crops to a much larger area so could bring in more money. This would encorouge farmers to convert from a self-sufficient method of open field to Enclosure. It was in the 18th the method of farming finally had to change due to a numerous amount of resons which required more food and the open field system could not match these requirements. I believe the most important reason was the rise in population as there was more people they needed more food to feed them and with the extra houses their was not enough land. So the open field system would have to change to Enclosure. ...read more.

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