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Why were people poor in the 1500's?

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  • Essay length: 712 words
  • Submitted: 21/07/2008
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GCSE History Projects

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Why were people poor in the 1500's?

In the 1500s the majority of the population was poor; they struggled to feed their family. One of the most serious problems that the government faced was how to deal with the poor.

In the 1500s the population had grown very rapidly and so this had increased the demand for food. This meant that food prices became higher, but because there was plenty of people available to work their wages remained very low. The problem was made worse because many land owners had changed their usage of land from crops to sheep. In the 1500s there was about 8 million sheep to only 2.7 million people. This meant that less land was being used for crops at a time when the population was increasing. The land owners needed fewer people to take care of sheep then they did to look after crops. Some land owners started to fence off the common land which meant that there was nowhere to graze their animals. Nine in tem people were living off crops and the others were in industries such a cloth. (It was the cloth industry that was using all the wool

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