Common Land Enclosures
Etw industry agriculture common land enclosures
Requires None
Building Needed Peasant Farm
Leads To None
Stream Agriculture, Industry
Common Land Enclosures is a Technology in Empire: Total War.


The appropriation of community land is an efficient way for the landed classes to increase their wealth.

Enclosure laws removes the rights of the lower social classes to graze their animals on common land, because it is now legally someone's private property,and fenced in as such. Farming does become more efficient as a result because subsistence farming is replaced by cash crops, and there is more food grown. This is of little consequence to the common people who have been dispossessed of their ancient rights. They cannot feed themselves anymore from their own smallholdings and herds which grazed on the commons,and must take the wages offered by the new landlords.

In England, the landowners sitting in Parliament were not backwards in passing many "Inclosure" Acts for their own benefit in the 18th Century.Enormous parcels of land were, effectively, stolen from the common working people and incorporated into private estates. The effect was to empty the landscape of unwanted labourers, who were forced into the new mill towns and rapidly industrializing cities, swapping rural poverty for urban squalor. Poor laws did little to alleviate poverty, other than making sure that the poor moved on to starve somewhere else.

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