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Common land, enclosure of
(829 words)

The enclosure of common land is the transfer of land that is farmed collectively (cf. Common land) to individual use, mostly in connection with the transformation of joint to private property (Property). The enclosure of common land might affect pastureland, heathland, mountain pastures, woodland, waterways, moors, and sometimes fields and meadows owned by communities or corporations.

Privatization from the Late Middle Ages to the 18th century almost always took place piecemeal, as settlers, peasants, or landowners (Estate) appropriated individual parcels of the com…

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Brakensiek, Stefan, “Common land, enclosure of”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 11 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_016735>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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