>William Cobbett

>Portrait of William Cobbett for use on the Wil...Image via Wikipedia William Cobbett, in Rural Rides, wrote of the plight of the farm workers – their repositioning as the lowest of the low in the hierarchical class structure of the UK.

The Industrial Revolution altered many things. One of these seems to have been the mindset of the farmers who decided that wealth and position were quality items to aim for as part of their quest in life,

Farm labourers stopped sharing houses with their ‘masters’. The Enclosure Act removed the small strip cultivations and parcelled land into larger fields, each with its own crop, covering multiple acres rather than smaller, sub acre plots of differing focus’. Wages dropped to appalling levels and machinery took over tasks that required ten people suddenly required far fewer. Admittedly jobs in industrial areas suddenly required more labour but since there were so many unemployed or unemployable people around this left many in dire poverty.

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