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The content of the lecture: ECONOMY

Wool and Cloth making Industry. Many landown­ers found that they could make more money from breeding sheep than from growing crops. They could sell the wool for a good price to the rapidly growing cloth making industry. They needed more land for the sheep to graze, so they fenced off land that had always belonged to the whole villageThis process of fencing off common land is known as enclosures. Enclosures were often carried out against the law, but because magistrates were themselves land- lords, few peasants could not prevent it. As a result, many poor people lost the land which they had farmed, as well as the common land where they kept animals.

The production of cloth, the most important of England's products, reached its greatest importance during the 16th century. Clothmakers bought raw wool and gave it to spinners. The spinners were mostly women and children, who worked in their poor cot­tages for very little payment. After the spinners the wool was passed to weavers. When the cloth was ready, it was sold.

Coal and Steel. In the 16th century people learned to burn coal in stoves instead of wood. Coal gave greater heat when burning. By using coal instead of wood fires, people were able to produce greatly im­proved steel. Improved steel was used to make knives and forks, clocks, watches, nails and pins. Birming­ham, by using coal fires to make steel, grew in the 16th century from a village into an important industrial city.



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