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English rural society underwent fundamental changes between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries with urbanization, commercialization and industrialization producing new challenges and opportunities for inhabitants of rural communities.
However, our understanding of this period has been shaped by the compartmentalization of history into medieval and early-modern specialisms and by the debates surrounding the transition from feudalism to capitalism and landlord-tenant relations.
Inspired by the classic works of Tawney and Postan, this collection of essays examines their relevance to historians today, distinguishing between their contrasting approaches to the pre-industrial economy and exploring the development of agriculture and rural industry; changes in land and property rights; and competition over resources in the English countryside.
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