Explain why and in what ways agriculture change affected both landowners and labourers in the years between 1760 and 1820.
During this period in question, agriculture was going through a period called the "Agrarian revolution", although historians dispute if it can be called a revolution as it lasted around 150 years, massive change took place that changed the face of agriculture. It is generally considered that the later half of the 18th Century brought the major changes to the agricultural industry, through the vast influx of ideas, machines and the enclosure system.
Up to 1760 much of the land was farmed in what was called the "Open field system", which was suited towards subsistence farming. The "Open field" system divided the village land into three great fields without hedges each lying fallow in turn. The cultivated area was divided into many strips each individually being farmed by the labourer, which had many disadvantages. The waste of land, the spread of weeds, plant diseases and crop damage from the unfenced animals, meant that farming could not progress. There was also a common land for which the labourer could breed his cattle. However all this changed with Enclosure. Between 1760 and 1793 1,355 parliamentary enclosure acts were passed, and between 1793-1815, the years of French war, there were 1,934 enclosure acts passed. Enclosure meant the joining of strips of open field to make compact pieces of land, and using the common land for farming. A heavy burden of enclosure costs were put on the labourers, and as Arthur young (Supporter of enclosure) put it "nineteen out of twenty enclosure bills, the poor were injured". Enclosure had the complete support of Government and landowners who then pressed it onto the labourer, who either suffered immensely or moved to the towns selling their land to a landowner. However historians dispute, to what extent is this an exaggeration. It is