April 20, 2017

Download An Economic and Social History of Britain Since 1700 by M. W. Flinn (auth.) PDF

By M. W. Flinn (auth.)

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Pits tended to be small in size, seldom employing more than forty or fifty miners and frequently less than twenty. They rarely penetrated •very deeply into the ground, for the miner's greatest problems of drainage and ventilation prohibited deep workings. When the expansion of river and canal navigation opened up new markets for coal, and new industries like coke-smelted iron and pottery added to the demand for coal, it became essential for the mining industry to master the problems of drainage and ventilation.

Many of these holdings ranged from 30 to 300 acres, though there were some freeholders with smaller holdings - sometimes too small to be economically practicable, forcing the freeholder to supplement the produce of his holding by wage labour. The number of mediumsized freeholders (yeomen) had been much reduced in the century before 1700. In the eighteenth century there was a wider range of tenant farmers, most of whom held their land by leasehold (an agreement between landlord and tenant to rent land for a fixed number of years for a fixed money rent).

Starting from very small beginnings, cotton cloth exports grew rapidly, but did not overtake woollens untill802. To supply the growing industries, and to feed the rapidly expanding population, imports of raw materials and foodstuffs were needed in ever-increasing quantities. At the beginning of the century such relatively small quantities of raw cotton as were ~:equired came mainly from the Levant and the West Indian Islands. By the end of the century its cultivation had spread to the American mainland which now supplied the bulk of British requirements.

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