In the rest of europe enclosure made little progress until the 19th century agreements to enclose were not unknown in germany in the 16th century but it was not until the second half of the 18th century that the government began to issue decrees encouraging enclosure even then little advance was made in western germany until after 1850. The enclosures of earlier times had been made to turn arable lands into sheep pastures the enclosures of the 18th century were different they transformed the communally cultivated open fields into large farms on which the new and more scientific mixed farming could be profitably carried out. The standard interpretation of enclosure at least 18th 19th century enclosure is that it was a necessary evil and there would have been less harm in it if the increased dividend of the agricultural world had been fairly distributed54 nearly all assessments are some kind of variation on this theme with weight placed either upon the need
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