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Evaluate the effects of the Enclosure Movement during the Tudor period.

The Enclosure Movement during the Tudor period led to significant social, economic, and agricultural changes in England.

The Enclosure Movement, which took place from the 15th to the 19th centuries, was a process in which wealthy landowners fenced off common lands, primarily for the purpose of sheep farming. This was particularly prevalent during the Tudor period, under the reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. The effects of this movement were far-reaching, impacting the lives of the rural population, the economy, and the agricultural practices of the time.

Socially, the Enclosure Movement led to a significant displacement of the rural population. Prior to the movement, common lands were used by villagers for subsistence farming. However, as these lands were enclosed, many villagers lost their livelihoods. This resulted in a large-scale migration to towns and cities, leading to urbanisation and the growth of a landless working class. This displacement also led to social unrest, with numerous uprisings such as Kett's Rebellion in 1549, which was a direct response to the enclosure of land.

Economically, the Enclosure Movement contributed to the growth of a market-oriented economy. As landowners shifted from subsistence farming to sheep farming, wool became a significant export commodity, contributing to England's economic growth. However, this shift also led to increased wealth disparity, as the profits from wool production largely went to the landowners, exacerbating social inequality.

In terms of agriculture, the Enclosure Movement led to significant changes in farming practices. The movement towards sheep farming meant less land was used for crop cultivation. This, coupled with the introduction of new farming techniques and technologies, led to increased agricultural productivity. However, it also resulted in a loss of biodiversity, as diverse traditional farming systems were replaced by monoculture.

In conclusion, the Enclosure Movement during the Tudor period had profound effects on English society. It led to social displacement and unrest, contributed to economic growth and inequality, and transformed agricultural practices. These changes laid the groundwork for the social, economic, and agricultural landscape of modern England.

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