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A False Tree of LibertyHuman Rights in Radical Thought$
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Susan Marks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675456

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199675456.001.0001

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Enclosure and its Critics

Enclosure and its Critics

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Enclosure and its Critics
Source:
A False Tree of Liberty
Author(s):

Susan Marks

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199675456.003.0002

The focus of this chapter is a series of texts by sixteenth-century English social critics: Edmund Dudley’s Tree of Commonwealth, Thomas More’s Utopia and Robert Crowley’s The Way to Wealth and other works. Inasmuch as these texts were composed at a moment of great change, the chapter highlights, in particular, concerns about enclosure. Alterations in land tenure and the extinguishment of rights of common were impoverishing ordinary people and depriving them of their capacity to live independently of wage-labour. The way to wealth for some was the way to poverty for others.

Keywords:   sixteenth-century England, Edmund Dudley, More’s Utopia, Robert Crowley, enclosure

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