Tenanted Farms (ETW building)
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|Common Land Enclosures|
Tenant farmers are a huge social step up from the humble peasant. They may toil as hard, but they do so for their own profit not that of a distant master.
Tenanted farms primarily produce cash crops. The landlord expects his rent to be paid, so subsistence farming is a waste of time, as it will not generate any income. Successful tenants, who develop the land, can become quietly wealthy men and may be able to buy their farms.
For a landlord the main benefit of tenanted farms is that income from them is in cash, not kind. Absentee landlords can therefore live the high life in a city; they rarely need trouble themselves with the mud and muck of the countryside – as long as they have trustworthy agents and tenants! A leisured class of “gentlemen farmers” and rentiers therefore arises, all thanks to the efforts of tenant farmers.
Historically, tenanted farms made good profit but, like all farming, were subject to the vagaries of the weather. Tenancies could be, and were, passed down the generations of families, something that allow tenants to see a point in developing “their” land with their cash surplus.