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The Age of ConquestWales 1063-1415$
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R. R. Davies

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208785

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208785.001.0001

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The Transformation of Economic Life

The Transformation of Economic Life

(p.139) Chapter 6 The Transformation of Economic Life
The Age of Conquest

R. R. Davies

Oxford University Press

Wales underwent profound social and economic changes in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Even contemporaries recognized that a transformation was afoot. The inhabitants began to build churches in every part of it. They planted trees, established orchards and gardens, and enclosed them with hedges and ditches. They also began to eat the fruits of the earth, after the fashion of the Romans. Inequality and dependence remained features of Welsh society in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; but the nature of economic exploitation was changing. The emphasis now was on a regular and defined control over a rural peasantry and its land, on rents and mills, on the profits of justice, and on the control of the sale and marketing of surpluses. An economy of plunder was being replaced by an economy of profiteering.

Keywords:   Wales, inequality, dependence, peasantry, economy, profiteering, economic change, social change, Welsh society

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