Between 1660 and 1830, Parliament passed thousands of Acts restructuring rights to real and equitable estates. These estate Acts enabled individuals and families to sell, mortgage, lease, exchange and improve land previously bound by inheritance rules and other legal legacies. The loosening of these legal constraints facilitated the reallocation of land and resources towards higher-value uses. Data reveal correlations between estate Acts, urbanization and economic development during the decades surrounding the Industrial Revolution.
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