Wealthy land owners in England petitioned the government enclose large tracts of land. The wealthy argued that this would make large scale food production more efficient. While that was one of the side effects of the change, in reality it also:
made the poor even more poor,
the wealthy even more wealthy,
furthered the budding system of capitalism, and
reduced the sense of community in small towns and villages who had used commons lands communally for flocks and community events.
Image searched on Google and found at http://www.affordablehousinginstitute.org/blogs/us/Enclosure_acts_diagram_small.jpg, but originally extracted from the Alberta Grade 9 Socials Curriculum http://www.cssd.ab.ca/social/tut9/lesson_2.html