We The Lowly
Cultural Imperialism and Class
In the Edwardian Period in England the countryside was used by the wealthy not for agriculture, which they found base and without value, but for their own sport.
Those who engaged in agriculture did so around the desires of the wealthy, who came up from the city to enjoy their sports. Farmers were seen as oafish and an extension of their own servants.
"Manor House" from PBS
Edwardian manor houses had such huge lawns and gardens as a way of showing they didn’t need the land to grow crops. Many estates had private lakes and streams so the wealthy could experience the "purity" and unspoiled nature of their private Edens.
The wealthy engaged in fox hunting as well as bird hunting. A few well heeled guests could kill a thousand birds on a Saturday to Monday shooting session. Since no one else was allowed to hunt, it was easy to find birds, particularly when the local farm hands would beat the bushes for you for a few coins a day.
In Edwardian England, it was the class system which kept the wealthy in power. But, it was cultural imperialism, forced on country folk all over Britain, Scotland, England and Wales, which said that earning a living from the soil is the work of serfs, and the hills are for the wealthy, for sport.
The wealthy no longer hunt foxes or grouse; they engage in paddle sports.