Subsistence and Commercial Activities. Manx economy has historically been subservient to the rise of English Industrial production. Hence, many Manx enterprises have Declined. The most stable sectors are fishing, agriculture, and summer tourism. Because of the strategic location, restriction on Manx trade, and lack of viable alternatives, Manx coastal sailors engaged in smuggling in the eighteenth century. The fishing fleet engages in seasonal harvesting (scallops, prawns, herring, and mackerel). In agriculture, the Manx raise lambs, sheep, and dairy cattle and grow grains, potatoes, and other vegetables. The summer tourist trade developed in the nineteenth century and today caters to the working classes of northern England. Associated with the tourist season are a number of motorcycle, bicycle, and car races drawing many thousands of spectators from the United Kingdom and Europe. Tynwald legislation has encouraged the development of a financial sector, involving banking, insurance, and other fiduciary enterprises.
Industrial Arts. Many people engage in small crafts Production, and a thriving antiques trade keeps many people employed in restoration work. Artisans also engage in textile production, painting, woodworking, and sculpting.
Trade. Each village and town has a shopping district where individual stores and food markets are located. In other areas of the towns, some residents run small commodity shops. At Saint Johns, a livestock auction is held weekly. An open-air market is held on Thursdays in most towns. Open-air markets are also held during festivals and special events.
Division of Labor. Despite a growing feminist consciousness, the division of labor is based on gender. Women perform household maintenance and familial work, and men perform most occupational work. Fishing, construction, and agriculture tend to be dominated by men, while school teaching, restaurant work, and health care tend to be dominated by women. In addition to the gender division of labor, certain ethnic groups tend to dominate different sectors of the Economy. For example, English workers predominate in the financial sector, while Manx engage in agriculture.
Land Tenure. All land is held privately, except that held by the Manx National Trust, a government agency. In recent years, land speculation and extensive residential development has resulted in rising land values, taxation, and loss of Manx ownership of land. After the razing of Ramsey, many Manx called for limitations on land development, and in response Tynwald has initiated a growth-management plan to control future development. Considerable disagreement surrounds this plan.
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