The evolution of capitalism in England and resulting land grabs both here and abroad can be arguably simplified to sheep, slavery and fossil fuels…
I found this (long read) article an excellent overview of the abominable role slavery took in the founding of modern day economics.
The Making of the English Working Class
by E.P. Thompson
Considered a definitive text for many years this book is dense, academically rigorous and utterly superb.
I needed a dictionary, wikipedia and a notebook to get myself through the first quarter but once up to speed with the authors style and concepts, it was as compelling a read as I have ever had.
This book has the advantage of being widely respected across all academic and historical fields in a manner which some of the other books I have read are not.
The Many-Headed Hydra
by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker
This book gives much food for thought, bringing a fresh perspective to number of themes such as slavery and pirates which help put English peasant struggles of the time in a wider context.
Whilst I would highly recommend it, I would also advise with some caution as the scholarship is not as widely respected as it might be.
This review from the Guardian does a good job and it worth a look – http://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/jan/27/historybooks