The Corn Laws

24 Oct, 2013 330 Economics

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Corn Laws. In 1815 the British Government passed legislation which artificially inflated the price of corn. The measure was supported by landowners but strongly opposed by manufacturers and the urban working class. In the 1830s the Anti-Corn Law League was founded to campaign for their repeal, led by the Radical Richard Cobden. The Conservative government of Sir Robert Peel finally repealed the laws in 1846, splitting his party in the process, and the resulting debate had profound consequences for the political and economic future of the country.

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  • Lawrence Goldman 10 episodes
    Fellow in Modern History at St Peter's College, Oxford
  • Boyd Hilton No other episodes
    Former Professor of Modern British History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity College
  • Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey No other episodes
    Reader in Political Science at the London School of Economics

Reading list

  • Protection and Politics: Conservative Economic Discourse, 1815-1852
    Anna Gambles (Royal Historical Society, 1999) Google Books →
  • Peel
    Norman Gash (Longman Higher Education, 1976) Google Books →
  • A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? England 1783-1846
    Boyd Hilton (Clarendon Press, 2006) Google Books →
  • Corn, Cash, Commerce: The Economic Policies of the Tory Governments 1815-1830
    Boyd Hilton (Oxford University Press, 1977) Google Books →
  • Free Trade and Liberal England 1846-1946
    Anthony Howe (Clarendon Press, 1997) Google Books →
  • The Anti-Corn Law League 1838-1846
    Norman McCord (Allen & Unwin, 1968) Google Books →
  • The People's Bread: A History of the Anti-Corn Law League
    Paul A. Pickering and Alex Tyrrell (Leicester University Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • Cobden and Bright: A Victorian Political Partnership
    Donald Read (Edward Arnold, 1967) Google Books →
  • From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective
    Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey (The MIT Press, 2006) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b03dvbyk

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Auto-category: 330.942 (Economic history of England and Wales)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. One evening in March 1815, a riot broke out in Canterbury.