By Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey
The repeal of Britain's Corn legislation in 1846--one of crucial fiscal coverage judgements of the 19th century--has lengthy intrigued and wondered political scientists, historians, and economists. Why may a Conservative leading minister act opposed to his personal party's pursuits? The Conservatives entered govt in 1841 with a robust dedication to retaining agriculture; 5 years later, the Conservative leading Minister Sir Robert Peel presided over repeal of the protectionist Corn legislation, violating social gathering ideas and undercutting the commercial pursuits of the land-owning aristocracy. just a 3rd of Conservative contributors of Parliament supported the repeal laws and inside of a month of repeal, Peel's govt fell. The Conservatives remained out of strength for many years. during this definitive e-book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey examines the interacting forces that caused the abrupt starting of Britain's free-trade empire.Using a large number of methodological instruments to degree either qualitative and quantitative info (including computer-assisted content material research of millions of pages of parliamentary debates), Schonhardt-Bailey concludes that financial pursuits supplied the momentum in the back of repeal, a momentum that overshadowed just about all else. certainly, as a part of a broader momentum of democratic reform, those comparable pursuits, left unhappy, might simply have snowballed into revolution--as Sir Robert Peel and others feared. yet pursuits by myself didn't clarify why reform instead of revolution emerged in mid-nineteenth century Britain. that allows you to get to the bottom of extra totally the long-standing puzzle of repeal, Schonhardt-Bailey strains the overlapping and intertwined forces of curiosity, principles, and associations.
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Extra info for From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective
As Peelites observed the growth of interests linked to manufacturing and trade—partly in their own districts but also throughout the country—the pressure for repeal mounted. For Peelites to justify their support for repeal in terms of the interests of their constituents would, however, wholly cut against the grain of Conservatism. Indeed, it is likely that most Peelites would have rejected the Liberal notion of legislators as delegates, and thus we should not expect them to refer to constituency interests as justiﬁcation for their repeal votes.
A. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. a. 1 (continued) Source: Report from the Select Committee on Votes of Electors, Parliamentary Papers VIII 1846, pps. 190–194, 208, 220, 256, 299, 309–312 and 327– 328. Evidence of W. W. Burrell, Richard Helps, Henry Lucas, Colin Campbell Macauley, Charles Bradford Passman, George Whateley, and George Wilson. Notes: Total county electorate of England was said by the Anti-Corn Law League to be 445,630, so these counties equal 28 percent of the total.
Narrowing this somewhat, the primary focus here is on legislative institutions and how these shaped political behavior. For instance, the Reform Act of 1832 both afforded more representation to the middle-class industrialists and shaped the particular lobbying strategy (the use of the 40 shilling freehold) of the League. This particular institutional conﬁguration thus gave rise to a particular form of freetrade lobbying (chapter 4). Unlike the standard rational-choice view of institutions as exogenous, however, I examine how institutions evolve over time—namely, how MPs and peers came to perceive their parliamentary behavior as increasingly more constrained by public opinion.