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from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. laws regulating trade in corn, especially those in force in Great Britain till 1846, prohibiting the importation of foreign grain for home consumption, except when the price rose above a certain rate.


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  • Repealing the Corn Laws was a momentous step because this removed the last major constraint on Britain's transformation, along the lines of its then-comparative advantage in manufacturing, into the world's first industrial society, where most workers would be factory workers, not farmers: how to feed so many factory workers?

    Ian Fletcher: America Aping Britain's Historic Decline Through Free Trade

  • Remember having a laugh at me for letting slip that I thought the repeal of the Corn Laws was a bad day?

    When culture goes wrong

  • Repeal of the Corn Laws was the deepest principle in his early life, and he was too angry to do justice to Peel, denouncing him as a "political eel"; an infringer of Dickens's copyright in Pecksniff; attacking his policy of "wait awhile," much as later critics attacked the policy of "wait and see"; and even when Peel's conversion was complete, refusing to acknowledge any virtue in it.

    Mr. Punch`s history of modern England, Volume I -- 1841-1857

  • The repeal of the Corn Laws was a far more powerful factor in the revival of prosperity, and the efforts of Protection to raise its diminished head met with consistent derision from Punch, who gloried in the statistics of increasing trade.

    Mr. Punch`s history of modern England, Volume I -- 1841-1857

  • Suppose it can be shown that there is a vicious circle; that you have made politics of Corn Laws, and that you want voters to maintain them; that you very erroneously think that the Corn Laws are your great mine of wealth, and, therefore, you must have a dependent tenantry, that you may have their votes at elections to maintain this law in Parliament.

    The Effects of Protection on Agriculture

  • Acts was a confession of the cruelty that underlay the new industrial experiments, just as the Repeal of the Corn Laws was a confession of the comparative weakness and unpopularity of the squires, who had destroyed the last remnants of any peasantry that might have defended the field against the factory.

    A Short History of England

  • The abolition of the Corn Laws was the last measure of Sir Robert Peel's political life, and he owed the victory, which was won amid the murmurs and threats of his own followers, to the support which his political antagonists gave him, under the leadership of Lord John Russell, who recognised both the wisdom and the expediency of Sir Robert's course.

    Lord John Russell

  • Vested interests and political careers were at stake - repeal of the Corn Laws was a poisoned chalice. - 3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,27,28,29,30,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,41,42,48,49,50,52

  • Nor can it be urged in his favour, that the delay in repealing the Corn Laws was the fault of his opponents, not his own; for no one knew better than he, a shrewd experienced party leader, that every available weapon of Parliamentary warfare would be used, as they were used, against his bill for the repeal of the Corn Laws, in order to strike it down by sheer defeat if possible, but if not, at least to maim and lop it of its best provisions.

    The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) With Notices of Earlier Irish Famines

  • So perhaps it's no surprise that among the things the earls of Carnarvon were famous for was their strident opposition to the Reform Act of 1832, which expanded suffrage, and the repeal of the Corn Laws, which kept food prices high and enriched the landed gentry.

    A Victorian fantasy, in stone


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