October 24th, 2013
Episode 324 of 550 episodes
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 The Conservative government of Sir Robert Peel finally repealed the laws in 1846, splitting his party in the process, and the resulting debate had profound consequences for the political and economic future of the country. With: Lawrence Goldman Fellow in Modern History at St Peter's College, Oxford Boyd Hilton Former Professor of Modern British History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity College Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey Reader in Political Science at the London School of Economics Producer: Thomas Morris.