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What was the short-term significance of Lord Liverpool's support for Corn Laws 1815 in affecting support for the Conservative party?
Finance & Accounting
Pages 6 (1506 words)
The corn laws of 1815 were controversial, in their own time as well as when seen through the lenses of later historians. Agriculturalists then regarded them as not offering enough protection, thus endangering British agriculture in the long run and were therefore opposed. …
On the other end of the spectrum were those who were in favour of free trade and who opposed the Corn Laws as being a government concession to the land barons of Ireland and Britain, against the interest of the poor. The opinion of the latter is perhaps most eloquently voiced by Blake (170, p. 15) who assessed the 1815 corn laws from a distance of more than 150 years as ‘class biased’ … ‘one of the most naked pieces of class legislation in English History, and a clear sign that the capitalist ideal was not going to prevail without a struggle’, a view clearly also later held by the authors of The Black Book.1 Yet, despite the concerns of the parties involved, Lord Liverpool was able to consolidate the opposing political forces within the Houses of Lords and Commons to pass the legislation with a 126 : 26 majority. Predictably, the poorer community fared badly as a result of artificially high corn prices and the next few years were marred by demonstrations and riots, followed by the passing of various pieces of repressive legislation in an attempt to control the rioters. ...
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