Anti-Corn Law League

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A meeting of the Anti-Corn Law League in Exeter Hall in 1846

The Anti-Corn Law League was a successful political movement in Great Britain aimed at the abolition of the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners’ interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages.

The League was founded in Leeds in 1838 by Richard Cobden and John Bright, with George Wilson as president, in charge of administrative duties. Joseph Ivimey, the Superintendent Registrar for St Pancras acted as the League's solicitor.

When abolition was achieved in 1846, the League dissolved itself.[1] Many of its members continued their political activism in the Liberal Party, with the goal of establishing a fully free-trade economy and thus decreasing the price of basic food products, enhancing the performance of agriculture and industry, and creating stronger commercial relations – supposedly the guarantors of peace – with other nations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard M. Ebeling (February 1991). "Democratized Privilege: The New Mercantilism". 

Further reading[edit]

Contemporary items[edit]

  • Ashworth, Henry: Recollections of Richard Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League, 2 editions, London 1876 and 1881
  • Bright, John: Speeches of John Bright, M.P., on the American Question. With an introduction by Frank Moore. [With a portrait.]. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1865.
  • Gilchrist, John M.: "The Life of John Bright, M.P.". In Cassell's Representative Biographies (1868).
  • Leech, H. J. (ed.): The public letters of the Right Hon. John Bright. London: Low, Marston & Co., 1895. Reprint New York, NY: Kraus Reprint, 1969.
  • Prentice, Archibald: History of the Anti-cornlaw-league. (London. 1853, 2 vol.). 2. ed. with a new introduction. by W. H. Chaloner. London: Cass, 1968.
  • Rogers, Thorold (ed.): Speeches on Questions of Public Policy, by John Bright, M.P.. 1868.
  • Rogers, Thorold (ed.): Public Addresses. 1879.
  • Archibald Philipp Primrose (Earl of Rosebery): Lord Rosebery's Speech on the Anti-Corn Law League and Free Trade, Manchester 1897. London: Cobden Club, 1898.
  • Simonson, Franz: Richard Cobden und die Antikornzolliga, sowie ihre Bedeutung für die wirthschaftlichen Verhältnisse des Deutschen Reiches. Berlin, 1883.
  • Smith, George Barnett: The Life and Speeches of the Right Hon. John Bright, M.P., 2 vols., 1881.
  • Vince, Charles: John Bright (1898); Speeches on Parliamentary Reform by John Bright, M.P., revised by Himself (1866).
  • Obituary in The Law Times for Joseph Ivimey, pub 9 November 1878.

Modern works[edit]

External links[edit]