Flashcards in Chapter 7: Corn Laws Deck (15):
When were the Corn Laws?
What did the Corn Laws entail?
No foreign corn could be imported until the home price reached 80 shillings a quarter.
What are the Corn Laws generally regarded as an example of?
The dominant landed interest in Parliament protecting themselves- the landowning classes dominated both Houses of Parliament and land was their main source of income.
Why were the Corn Laws needed?
Landowners and farmers had done well during the War as demand was high, but suffered from the result of a bumper harvest in 1813, which caused a dramatic fall in prices and in the following year, from a poor harvest which led to the import of foreign corn to make up the shortfall.
Why was the import of foreign corn in 1814 such a problem?
Foreign corn was cheap and undercut the price sought by the English farmers.
What happened once the trading blockade was lifted at the end of the French Wars?
Foreign corn flooded the market.
What did the landed interest want?
Protection from foreign competition, so that they could rely on demand for their grain, whatever the price
What is Boyd Hilton's theory surrounding the Corn Laws?
Acknowledges pressure from landed interest, but suggests ministers were concerned to ensure sufficient food supply for a rapidly growing population and wanted to allay their concerns about subsistence. Supports theory by presenting evidence that the Government was not acting soley in the interests of the landowners and farmers. Also suggest Corn Laws of 1815 were never intended to be a permanent solution but was introduced to avoid worst effects of a post-war slump in prices.
Why, in Boyd Hilton's perspective, did the Government introduce the Corn Laws?
They ignored the popular protests, believing that it was acting in the longer term interests of the population.
What was the ultimate consequence of the Corn Law?
Pushed up the price of bread, the staple diet of the labouring population. I
What did the Government ignore in introducing the Corn Laws?
The adverse impact of the policy on the majority of the population.
What was the public reaction to the Corn Laws?
There was a huge public outcry, petitions were presented to Parliament and serious rioting broke out. This contributed to a period of unparalleled civil unrest to which the government responded to with harsh measures.
Who did the fury regarding the Corn Laws extend to?
Powerful commercial and industrial interests, who complained they would have to raise wages and curtail further investment and expansion into new markets.
What could Landowners no longer claim?
They claimed to represent all agricultural interests, but with less ground under cultivation as it as no longer viable, many agricultural labourers were made redundant.