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Repeal of the Corn Laws 1846

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The impact of the Corn Laws and the significance in terms of the history of reform and social justice is open to a loy of debate but the Acts were finally repealed in 1846, when Sir Robert Peel was Prime Minister. Take a look at our Reform and Radicals series and the history of Poor Law to consider the wider impact. The Corn Laws were largely about protectionism of price, but that in itself in harsh times has a direct and detrimental impact on those least able to look after themselves the Poor. Look back 50 Years before this Act and there is a key period of unrest, and genuine suffering of the less fortunate that impacts and drives over the next 50 years the demand for reform and the development of British Democracy. It was a long road, every woman and man only get to vote in their government by the 20th Century. Why did it take so long! The Corn Laws were about far more than just the price of Corn.

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