Robert Peel Speech In The House Of Commons Analysis

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The document under study is an excerpt from Robert Peel's speech in the House of Commons. It took place on the 16th of February 1846. Robert Peel was part of the Tory Party. He became Prime Minister for a few months under William IV from December 1834 to April 1835 and for a second time under Queen Victoria from 1841 to 1846. After the Napoleonic Wars, the Corn Laws were passed in 1815 and in 1828. These Acts were protectionist measures, which made possible to maintain a stable and high price for corn, by blocking the import of corn. Being unpopular, the Corn Laws inspired an Anti-Corn Law League founded in 1838 by Richard Cobden and John Bright. In 1846, England had been enduring for a few years one of the worst periods of the nineteenth century – the “hungry forties”. The urgent need for food supplies increased, particularly after the Irish Potato Famine of 1845. The Corn Laws were accused of being responsible for the lack of food. In his speech, Robert Peel praises free trade and condemns the Corn Laws. Three main points will be studied in this commentary. First, I will point out that Peel is establishing the greatness of Britain; then I will demonstrate that he makes free trade a major part of…show more content…
One of these levels is its geographical position. He refers to “our natural and physical advantages” (lines 13 to 14). Britain, instead of being isolated because of its insularity, becomes the centre of international transactions. The country is the “chief connecting link” (line 1) between Europe and the United States, a bridge between “the old world and the new” (line 2). Thanks to the “improvement of navigation” (line 3), it shall become mid-way between St Peterborough and New-York. He also mentions that “we have an extent of coast greater in proportion to our population” (lines 5 to 6). This information shows us that Britain had more territory than what was necessary for the British

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