The Pros And Cons Of The Corn Law

1800 Words8 Pages
1. Introduction The English Corn Laws generated a famous political economy debate (Williamson, 1990). The measures were enacted between 1815 and 1846 in the United Kingdom, to dictate tariffs and restrictions on imported grain. Their aim was to keep prices of all types of grain high, in order to favour domestic producers. These measures enforced high import duties and compelled consumers to pay higher prices (Corn Laws, n.d). Several debates occured around the Corn Laws as they had a significant impact on different groups of British society. Landowners and manufacturers had opposite views on these Laws. Moreover, quite a few groups emerged against them, amongst which the Anti-Corn Law League. Such groups formed to fight against the Corn Laws and eventually succeed in abrogating them and introduce a free trade in Great Britain. Indeed the abrogation of the Corn Laws has been a turning point in trade liberalization. It is true that free trade has its advantages, however it also has drawbacks. This paper investigates the questions how the Corn Laws were finally abolished, leading to free trade. Firstly, the paper provides the historical background of the Corn Laws as well as the main developments of the Corn Laws. Secondly, it compares the effects of the Corn Laws on different groups in Great Britain as well as the position of the groups concerning a potential repeal. Then, it introduces the theory of comparative advantage to show benefits of free trade as well as arguments

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