Anti-Corn-Law League

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Anti-Corn-Law League,

organization formed in 1839 to work for the repeal of the English corn lawscorn laws,
regulations restricting the export and import of grain, particularly in England. As early as 1361 export was forbidden in order to keep English grain cheap. Subsequent laws, numerous and complex, forbade export unless the domestic price was low and forbade import
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. It was an affiliation of groups in various cities and districts with headquarters at Manchester and was an outgrowth of the smaller Manchester Anti-Corn-Law Association. Richard CobdenCobden, Richard
, 1804–65, British politician, a leading spokesman for the Manchester school. He made a fortune as a calico printer in Manchester. A firm believer in free trade, after 1838 he devoted himself to the formation and work of the Anti-Corn-Law League.
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 and John BrightBright, John,
1811–89, British statesman and orator. He was the son of a Quaker cotton manufacturer in Lancashire. A founder (1839) of the Anti-Corn Law League, he rose to prominence on the strength of his formidable oratory against the corn laws.
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 were its leading figures. The league won over Sir Robert Peel to its views, and the corn laws were repealed in 1846.