John Bright

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Bright, 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 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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. A staunch laissez-faire capitalist, and, with 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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, a bastion of the Manchester schoolManchester school,
group of English political economists of the 19th cent., so called because they met at Manchester. Their most outstanding leaders were Richard Cobden and John Bright.
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 of economics, he resented the protection given to landholders by these laws at the expense of manufacturing interests. After the repeal (1846) of the corn laws, Bright's principal concern was parliamentary reform, which he pursued relentlessly until passage of the third Reform Bill in 1884. A member of Parliament for Manchester (1847–57), he lost his seat because of his opposition to British involvement in the Crimean War, which he considered un-Christian and against Britain's economic interests. He represented Birmingham (1858–89) and served in William Gladstone's cabinets as president of the Board of Trade (1868–70) and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster (1873–74, 1880–82). He supported Gladstone on the issues of disestablishment of the Church of Ireland (1869) and Irish land reforms, but he opposed Home Rule for Ireland. His laissez-faire views also made him oppose direct government intervention to improve the conditions of the poor. He resigned (1882) in protest against intervention in Egypt for the same reasons that had led him to oppose the Crimean War.


See his speeches (ed. by J. E. T. Rogers, 1868) and public addresses (also ed. by J. E. T. Rogers, 1879); D. Read, Cobden and Bright (1967); J. R. Vincent, The Formation of the British Liberal Party (1967).

References in periodicals archive ?
Peninsula Lobster, in John Bright Street, has been opened after the owners spent PS900,000 transforming it into a stylish seafood restaurant
The BID is also spearheading a project to deep clean John Bright Street through a programme of pavement jet washing and the installation of a new flower tower to make the area more attractive to visitors.
Plans to cut the number of buses it runs to Ysgol John Bright from two to one and provide bus passes or taxis to Ysgol Aberconwy for those still entitled to free transport will cost around PS30,000.
During the Crimean War there is a small peace-party, notoriously led by a Quaker cotton-spinner, John Bright.
I'm so sad that you're gone and hate that I'm writing this and not arranging the Ysgol John Bright reunion we talked about.
Ashley Bellis, Thomas Edwards and James Townsend (all Year 12 design and technology students) worked alongside the company director, Will Lee, EESW consultant Graham Nutt, head of technology at Ysgol John Bright Dylan Williams, and the technology faculty technician, John McMillan over a period of six months to develop and manufacture a product that would make life easier for the company.
John Bright is inextricably bound up with the history of Birmingham and the nation.
The project took place at Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno with PCSOs Pamela Hayes and Sarah Curry.
Others are planning to pay thousands of pounds in fees for a place at an independent school rather than send them to the new Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno.
Conwy County Council says the subsidies for some pupils living within the three-mile limit from Ysgol John Bright and Ysgol Aberconwy are "an anomaly", and that ending them would mean all pupils in the county are treated equally.
The gathering will take place at The Victoria pub in John Bright Street, Birmingham city centre, from 7pm on Thursday.