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The Rolitical Process of the Corn Laws' Repeal in 1846 <Articles>
In the problem of the Corn Laws, as G. R. Elton says, many matters (political and economic) are linked "almost beyond hope of disentanglement," and the Corn Laws' repeal has been interpreted in many ways. These interpretations, however, do not necessarily satisfy us, and are occasionally contradictory. Therefore, however difficult it may be, we must disentangle many matters related to the repeal. To clarify how these were related to the repeal and examine the nature of their contradictions is the task at hand. To accomplish this, a reconsideration of the entire political process which led to the repeal is necessary.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the political process, in relation to following three points: (1) The struggle for and against the Corn Laws was based on the conflict between the agricultural and the industrial sectors, and fought within the landed class between the Peelites and Protectionists. There was at the same time, of course, a struggle for political power by the bourgeoisie. (2) The repeal was necessary to the development of the industrial sector. Peel clearly recognized this fact and determined upon repeal for this reason. (3) At
the same time, repeal was not incompatible with the maintenance of the landed class.