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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Prime Minister Peel and the Corn Laws
In 1841 Robert Peel became Prime Minister. The Anti Corn Law League were pressing their case - abolition of the Corn Laws meant cheap bread, cheap bread meant a contented people and in some ways suppressed the need for wage demands. English trade and prosperity demanded the repeal of the Corn Laws but such a step would wreck Peel's government because the country and the government were torn.

In 1845 the potato crop failed in Ireland. Peel could wait no longer he put his proposals to the Cabinet who rejected them and Peel resigned. The Whig leader, Russell, refused to form an administration and Peel was returned. He had to fight the Tory Protectionists who were led by Benjamin Disraeli.

Sir Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel
SIR ROBERT PEEL (1788-1850)

  • Conservative MP and Prime Minister 1834-1835 and 1841-1846
  • Father was a northern cotton magnate
  • Chief Secretary for Ireland 1812-1818
  • Anti-Catholic Home Secretary 1822-1827 and 1828-1830
  • Introduced the Metropolitan Police who became known as Peelers or Bobbies
  • Was an individual rather than Party politician - split the Tory party over Catholic emancipation in 1829, Parliamentary Reform in 1846 and the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846
  • The Tamworth Manifesto of 1834 is the new 19th-century style conservatism
  • Resigned over the Repeal of the Corn Laws
  • Died in 1850 after a horse riding accident

did you know?
The Penny Post was introduced in 1840.


19TH CENTURY POETS

  • Lord Byron (1788-1824)
  • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
  • William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
  • Robert Southey (1774-1843)
  • Percy Shelley (1792-1822)
  • John Keats (1795-1821)
  • Elizabeth Browning (1806-1861)
  • Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
Select historical period
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Chronology
1834Melbourne becomes Prime Minister
Robert Peel becomes Prime Minister
Tamworth Manifesto is announced
Houses of Parliament are burned down
1835Melbourne becomes Prime Minister
1837 William IV dies
Victoria becomes Queen
1838 The People's Charter is issued
1839The Opium War breaks out
1840 Victoria marries Prince Albert
1841 Peel becomes Prime Minister
1842 The Opium War ends
1845 The Irish famine starts
1846The corn laws are repealed
Russell becomes Prime Minister
1848 Public Health Act
1851 The Great Exhibition
Louis Napoleon seizes power in France
1854The Crimean War breaks out
Florence Nightingale arrives at Scutari


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