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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

The Coming of Disraeli & the Death of Peel
Peel was torn between his duty to the nation and his duty to his party. He considered the former more important. The Bill went forward. On 25 June 1846 the Corn Laws were repealed.

In Ireland in 1846 there was a potato famine, this combined with the poor grain harvests meant the people would starve. Four million people in Ireland depended on the potato. The great migration to America began (more than 100,000 in 1846 alone). Violence erupted. Peel asked for a Coercion Act, much the same as our Emergency Powers. This coincided with the successful repeal of the Corn Laws, Disraeli and his protectionists sought revenge and voted against the Coercion Bill. Peel lost it by 73 votes and resigned.

Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell
DANIEL O'CONNELL (1775-1847)

  • Irish nationalist and known as The Liberator
  • A well-known lawyer (he was once offered but declined the Mastership of the Rolls) who campaigned for Roman Catholic rights and was a founder of the Catholic Association (1823)
  • He was imprisoned for sedition and although released, spent three months in prison
  • Although an agitator, he fought to remain inside the law while many of his supporters wanted harsher methods to achieve rights for the Irish peoples
  • He ended his life an unhappy and in many ways, an unfulfilled man

did you know?
In 1843 Peel's secretary, Drummond, was assassinated because the murderer thought he was the Prime Minister himself.

Protectionists indeed! To close their eyes to the result of every commercial experiment that has been made, to find every one of their predictions falsified, to disregard the state of public opinion, to call the Corn Laws a labourer's question, and yet listen to the appalling facts as to the condition for years past of the labourers of Dorsetshire ...

to be willing to encounter the tremendous risks of two bad harvests and recurrence of such a state of things in Paisley and Stockport as was witnessed in the winter of eighteen hundred and forty one and eighteen hundred and forty two; not to see that the Corn Laws would ...

be swept away with dishonour on the demand of the starving population - this is to be a Protectionist!

Select historical period

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1834 Melbourne becomes Prime Minister
Robert Peel becomes Prime Minister
Tamworth Manifesto is announced
Houses of Parliament are burned down
1835Melbourne becomes Prime Minister
1837William IV dies
Victoria becomes Queen
1838The People's Charter is issued
1839 The Opium War breaks out
1840 Victoria marries Prince Albert
1841 Peel becomes Prime Minister
1842The 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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