Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846-1946

Hardcover | September 1, 1997

byAnthony Howe

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The argument about the limits of Free Trade or Protectionism rages throughout the world to this day. Following the Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, free trade became one of the most distinctive defining features of the British state, and of British economic, social, and political life. Whilethe United States, much of the British Empire, and the leading European Powers turned towards protectionism before 1914, Britain alone held to a policy which had seemingly guaranteed power and prosperity. This book seeks to explain the political history of this tenacious loyalty. While the TariffReform opponents of free trade have been much studied, this is the first substantial account, based on a wide range of printed and archival sources, which explains the primacy of free trade in nineteenth- and early-twentieth century Britain. It also shows that by the centenary of the Repeal of theCorn Laws in 1946, although British free traders lamented the death of Liberal England, they heralded, under American leadership, the rebirth of the liberal international order.

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The argument about the limits of Free Trade or Protectionism rages throughout the world to this day. Following the Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, free trade became one of the most distinctive defining features of the British state, and of British economic, social, and political life. Whilethe United States, much of the British Empire...

Anthony Howe is a Senior Lecturer in International History at London School of Economics.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:348 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.94 inPublished:September 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019820146X

ISBN - 13:9780198201465

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`Anthony Howe now fills not only many gaps in our understanding of the politics of an idea central to Victorian and Edwardian Britain but also prompts important questions for the study of political economy ... This rich, detailed account of the Victorian survival of free trade as a story ofadaptive mutation in different spheres of the political process has implications for our understanding of the changing sources of the political power of economic ideas in modern Britain ... This book marks an important step away from views of Cobdenism as a static monolith or as a function ofeconomic or State structures and, by restoring free trade politics as a major historical subject in its own right, opens the way towards a more critical understanding of the place of free trade in modern Britain.'Frank Trentmann, Princetown University, Twentieth Century British History vol 10, no 1, 1999