'1846 and All That': the rise and fall of British wheat protection in the nineteenth century
By documenting the legislative history of the Corn Laws from 1670 and using previously unused data to calculate annual ad valorem equivalents (AVE) for most years from 1814, it is possible to establish several important facts about British wheat protection. Statutory protection was only significant for a few years after 1815, the decline starting in the 1820s and continuing beyond the famous 'repeal' in 1846. The level of protection prior to 1846 was, for many years, much lower than previous accounts have suggested. In fact, from 1828 the Corn Laws were specifically designed to allow grain to enter Britain at low levels of duty, and prohibitive duties were the exception rather than the norm.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 June 2010
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- Agricultural History Review is the leading journal for the publication of original research in all aspects of agricultural and rural history. First published in 1952, the Review reflects the diversity of approaches which are possible in rural history. Its editors welcome submissions in any aspect of the history of agriculture, rural society and rural economy over the past millennium. Whilst it is not concerned with current policy debates, it is interested in considering discussions of the historical dimensions of current problems in rural society and food supply. The Review is especially strong in British rural history, but actively seeks submissions in European and American rural history and has no bar on submissions concerning the remainder of the world. It is also the journal of record for book reviews in the discipline.
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