🎧 Listened to: The Party Splits! (In 1846!)

Episode summary: The current crisis for the Conservatives is often described as the worst since the party split over the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. So we talk to historian Boyd Hilton about what really happened back then and what it meant for British politics. Why were the Corn Laws so divisive? How did public opinion impact on the politicians? Did Peel betray his party or did he do what needed to be done? And what are the real lessons for Brexit and for the Conservative Party today? With Helen Thompson. * We have extra show notes below, with a guide to the historical timeline and some further reading suggestions. Talking Points: What were the Corn Laws? - From 1815-1846, a series of tariffs and other trade restrictions on imported grains kept prices artificially high to favor domestic producers. - The laws were controversial from the beginning (but there wasn’t sizeable, collective opposition until later). - The Corn Laws benefited those who owned land, but they increased food prices and the costs of living for most…

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