Manchester school of economics

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The Manchester school of economics (sometimes referred to simply as "the Manchester school") was a 19th century political movement that sought the implemention of the recommendations of the classical economists, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, and that pioneered Britain's abandonment of the then traditional doctrine of mercantilism. The movement was led by British businessmen and Members of Parliament, Richard Cobden[1] and John Bright[2]. It was so called because of the series of public meetings that they held at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, beginning in 1820. David Ricardo's law of comparative advantage had demonstrated that a country's removal of its barriers to trade would increase its prosperity, and Cobbett and Bright used that finding to campaign for the abolition of the system of tariffs upon grain imports known as the "Corn Laws". In 1838 they founded the influential Anti-Corn Law League whose campaign persuaded the Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel to reduce grain tariffs and eventually, in 1846, to repeal the Corn Laws[3]. Their policies are considered to have established the foundations of Liberalism in Britain, and Bright was later appointed as Trade Minister in Gladstone's 1868 Liberal Government.

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