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Peel_In_Power_1841-1846

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					Peel In Power 1841-
1846
www.educationforum.co.uk
Peel’s Problems
   Poverty – 1:10 Englishmen was still a pauper
    despite the industrial wealth of the UK and the
    reform of the Poor Law
   The UK had a massive budget deficit
   Chartism – the working class was becoming
    politically active and a hreat to the power of the
    landed aristocracy and newly enfranchised
    middle classes
.
Budget Deficit
   The main cause of the budget deficit was the
    inefficient system of taxation then in place.
   Income tax had been abolished in 1816 and had
    never been restored – instead taxes on goods
    and purchases of common goods such as corn,
    meat, butter, soap and sugar were high as were
    taxes on imports – these hit the poor hardest
    and were also bad for international trade.
   Such taxes also were hard to enforce and
    caused black markets to develop.
Peel’s Solutions
   Henry Goulburn appointed as Chancellor. His first act was to radically
    reduce duties on a range of imported produce in the 1842 budget
   A picture of a national emergency was painted by Peel during the budget
    debate and income tax was reintroduced as an emergency short term
    measure (for three years only – now 168 and still going strong!)
   Income tax was to be collected at a rate of 17 pence in the pound for those
    earning an income of over £150 a year
   The working class were therefore exempt from income tax – Peel argued
    that their desperation was being made evident in the upsurge in support for
    Chartism.
   The introduction of income tax allowed Peel to be able to afford to cut or
    remove completely duties on over 700 imported items – cheaper goods
    meant more were consumed and therefore the loss of duty felt less keenly
   By 1845 the nation was back in budget surplus, food was cheaper, harvests
    had improved and Chartism was on the decline
Reform of the Banking System
   In the years since 1815 the British banking       I promise to pay the bearer on demand the
    system had proved very unstable with many          sum of…..
    small banks going to the wall – in 1825 as
    many as 70 banks collapsed!
   The main problem was the over issue of
    currency by small banks seeing the vast
    investment opportunities of the industrial
    revolution (especially the railways) without
    sufficient reserves to tide them over in
    difficult times. Peel believed that the
    economy could only develop if the currency
    was stable and the banks could be trusted
   Peel’s solution was the Bank Charter Act of
    1844 which limited the amount of money
    existing banks could issue, disallowed any
    new banks from issuing currency and gave a
    regulatory role to the Bank of England who
    had to make sure sufficient reserves of gold
    existing to back up issued currency in the
    system
Peel’s Economic Reforms were a
great success
   The lowering of tariffs and duties encouraged trade and
    made food cheaper
   Income tax reduced and then abolished the National
    Debt
   The stabilization of the currency made investment more
    attractive and encouraged economic growth
   The distress and radical politics of the early 19th century
    gave way to a prolonged period of mid Victorian stability
    largely thanks to Peel and his reforms.
Factory Reform
   A Commission on child labour in the mines
    headed by Lord Shaftesbury (a Christian
    humanitarian) reported in 1841 – its findings of
    child and female labour in the mines were
    genuinely shocking and Shaftesbury’s Mines Bill
    was passed by the Commons – it faced
    resistance in the Lords from the great coal
    owner Lord Londonderry, but was eventually
    passed banning female employment in the
    mines together with the employment of boys
    under 10 years.
Factory Act 1844
 There quickly followed a factory act –
  again proposed by Shaftesbury which
  reduced female hours to 12 a day and the
  hours of children reduced from 9 to 6.5
 Shaftesbury attempted to get the ’10 hour
  day’ for all adults but this was rejected by
  Peel who believed that British trade would
  become ‘uncompetitive’ if this went ahead
The Corn Laws
   By the mid 1840’s Peel’s free trade reforms were working. Britain
    was prosperous and stable. There was less distress and disorder
   The protectionist Corn Laws now stood out as a bit of an oddity.
   Historical opinion is divided on what was the biggest factor in
    making Peel reform the Corn Laws in 1846 – the threat from the Anti
    Corn Law League, or the pressure for change brought to bear by the
    Irish Potato famine of 1845.
   The repeal tore the Conservatives apart with Disraeli leading the
    attack which was to lead to Peel’s resignation and the end of his
    political career.
   Peel died in 1850 after being thrown from his horse.
Task
 Group A: Who were the Anti Corn Law
  League, their aims methods and how
  influential were they in the reform of the
  Corn Laws?
 Group B: What was the Irish Potato
  Famine and why was this important in the
  repeal of the Corn Laws?

				
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