John Bright (1811-1889)

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John Bright (16 November 1811 – 27 March 1889), Quaker, was a British Radical and Liberal statesman, one of the greatest orators of his generation, and a strong critic of British foreign policy.In partnership with Richard Cobden, he founded the Anti-Corn Law League, aimed at abolishing the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners’ interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages. Abolition was achieved in 1846.Bright also worked with Cobden in another Free Trade initiative, the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty of 1860, promoting closer interdependence between Britain and France. This campaign was conducted in collaboration with French economist Michel Chevalier, and succeeded despite Parliament’s endemic mistrust of the French.Bright sat in the House of Commons from 1843 to 1889, promoting free trade, electoral reform and religious freedom. He was almost a lone voice in opposing the Crimean War; he also opposed Gladstone’s proposed Home Rule for Ireland.The phrase ‘Mother of Parliaments’ was coined by Bright.

Source: dbpedia

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