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The 1846 Repeal of the Corn Laws: Insights from a Classification Tree Approach

The 1846 Repeal of the Corn Laws: Insights from a Classification Tree Approach <jats:p> Prime Minister Robert Peel was forced to resign in 1846 over the Repeal of the Corn Laws. Far from being a relatively unimportant piece of agricultural legislation, the Corn Laws, and their continuance, formed part of the ideology of the Conservative Party of the time. By proposing to Repeal the Corn Laws, Sir Robert was attacking the beliefs on which his party had won victory in the 1841 General Election. The result was a serious split within the Conservative Party over the Corn Laws. The majority of Conservatives voted against their own government, while 114 ‘Peelite’ Conservatives voted with Peel and the government. Why those particular Conservative Members decided to split away from their colleagues has been the subject of a large amount of research, mostly with ‘demand-side’ models which assume that the MP is little more than a mouthpiece for constituency interests. </jats:p><jats:p> Peel's 1845 motion, a year before Repeal, to increase the yearly grant to the Irish Catholic seminary at Maynooth created very large controversy, and a backbench rebellion in which half of his own party voted against the government. As with Repeal, Maynooth passed only because the Opposition party decided to side with the government. </jats:p><jats:p> This article uses principal component analysis and a classification tree analysis for the first time to show that while Conservative Members were voting with constituency interests in mind, their previous voting record over Maynooth is an overlooked and important predictor. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing Edinburgh University Press

The 1846 Repeal of the Corn Laws: Insights from a Classification Tree Approach

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2014
Subject
Historical Studies
ISSN
1753-8548
eISSN
1755-1706
DOI
10.3366/ijhac.2014.0128
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Prime Minister Robert Peel was forced to resign in 1846 over the Repeal of the Corn Laws. Far from being a relatively unimportant piece of agricultural legislation, the Corn Laws, and their continuance, formed part of the ideology of the Conservative Party of the time. By proposing to Repeal the Corn Laws, Sir Robert was attacking the beliefs on which his party had won victory in the 1841 General Election. The result was a serious split within the Conservative Party over the Corn Laws. The majority of Conservatives voted against their own government, while 114 ‘Peelite’ Conservatives voted with Peel and the government. Why those particular Conservative Members decided to split away from their colleagues has been the subject of a large amount of research, mostly with ‘demand-side’ models which assume that the MP is little more than a mouthpiece for constituency interests. </jats:p><jats:p> Peel's 1845 motion, a year before Repeal, to increase the yearly grant to the Irish Catholic seminary at Maynooth created very large controversy, and a backbench rebellion in which half of his own party voted against the government. As with Repeal, Maynooth passed only because the Opposition party decided to side with the government. </jats:p><jats:p> This article uses principal component analysis and a classification tree analysis for the first time to show that while Conservative Members were voting with constituency interests in mind, their previous voting record over Maynooth is an overlooked and important predictor. </jats:p>

Journal

International Journal of Humanities and Arts ComputingEdinburgh University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2014

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