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The repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 was a crucial, formative moment in the development of the modern world order. From that point on Great Britain, then the world's leading economic power, was committed to the path of free, or freer trade. This path in turn had a major impact on the development of a more open and integrated world economy. This book is volume one of Freedom and Trade , a three-volume project to mark the 150th anniversary of the Corn Laws' repeal which originated at a major 1996 Manchester conference of international scholars. Free Trade and its Reception examines the Corn Laws and their repeal, and exlores the development of free trade ideas in Britain and around the world. The contributors to this volume, from Britain, Europe and the United States, include some of the leading international experts working in the field. Their contributions range widely over the history, politics and economics of free trade and protectionism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; together they provide a landmark study of a vitally important subject, and one which remains at the top of today's international agenda.