Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2001

Free Trade vs. Protectionism: The Great Corn-Laws Debate (Abridged)

by David A. Moss


Examines the extended conflict between free traders and protectionists in 19th century Britain. It culminates with Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel's decision at the end of 1845 about whether to repeal the Corn Laws, a series of acts that had protected British agriculture for almost 200 years. With landowners and industrialists battling fiercely over the issues, nearly everyone agreed that the decision would be momentous.

Keywords: Plant-Based Agribusiness; Change Management; Trade; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Government Legislation; Market Entry and Exit; Conflict of Interests; Competitive Advantage; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Great Britain;


Moss, David A. "Free Trade vs. Protectionism: The Great Corn-Laws Debate (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 701-140, May 2001.