Richard Cobden

Richard Cobden (kŏb´dən), 1804–65, British politician, a leading spokesman for the Manchester school. He made a fortune as a calico printer in Manchester. A firm believer in free trade, after 1838 he devoted himself to the formation and work of the Anti-Corn-Law League. Campaigning both inside and outside Parliament (to which he was elected in 1841), he finally won over Sir Robert Peel, and the corn laws were repealed in 1846. After 1849, Cobden concerned himself chiefly with foreign policy, advocating nonintervention in Europe and an end to imperial expansion. He became unpopular for his opposition to the Crimean War (1854–56) and lost his parliamentary seat in 1857. Reelected in 1859, he negotiated (1859–60) the "Cobden Treaty" for reciprocal tariffs with France. Like his close associate John Bright, he favored the North in the Civil War in the United States (which he had twice visited). His many speeches, letters, and pamphlets have been published.

See biography by W. Hinde (1987); study by D. Read (1967).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Richard Cobden: Selected full-text books and articles

Richard Cobden: the International Man By J. A. Hobson; Neville Masterman Benn, 1968 (New edition)
The Great Victorians By Hugh Massingham I. Nicholson & Watson, Ltd., 1932
Librarian’s tip: Richard Cobden, 1804-1865 begins on p. 121
The Age of Improvement By Asa Briggs Longmans, Green, 1959
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Richard Cobden begins on p. 312
The Decline of British Radicalism, 1847-1860 By Miles Taylor Clarendon Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Richard Cobden in multiple chapters
English Radicalism By S. MacCoby Allen & Unwin, 1935
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Richard Cobden begins on p. 254
The Origins of War Prevention: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1730-1854 By Martin Ceadel Oxford University, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "The Richard Cobden Era: Pacificist Permeation, October 1848-September 1851"
Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846-1946 By Anthony Howe Clarendon Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Richard Cobden in multiple chapters
Morality and the Market in Victorian Britain By G. R. Searle Clarendon Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Richard Cobden begins on p. 199
The Liberal Tradition: From Fox to Keynes By Alan Bullock; Maurice Shock New York University Press, 1957
Librarian’s tip: Part III "The Age of Cobden and Bright"
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.