Bright, John (1811–1889)

John Bright was a British radical, statesman, and advocate of free trade. With Richard Cobden, Bright successfully agitated for the repeal of Great Britain's Corn Laws, which were import tariffs on grain. Bright also was a proponent of a peaceful, noninterventionist foreign policy, arguing, for instance, against British involvement in the Crimean War, a position that briefly cost him his seat in Parliament. In addition, Bright argued passionately against the Established Church and slavery, as well as for greater independence for Britain's colonies. Indeed, during his life, Bright was best known as an orator, fiery and radical in speech, whereas Cobden, his associate in the Anti-Corn Law League, was considered more pragmatic and measured.

Bright was born in Rochdale in the north of England to a ...

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