Text 4 The ACLL .pdf


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Text 4

The National Anti-Corn Law League
The document :

- A poster
- By Joseph Hickin (secretary of the ACLL)
- Made to urge people to register their name on
a petition
- The petition was addressed to the Parliament
in order to put pressure on politicians

Reminders :

- The Corn Law : total prohibition of the import of grains (from 1815) ;
later replaced with high fees (from 1828) ; established to keep grain
prices high to favour the domestic landowners ; repealed in 1846
- The Anti-Corn Law league : political movement (created in 1838) that
fought for the abolition of the Corn Laws.

How does the Anti-Corn Law league address its targeted audience through this poster ?

The typography :

- The poster is a call on people to ask them to register, so a different typography is used to draw the attention of the targeted
audience
- The targeted audience : the middle-class (not the working-class, which was more represented by the Chartism)
- They used this method on different other posters as well

”Register !” :

- Repeated throughout the entire poster because it was made to ask people for their signature on the petition : when you read
the poster, it keeps reminding you how important it is to “registrer”
- This method (repetition) is still used nowadays (“Vote !” during the election of the next POTUS for instance)
- Repeated a few times at the end of the passage : the figure of speech is “une épiphore“
- It is used to address different groups of people : they have not the same role within the society but the need to register
gathers them as they all are affected by the Corn Laws in a way

The place of women :

- “Last because the BEST of our auxiliaries“ : the poster addresses women by flattering them, by telling them how good, useful
and important they are for the ACLL, and so, how they need them to register as well
- At this period of time, women were very active, they were organizing Free Trade Bazaars for instance
- ACLL gave the opportunity to English women to take part in political activity, which was still quite rare back then
-Women’s role during the anti-corn law agitation : tens of thousands of them signed petitions and thousands of others attended
political meetings in Manchester, London and elsewhere

The Bible/religious references :

- Wide use of religion to convince people to register
- The ACLL made a conference of 644 members of the clergy called to pass resolutions condemning the Corn Laws on moral and
religious grounds
- They use passages of the Bible as arguments, so the Christians and Ministers of religion tend to be willing to sign their petition
- John Bight, the co-founder of the ACLL, was a Quaker so he brought his religious convictions to the struggle

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