Why was Britain the first country to opt for unilateral free trade 150 years ago? On 16 May 1846, the House of Commons voted to abolish tariff protection for agriculture - the famous 'repeal of the Corn Laws'. Britain then adhered to her free trade policy despite both her relative economic decline and the protectionist policies of her leading trade rivals, the USA and Germany. This four volume set examines and explains the contentious issues surrounding the policy shift to free trade and the subsequent persistence of that policy. This set provides a comprehensive collection of articles including previously unpublished material on nineteenth century British trade policy and a new and comprehensive introduction by the editor putting the material into context.