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Nothing is so well calculated to produce a death-like torpor in the country as an extended system of taxation and a great national debt.

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William Cobbett

William Cobbett (9 March 1763 - 18 June 1835) was an English political pamphleteer, farmer and prolific journalist. He was born at Farnham, Surrey. He believed that the reform of Parliament and the abolition of the rotten boroughs would help cure the poverty of the farm labourers. Cobbett constantly attacked the borough-mongers, sinecurists and "tax-eaters". He opposed the Corn Laws, a tax on imported grain. Through the many apparent inconsistencies in Cobbett's life, one strand continued to run: an ingrained opposition to authority and a suspicion of novelty. Early in his career, he was a "loyalist" supporter of King and Country; later, he joined (and successfully publicised) the radical movement which led to the Reform Bill of 1832 and him winning the parliamentary seat of Oldham. He is best known today for his book Rural Rides (1830)

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