The absence of a manufacturing sector of any consequence deprived Liverpool of that class of independent artisans and skilled working-men from whose ranks came one of the most active political strata in other northern cities. The political activities of the Reformers, after the establishment of Conservative control locally, were channelled into an attack on monopoly and, in particular, the Corn Laws. Liverpool was slower than most other provincial cities in organising against the Corn Laws. Throughout the rest of Europe, the late 1840s witnessed the violent political strife of competing ideologies, made potent by marked discontinuities in the economic and demographic patterns of society. In country after country city dwellers turned against the established order. Despite their religious differences, the political elite of Liverpool shared a wide range of values and interests. This consensus was reinforced by the relative simplicity of the local economy.