After a short spell spent farming in the United States, Cobbett returned to England in 1820 and became greatly concerned by the distressed state of British farming. Disillusioned by government policy on agricultural matters, between 1821 and 1826 he made a series of journeys to the rural communities of south-east England and the Midlands. There he attended county meetings and spoke with the villagers, which he chronicled in his weekly newspaper 'The Political Register'. These popular writings were compiled into a separate volume entitled 'Rural Rides', published in 1830. It became known as a colourful and accurate account of the English countryside during this period.