During the middle decades of the nineteenth century the English Nonconformist community developed a coherent political philosophy of its own, of which a central tenet was the principle of religious equality (in contrast to the stereotype of Evangelical Dissenters). The Dissenting community fought for the civil rights of Roman Catholics, non-Christians, and even atheists, on an issue of principle that had its flowering in the enthusiastic and undivided suppot that Nonconformity gave to the campaign for Jewish emancipation. This study examines the political efforts and ideas of English Nonconformists during the period, covering the whole range of national issues raised, from state education to the Crimean War. It offers a case study of a theologically conservative group defending religious pluralism in the civic sphere, showing the that concept of religious equality was a grand vision at the center of the political philosophy of the Dissenters. ""Larsen's book is both original and stimulating. . . . The author is persuasive in his insistence that mid-Victorian Nonconformist politics remained religiously motivated."" --English Historical Review ""It is Timothy Larsen's purpose in this well-informed, well-written, and generally persuasive book to introduce us to a world in which English Nonconformists plausibly presented themselves as the vanguard of religious, political, and cultural progress. . . . This volume sets a formidable . . . standard."" --Journal of Religious History ""This excellent monograph . . . focuses on the political ideas and outlook of English Nonconformists. . . . Larsen has immersed himself deeply and widely in the extensive periodical and pamphlet literature generated by the Nonconformists, enabling him to reconstruct their views with an authority and subtlety not matched by previous scholars."" --Parliamentary History "" This book is a w]elcome account of the advancement of religious equality in mid-Victorian England, likely to provide considerable scholarly debate over an important period in church history."" --Anglican and Episcopal History ""Larsen's book is the best in print for this important period."" --Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society ""Scholars and modern Free Churchmen alike are in Dr. Larsen's debt for this authoritative study."" --Congregational History Circle Timothy Larsen, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, is McManis Professor of Christian Thought, Wheaton College, and had been elected a Visiting Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge.