The ‘Nonconformist conscience’ was a major force in late Victorian and Edwardian politics. The well-attended chapels of England and Wales bred a race of Christian politicians who tried to exert a moral influence on public affairs. This book analyses the political impact of the Nonconformists at the peak of their strength when they were near the centre of key debates of the time over such matters as the growth of the British Empire and state provision of social services. They had also launched campaigns of their own to disestablish the Church of England and to secure public control of the nation’s schools. Based on extensive original research, this study is the first to examine these themes.
1. Nonconformists and their Politics 2. The Quest for Religious Equality 3. The Problems of Society 4. The Free Church Council Movement 5. The Irish Question 6. The Role of Britain in the World 7. The Education of the People 8. The End of the Conscience Notes. Index