Classical liberalism was the dominant political theory in Britain from the early 19th century until the First World War. Its notable victories were the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, the Reform Act of 1832 and the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. The Anti-Corn Law League brought together a coalition of liberal and radical groups in support of free trade under the leadership of Richard Cobden and John Bright, who opposed aristocratic privilege, militarism, and public expenditure and believed that the backbone of Great Britain was the yeoman farmer. Their policies of low public expenditure and low taxation were adopted by William Gladstone when he became Chancellor of the Exchequer and later Prime Minister. Classical liberalism was often associated with religious dissent and nonconformism.
Several liberals, including Smith and Cobden, argued that the free exchange of goods between nations could lead to world peace. Erik Gartzke states: \"Scholars like Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Richard Cobden, Norman Angell, and Richard Rosecrance have long speculated that free markets have the potential to free states from the looming prospect of recurrent warfare\". American political scientists John R. Oneal and Bruce M. Russett, well known for their work on the democratic peace theory, state: 1e1e36bf2d