The Early Nationalists, also known as the Moderates, were a group of political leaders in India active between 1885 and 1905. Their emergence marked the beginning of the organised national movement in India. With members of the group drawn from educated middle-class professionals including lawyers, teachers and government officials, many of them were educated in England. They have become known as "Early Nationalists" because they believed in demanding reforms while adoptingconstitutional and peaceful means to achieve their aims. The Early Nationalists had full faith in the British sense of justice, fair play, honesty, and integrity while they believed that British rule was a boon for India. The Early Nationalists were staunch believers in open-minded and moderate politics.
Their successors, the "Assertives", existed from 1905 to 1919 and were followed by nationalists of the Gandhian era, which existed from 1919 until Indian Independence in 1947.