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The Origins of War PreventionThe British Peace Movement and International Relations 1730-1854$
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Martin Ceadel

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198226741

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198226741.001.0001

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British Particularism: Engaged Insularity, Prudent Moralism, and Special Mission

British Particularism: Engaged Insularity, Prudent Moralism, and Special Mission

(p.99) 4 British Particularism: Engaged Insularity, Prudent Moralism, and Special Mission
The Origins of War Prevention

Martin Ceadel

Oxford University Press

Britain owed its distinctive perspective on international relations and therefore its strong peace movement to two tensions. One arose out of its strategic situation: the tension between the degree of complacency which insularity, an advanced economy, and a strong navy allowed it and the engagement with international issues which the narrowness of the English Channel, the possession of a far-flung empire, and a developing economic dependence on imports none the less all required. The other was a product of its political culture: the tension between a moralistic liberalism and a restraining conservatism. This chapter considers these compelling pulls — between insularity and engagement, moralism and prudence — and looks briefly at how they combined to produce a conviction that Britain had a special mission to propagate peace ideas to other countries.

Keywords:   Britain, international relations, insularity, moralistic liberalism, conservatism, peace

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