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Semi-Detached IdealistsThe British Peace Movement and International Relations,
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Martin Ceadel

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241170

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241170.001.0001

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Struggle, October 1851–December 1866

Struggle, October 1851–December 1866

(p.33) 3 Struggle, October 1851–December 1866
Semi-Detached Idealists

Martin Ceadel

Oxford University Press

In the history of the peace movement, the Great Exhibition and London Peace Congress are remembered as the peace movement's most confident moments but it was thrown onto the defensive as the French invasion sowed fear leading to the passage of a Militia Act in 1852. The Eastern Question was revived and pressured an anti-Russian crusade resulting in Britain's decision to declare war in March 1854. Other challenges faced by the movement were Palmerston's victory in the 1857 general election and the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. In a decade and a half, the peace movement proved that it was not a temporary product of unusual circumstances. Instead it gained new integrity by surviving and enjoyed modest rewards such as the Protocol 23 of the Treaty of Paris, the growing disillusionment with the Crimean War, and avoiding British government intervention.

Keywords:   Great Exhibition, peace movement, military engagement, American Civil War, Treaty of Paris, Militia Act, Peace Society

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