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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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Reconstruction, August 1914–December 1918

Reconstruction, August 1914–December 1918

(p.187) 7 Reconstruction, August 1914–December 1918
Semi-Detached Idealists

Martin Ceadel

Oxford University Press

Britain's involvement in World War I shocked the entire nation. The peace movement's response to the unexpected conflict went through three distinct phases. Firstly, in 1914–15, the old primary associations proved unequal to the challenge, and were supplanted, not by ad hoc bodies, but by durable new ones, namely, the Union of Democratic Control, the No-Conscription Fellowship, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the League of Nations Society, and the Women's International League. Secondly, in 1916, conscientious objectors challenged conscription, and a section of the movement began campaigning for a negotiated peace. Thirdly, in 1917–18 war-weariness, the Russian revolutions, and American intervention combined to create a climate in which the movement was able to inject certain of its ideas, most notably the League of Nations, into the political mainstream.

Keywords:   war-weariness, World War I, peace movement, conscription, Russia, revolutions, United States, Peace Society, National Peace Council, League of Nations

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