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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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Stimulation, September 1931–December 1935

Stimulation, September 1931–December 1935

(p.281) 9 Stimulation, September 1931–December 1935
Semi-Detached Idealists

Martin Ceadel

Oxford University Press

On September 19, 1931, Japan began the process of converting the Chinese province of Manchuria into its own puppet state of Manchukuo, thus calling into question an earlier pronouncement about the prospects of peace just nine days before, However, peace movements fare best when optimism is seasoned with a dash of pessimism: although the former gives their ideas plausibility, the latter is needed to give them urgency. In the early 1930s, the mixture was therefore ideal: the optimism carried over from the post-Locarno period ignited with the pessimism generated by Japanese, German, and Italian behaviour to stimulate the most intense phase of peace activism ever, of which unquestionably the highlight was the extraordinary Peace Ballot of 1934–5.

Keywords:   Japan, Manchuria crisis, New Commonwealth Society, World Disarmament Conference, Adolf Hitler, Peace Ballot, Abyssinia crisis, Germany, Italy, collective peace system

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