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The British Peace Movement 1870-1914$
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Paul Laity

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248353.001.0001

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1870–1876: The Franco-Prussian War, the WPA, and Arbitration

1870–1876: The Franco-Prussian War, the WPA, and Arbitration

(p.37) 2 1870–1876: The Franco-Prussian War, the WPA, and Arbitration
The British Peace Movement 1870-1914


Oxford University Press

On July 19, 1870, the Franco-Prussian War began. Rumours circulated that Napoleon III intended to invade Belgium, and the peace movement in Britain found itself having to counter a ‘strong, warlike feeling’ against the traditional enemy. The Peace Society responded to the crisis in a characteristically cautious manner; it circulated an address emphasising the fragility of ‘armed peace’. Artisan radicals, on the other hand, were eager to agitate for peace, expressing its opposition to the idea of British intervention against France. The Workmen's Peace Association, whose council members were all artisans, also opposed a British war against Russia. In August 1871, Henry Richard gave notice to the House of Commons of a motion in favour of international arbitration. Three months before, the Treaty of Washington had enlivened the campaign of peace activists and more optimistic international lawyers for a codification of international law and a permanent court to apply such a code.

Keywords:   Napoleon III, France, Russia, Franco-Prussian War, peace movement, Peace Society, international arbitration, international law, Workmen's Peace Association, Henry Richard

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