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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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1889–1899: The Universal Peace Congresses, the Arms Race, and the Concert of Europe

1889–1899: The Universal Peace Congresses, the Arms Race, and the Concert of Europe

(p.114) 5 1889–1899: The Universal Peace Congresses, the Arms Race, and the Concert of Europe
The British Peace Movement 1870-1914


Oxford University Press

In 1889, the Conservative government in Britain launched a new programme of military shipbuilding that would set off an arms race. In the same year, however, nearly seventy international congresses were held in Paris to celebrate the centenary of the Revolution, including the inaugurating congress of the Second International and the first in a series of Universal Peace Congresses. Peace activists were hopeful that such conferences would help to counteract the reactionary tendencies of the time and go some way towards binding together the peoples of Europe so strongly that war would become impossible. The British representatives at the Universal Peace Congresses included members of a new peace association, the Friends' Peace Committee. This chapter also discusses the appeal made by W. T. Stead for the British war budgets of 1894 to be a high-water mark until the end of the century, the International Arbitration League's campaign for an Anglo-American arbitration treaty, British foreign policy, and the Concert of Europe.

Keywords:   arms race, peace movement, Universal Peace Congresses, Britain, Europe, W. T. Stead, Concert of Europe, arbitration, International Arbitration League, foreign policy

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