Pacifism in France, 1899–1914: International Peace as a Human Right

TitlePacifism in France, 1899–1914: International Peace as a Human Right
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsCooper, Sandi
JournalFrench Historical Studies
Start Page359

In recent years, among the nations constructing the new European community, scholars and the general public in France have demonstrated less interest in peace movements, present and past, than their neighbors. Ironically, a century ago, the most sophisticated and vigorous peace movement on the continent was in France. Certainly the catastrophes of the twentieth century, particularly the second World War, tainted pacifism in France and reinvented it in Germany. In the twenty-five years before 1914 when the modern peace movement matured in France, its activists defined their work as the refinement of the human rights legacy of the French Revolution. Pacifists hoped to export this legacy to the European continent through the creation of international institutions to keep the peace. French peace activists persuaded the international peace movement that a peaceful world, one where constant crises and rising military expenses were slowly eliminated, belonged to the corpus of universal human rights. This article details the evolution of the peace movement in France from 1899-1914. 

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