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. Many of its members would welcome the institutions planned for 1992 as their ideas whose time had come. In contrast, the German movement, considerably smaller and far less influential in membership and impact in Wilhelmian Germany, has elicited greater scholarly interest and serious examination in the last generation. n 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.

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