Monday, April 06, 2015

Peace Partisans

Organized movements to warn against war developed and grew in the decades before World War I. Prescient individuals from Alfred Nobel to the elder Field Marshall von Moltke foresaw the catastrophic effects of war with modern weapons. These movements were a counter current to the growing militarism of the age, and a reaction to arms race that gripped all of Europe and beyond. Their reach was not uniform, however.

The German peace movement never had more than about 10,000 members, who were drawn mainly from the lower middle classes. Unlike Britain, for example, it did not attract eminent professors, leading businessmen or members of the aristocracy. Where senior clergy supported the British or American movements, in Germany the churches generally denounced it on the grounds that war was part of God’s plan for mankind. 25 Nor did liberals take the lead in supporting peace in Germany as they did in other countries such as Britain and France.

Macmillan, Margaret (2013-10-29). The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 (Kindle Locations 5638-5642). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.