This book provides the first thorough examination of the peace movement in pre-World War I Germany, concentrating on the factors in German politics and society that account for the movement’s weakness. The author draws on a wide range of documents to survey the history, organization, and ideologies of the peace groups, placing them in their social and political context.
Working through schools, churches, the press, political parties, and other opinion-forming groups, the German peace movement attempted systematically to promote the idea that the world’s nations composed a harmonious community in which law was the proper means for resolving disputes. Except for small pockets of support, however, the movement met only resistance—resistance greater, the author contends, than elsewhere in the West. Evaluating the reasons for hostility to the peace movement in Germany, he concludes that dominant features of German political culture emphasized the inevitability of international conflict, in the final analysis because Imperial Germany’s ruling elites feared the domestic as well as the international implications of the movement’s program.
Originally published in 1976.
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