The Labour Party, pacifism
and the Spanish Civil War
On 18 September 1931 Japan invaded China on the pretext that a
Japanese railway in Manchuria had suffered from Chinese sabotage.
Japanese troops over-ran Manchuria and set up a puppet state. China
appealed to the League of Nations for assistance under Article 11 of
the Covenant, and the League responded by asking Japan to evacuate
the territory it had occupied. Japan, which had signed up to the
Covenant of the League of Nations and the Briand-Kellogg Pact
This book explores the pervasive influence of pacifism on Victorian feminism. It provides an account of Victorian women who campaigned for peace, and of the many feminists who incorporated pacifist ideas into their writing on women and gender. The book explores feminists' ideas about the role of women within the empire, their eligibility for citizenship, and their ability to act as moral guardians in public life. It shows that such ideas made use – in varying ways – of gendered understandings of the role of force and the relevance of arbitration and other pacifist strategies. The book examines the work of a wide range of individuals and organisations, from well-known feminists such as Lydia Becker, Josephine Butler and Millicent Garrett Fawcett to lesser-known figures such as the Quaker pacifists Ellen Robinson and Priscilla Peckover.
The Great War still haunts us. This book draws together examples of the ‘aesthetic pacifism’ practised during the Great War by such celebrated individuals as Virginia Woolf, Siegfried Sassoon and Bertrand Russell. It also tells the stories of those less well known who shared the attitudes of the Bloomsbury Group when it came to facing the first ‘total war’. The five-year research for this study gathered evidence from all the major archives in Great Britain and abroad in order to paint a complete picture of this unique form of anti-war expression. The narrative begins with the Great War's effect on philosopher-pacifist Bertrand Russell and Cambridge University.
or aesthetic anti-war feeling –
reactions that, as we will see, were as valid and real as any of a religious or
political nature. I felt it was time to set the record straight.
Very occasionally, this humanistic anti-war feeling has been noted in ‘official’ studies. In his Pacifism in Britain 1914–1945: The Defining of a Faith, the
historian Martin Ceadel singles out what he terms ‘humanitarian pacifism’ as a
valid form of anti-war feeling, stating that it is ‘no less a dogma’ than religious
or political pacifism. However, in Ceadel’s book, humanitarian pacifism is
Paciﬁsm and feminism in Victorian Britain
War is an essentially masculine pursuit. Women do not as a rule seek
to quench their differences in blood. Fighting is not natural to them.
It is the truest form of patriotism to do our utmost to save our country from the crime and shame of an unjust war. (Priscilla Peckover)2
n 1870, the outbreak of war between France and Prussia prompted
many of the women active in the emergent feminist movement to
consider their position on the use of physical force. In doing so, some
Nonconformist religion in nineteenth-century pacifism
‘ the truest form of patriotism ’
‘Conspicuous’ philanthropists:1 nonconformist
religion in nineteenth-century paciﬁsm
he role of nonconformist religion in the early feminist movement has been widely acknowledged. From the Unitarian Caroline
Ashurst Biggs, to the Quaker Priestman and Bright family networks, feminist politics developed in significant part within the context
of nonconformity. It was much the same for the peace movement.
Two issues were key to religious perspectives on peace in the nineteenth
century: one was Quaker theology and the
and reshape his particular pacifism
and his views on the pacifism of those around him, Russell’s basic opposition to
the war from the outbreak of hostilities was fundamental and stemmed directly
from deep personal conviction. He had inherited from his liberal, aristocratic
Bertrand Russell and Cambridge
background strong beliefs in progress, toleration and fair play as well as a heightened regard for the values of civilisation and the power of reason. Civilisation
was necessary to provide the cultural springboard whereby an individual might
reach his or her
The prospect of total war – again
T WAS WISH fulfilment rather than realism that drove the phrase
‘a war to end wars’ into the public consciousness during the unprecedented slaughter of 1914–18. When that nightmare was at
last over, there was a natural human desire to believe its like could
never again be contemplated, that it really had been ‘a war to end
war’. For a decade or more a traumatized mankind was in denial
about its historic complacency towards the use of war as an instrument of policy. Pacifism became a mass movement of
authorities were increasingly providing
utilities like gas and electricity, public transport, and amenities like
parks, swimming baths and libraries.
The belief that violence in any cause is morally wrong and should not be
resorted to in order to pursue political goals in domestic or foreign
policy. Pacifism is particularly associated with religious movements
This is the first book in a two-volume set that traces the evolution of the Labour Party's foreign policy throughout the twentieth century and into the early years of the new millennium. It is a comprehensive study of the political ideology and history of the Labour Party's world-view and foreign policy. The set argues that the development of Labour's foreign policy perspective should be seen not as the development of a socialist foreign policy, but as an application of the ideas of liberal internationalism. The first volume outlines and assesses the early development and evolution of Labour's world-view. It then follows the course of the Labour Party's foreign policy during a tumultuous period on the international stage, including the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the build-up to and violent reality of the Second World War, and the start of the Cold War. The book provides an analysis of Labour's foreign policy during this period, in which Labour experienced power for the first time.