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The age of internationalism and Belgium, 1880-1930Peace, progress and prestige$
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Daniel Laqua

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088834

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088834.001.0001

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(p.145) 5 Peace
The age of internationalism and Belgium, 1880-1930

Daniel Laqua

Manchester University Press

For Belgium, the international rule of law was a matter of survival, both in light of the country's location and history. This chapter considers peace campaigns and examines the interaction between visions of global order, transnational activism and diplomacy. For many activists, the extension of international law – as reflected in the principle of arbitration – was a major objective, and this focus was underlined by Belgian involvement in the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the International Peace Bureau. However, the German attack of 1914 revealed the limitations of an international order based on law. As a result, the wartime plight of Belgium became a matter of concern for internationalists elsewhere. This chapter traces the engagement with peace and international organisation beyond the First World War. It shows how some activists mobilised public opinion in support of the League of Nations or promoted European integration. Others, however, adopted radical stances that ranged from communist antimilitarism to an ‘integral’ pacifism based on conscientious objection.

Keywords:   pacifism, arbitration, antimilitarism, international law, World War One, League of Nations, Europeanism

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