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Pacifism in Europe to 1914

Pacifism in Europe to 1914

Copyright Date: 1972
Pages: 568
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    Pacifism in Europe to 1914
    Book Description:

    In a companion volume toPacifism in the United States, Peter Brock surveys the history of the pacifist movement in Europe from the beginning of the Christian era to the First World War. His detailed narrative is directed to the activities-and the beliefs that motivated them-of these sects in particular: the Czech Brethren of the late Middle Ages; the radical Anabaptists of the Protestant Reformation; their less militant offshoot, the Mennonites; the Quakers of Cromwell's England; and the Tolstoyans of nineteenth-century Russia. Mr. Brock concludes his account with a working definition of normative pacifism, a typology of pacifism, and a discussion of the factors present in the genesis and decay of pacifist groups.

    Originally published in 1972.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6749-3
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
    (pp. 3-24)

    Homo sapiens,the species to which we belong, has existed on this earth for tens of thousands of years. Yet, just as man himself is a comparative newcomer in global history, not to speak of the history of the universe, so civilization and written record are very late developments indeed in human history. And, although at times a longing for international peace and human brotherhood appeared in the thought patterns of some early civilizations, and war was denounced and passive forms of resistance practised occasionally, pacifism in the strict sense of an unconditional renunciation of war by the individual is,...

  5. ONE. Medieval Sectarian Pacifism: The Czech Brethren
    (pp. 25-58)

    The establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, which took place under Constantine the Great, had signified the fall of early Christian antimilitarism. The soldier of Christ replaced the Christian martyr as the symbol of the faith. A small residue of pacifistic sentiment survived the barbarization of the West, to revive after the successive waves of invaders began to subside. In the tenth century the church, mindful again of its role as a peacemaker, turned to the task of ameliorating the ravages of almost incessant war which had been the fate of Western Europe for many...

  6. TWO. The Early Anabaptists
    (pp. 59-88)

    Switzerland was the birthplace of Anabaptism. The movement arose in the early 1520’s in the German-speaking city of Zurich as an extension of the Reformation introduced there by the city's leading preacher Ulrich Zwingli. Obvious parallels between the Anabaptists and the Unity of Czech Brethren in regard to both theology andWeltanschauunghave given rise to theories concerning a genetic influence of the Czech Brethren on the Anabaptists. This hypothesis was put forward, for instance, in the late nineteenth century by the German scholar Ludwig Keller. Yet despite its seeming plausibility, no substantial evidence has so far been adduced in...

  7. THREE. The Later Anabaptists (FROM MÜNSTER TO MENNO)
    (pp. 89-113)

    At the beginning of the 1530’s Anabaptism appeared for the first time in northwest Germany and in the Netherlands. It was carried from the south, not in the form of the evangelical faith of the Swiss Brethren but as a chiliastic, millenarian belief more akin to the creed of Hans Hut than to Conrad Grebel’s. Its apostles taught adult baptism but they also preached the fast-approaching destruction of the world and the annihilation of the wicked, especially those in high places. Eventually, in the north, the movement erupted into violence and its holy city, Münster, became a symbol for centuries...

  8. FOUR. The Polish Antitrinitarians
    (pp. 114-161)

    Anabaptism was long regarded as a phenomenon virtually confined within the ancient historical boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. Apart from a few scattered individuals elsewhere, its adherents, it was thought, were almost all either Germans or Swiss, Dutch or Flemings. In Western scholarship, a new dimension to the history of Anabaptism has been added within recent years by the revelation of a strong Anabaptist trend during the early phases of the Polish Antitrinitarian movement which broke away from the Calvinist church in the course of the third quarter of the sixteenth century to form a separate Minor Church. George...

  9. FIVE. The Dutch Mennonites
    (pp. 162-212)

    The creation of a congregation of Christians “without spot or wrinkle (zonder vlek of rimpel)”: this was the goal of Menno and his followers. Yet the struggle to achieve Christian perfection here on earth led not to peace and harmony but to strife and division. Within Menno’s own lifetime the Anabaptist community, which he had so carefully put together after it had been fragmented as a result of Munster, was rent by a major schism. In 1557 a section of the brotherhood, disagreeing with the increasingly rigid application of the ban, broke away; they became known as Waterlanders, from the...

    (pp. 213-254)

    After the Anabaptists had merged in the course of the sixteenth century into a loosely organized religious community usually adopting the name of the Dutchman Menno Simons to denote their fellowship, German-speaking Mennonites were to be found in many lands of central and eastern Europe: Switzerland and Alsace-Lorraine; southwest, west-central and north-west Germany; Moravia and Slovakia—if we include the Hutterites here—as well as Polish Pomerania (Prussia), and eventually Russia and Austrian Galicia too. By mid-seventeenth century, however, Mennonitism had been suppressed in the Catholic states of the Empire, and in some of the Protestant ones as well. Where...

    (pp. 255-303)

    England during the two middle decades of the seventeenth century had been swept first by civil war and then by political revolution. It was the scene, too, of a great religious upheaval. Often religious extremism went hand in hand with political radicalism. From the camp of the Puritans who brought about the overthrow of the established Anglican church came the parliamentary leaders who executed England’s anointed king. And among the left wing of the parliamentary forces were some who urged the adoption of full democracy, giving every man in the country a vote; a few even went so far as...

  12. EIGHT. The British Quakers (EIGHTEENTH CENTURY)
    (pp. 304-330)

    Margaret Hirst has called the chapter she devotes to the Quaker peace testimony during the first half of the eighteenth century “Days of Tradition.” This epithet would indeed apply with almost as much aptness to its history during the remainder of the century. From time to time Friends set forth what they liked to call “our ancient and honourable testimony against bearing arms” but there was little that was fresh or discerning in such statements. Couched in somewhat stiff and formal language, these documents emphasized the duty incumbent on Friends to follow in the well-tried paths of their forefathers. In...

  13. NINE. The British Quakers (NINETEENTH CENTURY)
    (pp. 331-366)

    If tradition was the mark of eighteenth-century Quakerism, innovation crept into the British Society of Friends during the nineteenth century, although Friends still strove to maintain their traditional witness intact in regard to many issues, including the peace testimony. Early in the nineteenth century it was the evangelical movement and the philanthropic impulse that infused the somewhat moribund Society with new energy. In North America evangelicalism proved a major factor leading to the fragmentation of the Society; in the British Isles separation did not take place, apart from a few minor schisms. On both continents, toward the end of the...

  14. TEN. Non-Quaker Pacifism in Nineteenth-Century Britain
    (pp. 367-406)

    “The soul of the peace movement is the Quaker sentiment against all war,” thus wrote Cobden in 1853 adding: “Without the stubborn zeal of Friends, there would be no Peace Society and no Peace Conference” (letter printed by John Morley in hisLife of Richard Cobden,vol. II, 1881). Before 1660, as we have seen, pacifist sentiments were sporadically held first by Anabaptists and associated groups and then by a few individuals on the Puritan left. But for over a century and a half after the Quaker peace testimony had crystallized, pacifism within the British Isles had been confined almost...

    (pp. 407-441)

    In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries pacifism put down deep roots in Great Rritain and the United States. Its condition, admittedly, was not always flourishing: it experienced renewal and decline. It continued nevertheless in organized form, attracting recruits in each generation as it appeared. Although in the first half of the nineteenth century American Quakers tended to stand aloof, at least in Britain they were particularly active in pacifist and near-pacifist organizations. But members of other denominations participated too. At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a strong pacifistic streak in the British labor movement. On the...

  16. TWELVE. Russian Sectarian Pacifism: The Tolstoyans
    (pp. 442-470)

    Pacifism in Tsarist Russia extended beyond the enclosed community of the German-speaking Mennonites, for nonviolence and conscientious objection also formed part of the religious beliefs of several indigenous Russian sects, even if repudiation of war was not always strictly observed. In addition, toward the end of the nineteenth century the great Russian writer Leo (Lev) Tolstoy (1828-1910) spoke out in favor of an unconditional rejection of the state, and especially of its coercive aspects like war and capital punishment. Nonresistance to evil became the watchword of his disciples: these Tolstoyans were to be found not only in Russia, but in...

  17. Conclusions
    (pp. 471-488)

    In the present volume, as well as in my two companion volumes,Pacifism in the United Statesbefore 1914 andTwentieth-Century Pacifism,I have attempted to isolate—with the least possible harm to the texture of a complex whole—one particular approach to peace and to trace its development from its first appearance at the outset of the Christian era up until the present. (Sociologists, I hope, will forgive me for stating my general conclusions at the end instead of the beginning of my researches.) The main problem, therefore, in defining the object of study has been to disengage the...

  18. Appendix
    (pp. 489-504)
  19. Bibliographical Notes
    (pp. 505-541)
  20. Bibliographical Postscript
    (pp. 542-544)

    This book was completed in the summer of 1970. Therefore, only materials published before 1970 have been used in its preparation and listed above. Some recent items of value, however, have come to my attention since.

    J. C. Wenger has brought out a new edition of documents discussed in Chapter 2:Conrad Grebets Programmatic Letters of1524 (Scottdale, Pa., 1970) and has included his own translations as well as the original German text. Two articles in the October 1970 issue of theMQR(vol. XLIV, no. 4) are useful. Karl-Heinz Kirchhoff in “Was there a Peaceful Anabaptist Congregation in Münster...

  21. Index
    (pp. 545-556)