chapter  8
17 Pages

Writing for peace

Reconsidering the British public peace petitioning movement’s historical legacies after 1898
WithWilliam Annalise R.

Investigating how Britons expressed their reasons for petitioning for peace in their covering letters and resolutions offers an opportunity to reconsider the way in which the movement's historiographical legacies are rendered and reorient historical focus from the agents facilitating public agitation onto those who petitioned. In Britain, public proponents of peace succeeded in making known their support for the principle of holding an international conference to discuss what they perceived as threats to European peace. Branches of the organised peace movement, particularly the Peace Society, International Arbitration and Peace Association and the Arbitration Alliance actively encouraged public responses to the rescript in the immediate aftermath of its publication. The continuities in the ideas expressed in the British petitions throughout the entire petitioning campaign suggests that the end of the movement's first phase in December 1898 did not signify a break in how Britons thought about the rescript's relevance to their world.