International Peace Society Collected Records
Scope and Contents
Collection consists of pamphlets and tracts produced by the Society.
- Majority of material found within 1817-1948
- Peace Society (London, England) (Organization)
Language of Materials
Materials are in English.
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Only one item at a time may be looked at, with the exception of 1901-1948 and Box 5 materials.
Copyright and Rights Information
The Society for the Promotion of Universal and Permanent Peace, often known as the London Peace Society, was founded on June 14, 1816. The first step in setting up such a society was taken on June 06, 1814 at a meeting held at the home of William Allen. Nearly all of the members of the Society came from Protestant denominations, and Quaker influence was strong. Only Roman Catholics held aloof.
In its first Address to the public in January 9, 1817, the Society announced that it was "principled against all war, upon any pretence." The object of the Society was to "print and circulate Tracts and to diffuse information tending to show that War is inconsistent with the spirit of Christianity, and the true interests of mankind; and to point out the means best calculated to maintain permanent and universal Peace, upon the basis of Christian principles." The Society tried to spread the idea of peace as widely as possible, to influence public opinion against war, and to combat prejudice against the possibility of establishing permanent peace. Although its official platform was based on an absolutist pacifist stand, its members included peace workers who did not accept the full pacifist position.
In its first year, the Society's London headquarters printed and distributed 32,000 of its tracts. In addition to the vast number of pamphlets and leaflets it published through the years, from 1819 onward it put out a monthly journal called Herald of Peace. However, the main burden of the work was carried out by auxiliary societies throughout the country. The most active of these, until the 1860s, was the Birmingham auxiliary, set up by Quaker philanthropist and businessman Joseph Sturge in 1827. One of the earliest was the Swansea and Neath Peace Society founded in 1817.
The most important staff appointment for the Society was that of Henry Richard as Secretary in 1848. With Richard Cobden and John Bright, he carried the ideals of peace and arbitration into every part of England, until his retirement in 1885. Henry Richard's successor in 1888 was W. Evans Darby, who continued the work with similar zeal through 1915. Under his guidance the Society opposed the Boer War and participated in the radical opposition to the power diplomacy of the pre-1914 period. Darby was succeeded by Rev. Herbert Dunnico. The Society declined in influence thereafter; in World War I it played no perceptible role in the antiwar movement. By 1930 it had taken the name of International Peace Society, having become incorporated with the International Christian Peace Fellowship. It is unknown when the Society became defunct.
[Source: "Pacifism in Europe to 1914" by Peter Brock, 1972]
1.88 Linear Feet (22.5 linear in.)
The Society for the Promotion of Universal and Permanent Peace, also known as the London Peace Society, was founded June 14, 1816. Members were primarily Protestant, especially Quaker. Although its official platform was based on an absolutist pacifist stance, its members included peace workers who did not accept the full pacifist position. By 1930 it had taken the name of International Peace Society, having become incorporated with the International Christian Peace Fellowship.
Other Finding Aids
For the catalog record for this collection, and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for the archives of the Peace Society (Great Britain).
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Processed by SCPC staff; checklist revised by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, January 2000
- Conscientious objection -- Great Britain
- Disarmament -- Religious aspects -- Christianity
- Nonviolence -- Religious aspects -- Christianity
- Pacifism -- Religious aspects
- Peace -- Religious aspects -- Christianity
- Peace -- Religious aspects -- Society of Friends
- Peace -- Societies, etc.
- Peace Society (London, England)
- Peace movements -- Great Britain
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
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