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International Peace: One Hundred Years On

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 May 2013


The bequest for the Church Peace Union—the predecessor of today's Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (and the publisher of this journal)—was given by Andrew Carnegie in February 1914. The Church Peace Union subsequently sponsored the first worldwide gathering of religious leaders, which was held in Constance, Germany, on August 2, 1914. Convened under the shadow of an impending war, not all delegates made it to the gathering. Six months previously, Carnegie had stipulated that the Church Peace Union devote its funds to the deserving poor “after the arbitration of international disputes is established and war abolished, as it certainly will be some day.” This could happen, he noted, “sooner than expected, probably by the Teutonic nations, Germany, Britain, and the United States first deciding to act in unison, the others joining later.” The outbreak of war was a catastrophic blow to such hopes, as the very nations expected to be at the core of this civilized project descended into an orgy of destruction the likes of which the world had never seen.

Roundtable: Reflections on International Peace
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 2013 

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1 Macfarland, Charles S., Pioneers for peace through religion based on the records of the Church Peace Union (founded by Andrew Carnegie) 1914–1945 (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1946), p. 22Google Scholar.

2 Barack Obama, cited in Peter Baker, “Military Will Remain Strong With Cuts, Obama Tells Cadets,” New York Times, May 23, 2012, p. A 23.

3 Beard, Charles, A Foreign Policy for America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1940), pp. 9192Google Scholar.

4 For detailed explorations of the heterogeneity of the peace movement and associated ideas of internationalism, see Kuehl, Warren F., Seeking World Order: The United States and International Organization to 1920 (Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University Press, 1969)Google Scholar; and Patterson, David S., Toward a Warless World: The Travail of the American Peace Movement, 1887–1914 (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1976)Google Scholar. For the view, emerging strongly in the pre-1914 period, that a peaceful world might “best be fostered through cross-national cultural communication, understanding, and communication,” see Iriye, Akira, Cultural Internationalism and World Order (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), p. 27Google Scholar.

5 Root, Elihu, “Letter of Mr. Root to Mr. Hays, March 29, 1919,” in Men and Policies: Addresses by Elihu Root, Bacon, Robert and Scott, James Brown, eds. (Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1968 [first published 1924 by Harvard University Press]), p. 254Google Scholar.

6 Stromberg, Roland N., Collective Security and American Foreign Policy: From the League of Nations to NATO (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1963), p. 6Google Scholar.

7 Carnegie himself said both things, as is shown in the excellent biography by Nasaw, David, Andrew Carnegie (New York: The Penguin Press, 2006)Google Scholar.

8 Trueblood, Benjamin F., The Federation of the World (Boston, Mass.: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899), pp. 16, 46Google Scholar.

9 Mencken, H. L., “Roosevelt: An Autopsy,” in Farrell, James T., ed., Prejudices: A Selection (New York: Vintage Books, 1958), p. 53Google Scholar.

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11 Williams, William Appleman, Empire as a Way of Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980)Google Scholar; Kagan, Robert, Dangerous Nation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006)Google Scholar.

12 Charles W. Eliot, “Five American Contributions to Civilization,” Atlantic Monthly 78, no. 468 (October 1896), pp. 433–47.

13 The treaty with Britain in 1794, negotiated by American envoy John Jay, addressed issues arising from the War of American Independence and created mixed arbitral commissions to resolve certain disputes. See Boyle, Francis Anthony, Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations, 1898–1922 (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999), p. 25Google Scholar.

14 Fiske, John, American Political Ideas Viewed from the Standpoint of Universal History (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1885), pp. 149–50Google Scholar.

15 Beisner, Robert L., Twelve Against Empire: The Anti-Imperialists 1898–1900 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968), pp. 48, 43Google Scholar.

16 Sumner, Charles, Prophetic Voices Concerning America. A Monograph. (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1874), p. 175Google Scholar.

17 Hull, William I., The New Peace Movement (Boston: The World Peace Foundation, 1912), pp. 147–50Google Scholar.

18 Theodore Roosevelt, “International Peace: An Address before the Nobel Prize Committee,” The Outlook 95, no. 1 (May 7, 1910), pp. 19–20.

19 Nasaw, in Andrew Carnegie, gives an amusing account of Roosevelt's maneuvers to extract money from Carnegie, just when Carnegie was attempting to extract a peace speech from Roosevelt. (They both succeeded.) Each man, though appreciating the utility of their friendship, occasionally gave expression to the most bitter aspersions against the other on their respective approaches to the peace problem.

20 Taft, William Howard, Peace: Patriotic and Religious Addresses (New York: International Peace Forum, 1912), p. 67Google Scholar.

21 Philander C. Knox from June 1910, as quoted by Holt, Hamilton in his speech “A League of Peace,” in Chambers, John Whiteclay II, The Eagle and the Dove: The American Peace Movement and United States Foreign Policy 1900–1922 (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1991), p. 19Google Scholar.

22 Pinker, Steven, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (New York: Viking, 2011)Google Scholar; Goldstein, Joshua S., Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide (New York: Dutton, 2011)Google Scholar.

23 Pinker, Better Angels, p. 302.

24 Ibid., p. 688.

25 Mandelbaum, Michael, The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the 21st Century (New York: Public Affairs, 2005)Google Scholar.

26 “The Warning I,” January 27, 1797, in Lodge, Henry Cabot, ed., Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904), 6:233–34Google Scholar.

27 Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, Federalist Paper No. 41, in Rossiter, Clinton, ed., The Federalist Papers, (New York: Mentor/New American Library, 1961 [first published 1787–1788]), p. 257Google Scholar.

28 President Barack Obama, cited in Stacy A. Anderson, “Obama July 4th Speech,” Huffington Post, July 4, 2012.

29 For an especially grim illustration of this dehumanization in my own community of Colorado Springs, centered on the experience of Fort Carson, see Philipps, David, Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010Google Scholar). My outlook on this question is deeply affected by a personal circumstance that is painful to write about, but relevant to the case: the death of my daughter Whitney, then eighteen, in an accident in 2009. She was filling up our car at a neighborhood store when an out-of-control driver careened into the gas pump, trapping her and causing an explosion. We subsequently learned that the driver, who was unhurt in the crash, was the wife of an Army sergeant stationed at Fort Carson who had been repeatedly deployed to Iraq. The family was dysfunctional and falling apart. The wife had recently attempted suicide. She was on her desperate way to the doctor's office to get new prescriptions for depression when she lost control of her car.

30 Frederick Lynch, one of the original commissioners of the Hero Fund, cited in Nasaw, Carnegie, p. 666.

31 Federalist Paper No. 8, Rossiter, p. 70.

32 Ibid.

33 See Harris, Shane, The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State (New York: Penguin, 2011)Google Scholar; and Unger, David C., The Emergency State: America's Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs (New York: Penguin, 2012)Google Scholar.

34 The best study remains Bacevich, Andrew, The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005)Google Scholar, a new edition of which has appeared in 2013.

35 See Gordon, Scott, Controlling the State: Constitutionalism from Ancient Athens to Today (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002)Google Scholar; and Deudney, Daniel H., Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory from the Polis to the Global Village (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007)Google Scholar.

36 For consideration of these issues, see especially Ikenberry, G. John, Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2011)Google Scholar; and the critical review of Richard K. Betts, “Institutional Imperialism,” The National Interest, no. 113 (May/June 2011), pp. 85–96.

37 Evans, Gareth and Sahnoun, Mohamed, co-chairs, The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (Ottawa, ON: International Development Research Centre, 2001), pp. 3132Google Scholar.

38 Ibid, p. 33.

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