The Ligue internationale de la paix (League of Peace and Freedom) was
created after a public opinion campaign against a war between the
Second French Empire
Second French Empire and the
Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia over Luxembourg. The
Luxembourg crisis was peacefully resolved in 1867 by the Treaty of
London but in 1870 the
Franco-Prussian War could not be prevented so
the league dissolved and refounded as the 'Société française pour
l'arbitrage entre nations' (League of arbitration between the Nations)
in the same year.
The Société française pour l'arbitrage entre nations can be seen as
a precursor of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, founded with the
Hague Peace Conference
Hague Peace Conference in 1899, and a precursor of the League of
Nations, founded with the
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and followed by
the United Nations. The establishment of the Permanent Court of
Arbitration was also set up by the
Inter-Parliamentary Union that
Frédéric Passy founded together with
William Randal Cremer in 1889.
The Inaugural Congress of the
League of Peace and Freedom
League of Peace and Freedom (French:
Ligue internationale de la paix et de la liberte) was originally
planned for September 5, 1867 in Geneva.
Emile Acollas set up the
League's Organising Committee, which enlisted the support of John
Stuart Mill, Élisée Reclus, and his brother Élie Reclus.
Other notable supporters included contemporary activists,
revolutionaries, and intellectuals such as Victor Hugo, Giuseppe
Garibaldi, Louis Blanc, Edgar Quinet, Jules Favre, and Alexander
Herzen. Ten thousand people from across Europe signed petitions in
support of the congress.
They also counted on the participation of the International
Workingmen's Association (IWMA), inviting the sections of the IWMA and
its leaders, including Karl Marx, to attend the Congress. They decided
to postpone the opening of the Congress until September 9, so as to
enable delegates of the Lausanne Congress of the IWMA (to be held on
September 2–8) to take part.
While the balloting was going on, Citizen Marx called attention to the
Peace Congress to be held in Geneva. He said: It was desirable that as
many delegates as could make it convenient should attend the Peace
Congress in their individual capacity; but that it would be
injudicious to take part officially as representatives of the
International Association. The International Working Men’s Congress
was in itself a peace congress, as the union of the working classes of
the different countries must ultimately make international wars
impossible. If the promoters of the
Geneva Peace Congress really
understood the question at issue they ought to have joined the
International Association. [From The Bee-Hive Newspaper August 17,
1867, reporting on a meeting of the IWMA Central Council.]
Mikhail Bakunin also played a prominent role in the
Geneva Conference, and joined the Central Committee. The founding
conference was attended by 6,000 people. As Bakunin rose to speak:
the cry passed from mouth to mouth: "Bakunin!" Garibaldi, who was in
the chair, stood up, advanced a few steps and embraced him. This
solemn meeting of two old and tried warriors of the revolution
produced an astonishing impression .... Everyone rose and there was a
prolonged and enthusiastic clapping of hands
^ Sandi E. Cooper (1991). "Pacifism in France, 1889-1914:
International Peace as a Human Right". French Historical Studies. 17.
^ Mark Leier. Bakunin: The Creative Passion. St. Martin's Press: New
York, 2006. p. 178.
^ Leier, Mark (2006). Bakunin: The Creative Passion. Seven Stories
Press. pp. 200–202. ISBN 978-1-58322-894-4.
^ Bakunin's idea of revolution & revolutionary organisation
Workers Solidarity Movement
Workers Solidarity Movement in Red and Black Revolution
No.6, Winter 2002.
André Durand: Gustave Moynier and the peace societies. In:
International Review of the Red Cross, no 314, p. 532–550