Called “a pioneer work of the first importance” by Staughton Lynd, this book traces the history of pacifism in America from colonial times to the start of World War I. The author describes how the immigrant peace sects-Quaker, Mennonite, and Dunker -faced the challenges of a hostile environment. The peace societies that sprang up after 1815 form the subject of the next section, with particular attention focused upon the American Peace Society and Garrison’s New England Non-Resistance Society. A series of chapters on the reactions of these sects and societies to the Civil War, the neglect of pacifism in the postwar period, and the beginnings of a renewal in the years before the outbreak of war in Europe bring the book to a close. The emphasis on the institutional aspects of the movement is balanced throughout by a rich mine of accounts about the experiences of individual pacifists.
Originally published in 1968.
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