Democracy and Peacemaking: Negotiations and Debates, 1815-1973

Democracy and Peacemaking: Negotiations and Debates, 1815-1973

Democracy and Peacemaking: Negotiations and Debates, 1815-1973

Democracy and Peacemaking: Negotiations and Debates, 1815-1973

Synopsis

Democracy and Peace Making is an invaluable and up-to-date account of the process of peace making, which draws on the most recent historical thinking. It surveys the post-war peace settlements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including:* the Vienna congress of 1815* the Treaty of Versailles* the peace settlements of the Second World War* peace talks after the Korean War* the Paris Peace Accords of 1973.

Excerpt

Victory presented primitive societies with unlimited opportunities and simple solutions. Enemy soldiers could be killed, their women and children seized and their houses burnt, so making it difficult or even impossible for them to recover and seek revenge. But as the international system developed within a Christian society, or within the legacy left by that society, so Western leaders were increasingly constrained in the terms they could impose. Anything less than their complete destruction meant that the enemy might recover and seek revenge at a later stage. Yet statesmen were and are expected to bring about settlements which perpetuate the achievements of victory and, to the extent possible, justify the sacrifices of lives and treasure which the war demanded. This was all the more important in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as the wider public came to have a say in policy formulation and to make demands which would justify the war from their point of view and not just that of their rulers.

This is a study of the way statesmen have struggled with the problems which peacemaking presents under these conditions. It is a history of the evolution of ethics, international law and diplomacy. The debates amongst the leaders of a belligerent nation or coalition and between the representatives of victors and vanquished peel away the conventions and show in the very starkest form how the Western attitude towards peacemaking has gradually evolved. Until the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars it was extremely rare for the government of a major European state to be replaced at the victors' insistence; it was also rare for indemnities to be imposed. Before 1800 peace treaties usually declared amnesties for all actions committed during the war, but the 1815 settlement, particularly Marshal Ney's execution and Napoleon's exile to St Helena, paved the way for the war crimes trials at Leipzig, Nuremberg and Tokyo. . .

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