The American Peace Crusade, 1815-1860

By Merle Eugene Curti | Go to book overview

IX
STIPULATED ARBITRATION, 1842-1854

Each of the international peace congresses, not excepting the London Convention of 1843, recommended that there be included in all international agreements clauses requiring the arbitration of disputes. It was hoped and expected that the increase of such arbitration clauses in international treaties would in the end result in a Court and Congress of Nations. Both ideas—stipulated arbitration and the Congress and Court of Nations—had their jealous champions. Until the death of William Ladd in 1841 the American peace movement favored the project of a Court and Congress of Nations, and thereafter Elihu Burritt, Joshua P. Blanchard, and Amasa Walker kept the idea alive. But the scheme of stipulated arbitration enjoyed greater popularity during the period from 1842 to 1854, partly because it was championed by the President of the American Peace Society, William Jay, and by leading men in the London organization, such as Henry Richard and Cobden, and partly because arbitration seemed a more immediately practicable plan than a Congress of Nations. Burritt, however, having little faith in the efficacy of stipulated arbitration, kept his eye steadfast on what seemed to him the better, if the more remote, goal.

The idea of writing compulsory arbitration clauses into treaties, though it found congenial soil in England, came from America. It was William Jay, lawyer, judge, and reformer, whose little book, War and Peace, the Evils of the First, and a Plan for Preserving the Last ( 1842) especially developed this idea of arbitration, in which, indeed, his father had been interested. As a mode for "preserving peace" calculated to "shock no prejudice" and "to excite no alarm," he proposed the insertion of an article in our next treaty with France, interestingly enough, which would bind the two powers to submit to the arbitration of one or more friendly powers all disputes that might come up and to

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