The Temple of Peace. The Hague Peace Conferences, Andrew Carnegie and the Building of the Peace Palace (1898-1913)

Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Internationaal Recht, Preadviezen, 140 (2013) 1-38.

Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 024/2013

41 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2013

See all articles by Randall Lesaffer

Randall Lesaffer

Tilburg Law School; KU Leuven - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The 19th-century international peace movement sprang from the reaction against the devastation and horror the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 had wrought. It had its roots in Anglo-American nonconformist protestant circles, but quickly spread over the globe and became more pluralist and then secular. All through the century and beyond, British and American peace activists dominated the movement and set its agenda. During the later quarter of the century, the peace movement gained more political influence thanks to its alliance with the emerging discipline of international law. This was, again, particularly true for Britain, and most of all, the United States. Two major points stood out on the agenda of the ‘peace through law’ movement: disarmament and arbitration.

Whereas the movement could attain very little to nothing in relation to disarmament in the years before the Great War, the movement found allies in political circles to foster the cause of arbitration. In the United States, Britain and the Latin-American Republics, arbitration moved up the agenda of foreign policy makers and diplomats after the successful Alabama Award in 1872. The Alabama Case had shown arbitration to be an appropriate instrument to manage tactical disputes among States which wanted to avoid strategic clashes.

In 1899, the cause of ‘peace through law’ scored an unexpected success. The Hague Conference, which first had been called by the Russian government for reasons of high power politics, had – to a large extent thanks to the endeavours of the Russian international lawyer Fyodor Martens – been highjacked for the ‘peace through law’ agenda when these reasons dissipated. One of the main outcomes was the establishment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. In 1903, the American industrialist turned philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, made a lavish gift to build a ‘Temple of Peace’ for the Court at The Hague. It can be said, with the benefit of hindsight, that this set the destiny of The Hague as legal capital of the world in stone.

Keywords: international law, history of international law, Hague Peace Conferences, Carnegie, Peace Palace, The Hague

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Lesaffer, Randall C. H., The Temple of Peace. The Hague Peace Conferences, Andrew Carnegie and the Building of the Peace Palace (1898-1913). Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Internationaal Recht, Preadviezen, 140 (2013) 1-38.; Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 024/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2350189 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2350189

Randall C. H. Lesaffer (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

PO Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
0031 13 4662294 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://rechten.uvt.nl/lesaffer

KU Leuven - Faculty of Law

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
102
Abstract Views
869
rank
258,361
PlumX Metrics