Pacifism

By Riley Blossomchild Gonta

Leaders and Contributors

Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910) Russian moral philosopher. After fighting in Crimean war, he became a pacifist, basing his pacifist beliefs on Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Contribution- wrote ‘ War and Peace‘ influencing many others to convert.

Bertha von Suttner- Austrian novelist, radical pacifist. Contributions- many Pacifistic literary works, first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the second to be awarded the Nobel Prize.

Bianca Jagger- Nicaraguan social and human rights advocate and a former actress. Jagger currently serves as a Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador, Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Member of the Executive Director's Leadership Council of Amnesty International USA, and a Trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust. Over the past thirty years she has written articles and opinion pieces and delivered keynote speeches at conferences

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Goals and Tactics

The goal of pacifism was to refuse violence and war, and attempt to get others to follow.
The primary tactic used is a "peaceful protest". These gatherings were help in populated areas in order to be seen. Pacifists would often make picket signs with mottos supporting their argument, and yell encouragement at bystanders. These protests were also a revolt against the government, implying that they would not be taking part in, or supporting any war. Other verbal tactic were speeches and rallies, which they would plea their case for the objection of violence in attempts to gain allies. Another tactic was through literature. Some pacifistic authors would write poems, articles, and even novels about the ideas of pacifism to spread the word to the public.

Accomplishments of the Pacistic Movement

Although war is still declared despite the opposition of the pacifists, violence in general decreased due to more and more pledging to the life of pacifism. As the group gained enough momentum and supporters, they were able to become organized and more effective. The first peace movements in the US appeared in 1815. First were the New York Peace Society and the Massachusetts Peace Society. They became active organizations, holding regular weekly meetings, and producing literature which was spread nation wide and beyond describing the horrors of war and advocating pacifisms. The London Peace Society was formed in 1816 to promote permanent and universal peace. In the 1840s, British women formed "Olive Leaf Circles", groups of around 15 to 20 women, to discuss and promote pacifist ideas. Because of these organizations, the peace movement began to grow in influence on a wide spread scale by the mid-nineteenth century.