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The Origins of War PreventionThe British Peace Movement and International Relations 1730-1854$
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Martin Ceadel

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198226741

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198226741.001.0001

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British Particularism: Engaged Insularity, Prudent Moralism, and Special Mission

British Particularism: Engaged Insularity, Prudent Moralism, and Special Mission

Chapter:
(p.99) 4 British Particularism: Engaged Insularity, Prudent Moralism, and Special Mission
Source:
The Origins of War Prevention
Author(s):

Martin Ceadel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198226741.003.0004

Britain owed its distinctive perspective on international relations and therefore its strong peace movement to two tensions. One arose out of its strategic situation: the tension between the degree of complacency which insularity, an advanced economy, and a strong navy allowed it and the engagement with international issues which the narrowness of the English Channel, the possession of a far-flung empire, and a developing economic dependence on imports none the less all required. The other was a product of its political culture: the tension between a moralistic liberalism and a restraining conservatism. This chapter considers these compelling pulls — between insularity and engagement, moralism and prudence — and looks briefly at how they combined to produce a conviction that Britain had a special mission to propagate peace ideas to other countries.

Keywords:   Britain, international relations, insularity, moralistic liberalism, conservatism, peace

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