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Quaker Studies

Abstract

Although Quakers were active in the British peace movement from the early nineteenth century, it was not until 1888 that the Religious Society of Friends, in Britain, had its own corporate Peace Committee. It was the increasing quantity of printed resource material - petitions, pamphlets, and posters - published by this committee which informed and propagated the peace approach of Friends, locally, nationally and internationally. The Peace Committee used Quaker printing firms and, being part of the Society of Friends, remained financially viable, although under constraints. The years 1888-1905 saw a growth in co-operation between peace organisations, and Peace Committee facilitated and participated in joint events at home and abroad. Foreign language publications were produced. The main thrust of campaigning work initially, apart from the Christian message against war, was for Arbitration of disputes between nations. The threat of national conscription and the Boer War inflected publications. By 1905, the growth in national expenditure on armaments was coming to the fore as an issue and was addressed by the first British corporate peace poster of the Society of Friends.

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