Newer Ideals Of Peace

Newer Ideals Of Peace

by Jane Addams


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Jane Addams (1860-1935) was an American social worker, sociologist, feminist and reformer, remembered primarily as a founder of the Settlement House Movement and as the first American Woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (in 1931). Addams was endowed with a special insight into the problems of urban America and her skills and work ethic benefited many. She also gave lectures and wrote. The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets, first published in 1909, was her own favourite work and established her as an accomplished writer. In it, she focuses on the discontented youth of the city, and takes a realistic view of their needs, drives and hopes. Amongst her other works are Democracy and Social Ethics (1902), Newer Ideals of Peace (1907) and Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781409951902
Publisher: Dodo Press
Publication date: 11/21/2008
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range: 1 - 17 Years

About the Author

Berenice A. Carroll, a professor of political science and women's studies at Purdue University, is coeditor of Women's Political and Social Thought and editor of Liberating Women's History. Clinton F. Fink, visiting scholar in sociology at Purdue University, is coeditor of Peace Research in Transition and coauthor of Peace and War: A Guide to Bibliographies.

Read an Excerpt

Newer Ideals of Peace


University of Illinois Press

Copyright © 2007 University of Illinois Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-252-07345-2



[The founders] depended upon penalties, coercion, compulsion, remnants of military codes, to hold the community together.... Having looked to the sword for independence from oppressive governmental control, they came to regard the sword as an essential part of the government they had succeeded in establishing. (Newer Ideals of Peace, pp. 21-2)

... to distinguish between a social order founded upon law enforced by authority and that other social order which includes liberty of individual action and complexity of group development. The latter social order would not suppress the least germ of promise, of growth and variety, but would nurture all into a full and varied life. (p. 118)

... spontaneous and fraternal action as virile and widespread as war itself is the only method by which substitutes for the war virtues may be discovered. (p. 118)

* This reissue of Newer Ideals of Peace (NIP), in the University of Illinois Press collection of works by Jane Addams, appears just short of the centennial anniversary of its first printing in December 1906.1 When it appeared it was widely reviewed and warmly welcomed in surprisingly diverse quarters. Despite some dismissive remarks-by Theodore Roosevelt among others-most commentaries ranged fromserious but friendly critique to laudatory and even fulsome praise.

William James, the eminent psychologist and philosopher, wrote in a letter to Addams on February 12, 1907, "I find it hard to express the good it has done me in opening new points of view and annihilating old ones. New perspectives of hope! I don't care about this detail or that-it is the new setting of questions. Yours is a deeply original mind, and all so quiet and harmless! Yet revolutionary in the extreme, and I should suspect that this very work would act as a ferment through long years to come" (emphasis in the original).

Though little remembered in the period between World War II and the present, Newer Ideals of Peace may justly be regarded as the most important and innovative work of peace theory in the first decades of the twentieth century and a primary source of ideas more widely espoused in later years. In it Addams sought to break out of the traditional anti-war focus of conventional pacifism in her time, rejecting what she called "negative peace" and declaring: "one despairs of arousing enthusiasm for peace unless it is done more positively than any of the present peace societies are able to do it."

In the effort to present ideas and analyses that would enable peace movements to pursue a more positive conception of peace, Addams addressed a wide range of issues, from the undemocratic leanings of those she called "the founders" to the militarization of society and governance, the conceptualization of "negative peace" and "positive peace," the search for "moral substitutes for war," the relationships of labor and capitalism to peace and war, the public responsibilities and rights of women, and the roots of peace in the cosmopolitan neighborhoods of the poor, or what we might call "internationalization from below." In this introduction, we address the original, complex, and often controversial character of Addams's ideas in Newer Ideals of Peace, the paradoxes of praise and neglect to which it has been subject, and the legacy it offers for the present.

I. Genesis

Addams had first used the title "The Newer Ideals of Peace" in two lectures published in the Chautauqua Assembly Herald in July 1902 (see n. 3). Her book entitled Newer Ideals of Peace (NIP) was published four and a half years later as a volume in Macmillan's series, the Citizens Library of Economics, Politics, and Sociology, edited by Richard T. Ely. In October 1902, after her first book (Democracy and Social Ethics) had appeared in the same series and sold well, Macmillan invited her to provide them with another. At Ely's insistence, she suggested the idea for a second book in his series, using the title of her Chautauqua lectures. Given an enthusiastic reception by the publishers, Addams signed a contract for the book in January 1903, worked on it over the next three years, gave a series of lectures on it in the summer of 1906, and finally submitted it for publication in September 1906. The official publication date was set for January 16, 1907, but Addams was eager to have copies of the book in hand to use in lobbying for more lenient immigration legislation. Accordingly Newer Ideals of Peace first appeared in December 1906 in a small number of proof and review copies with a 1906 copyright and publication date. In a letter of December 12, 1906, she reported to Macmillan that she had given a proof copy to President Theodore Roosevelt and requested a few more to give to key legislators in Washington.

Later printings, with a 1907 copyright, appeared in 1907, 1911, and 1915. The book fell out of print for decades after 1931 and was omitted from the extensive Garland Press reprint collection, The Garland Library of War and Peace, in which other works on peace by Addams did appear. Instead, Newer Ideals of Peace appeared in 1972 in a facsimile reprint series, The Peace Movement in America (New York: Jerome Ozer). Recent years, however, have seen a notable revival of interest in it. An electronic version was entered on-line during 1996-99. In 2003 the book was reprinted in the four-volume hardcover set issued by Thoemmes Press (see n. 95). In July 2004 a trade paperback edition was published by the Anza Classics Library as Newer Ideals of Peace: The Moral Substitutes for War.

The ideas about peace and pacifism, democracy, and militarism that Addams presented in Newer Ideals of Peace were developed over the ten-year period prior to its publication. They were grounded in ideas about social justice, humanitarianism, and the cooperative potential of the urban immigrant poor-ideas that she had been maturing for at least two decades, especially in connection with her work at Hull-House beginning in 1889. Addams noted that two chapters of the book and parts of two others were first published in separate articles (p. 3). Other previously published materials found their way, usually in elaborated form, into the final version of the book.

Addams's nephew and biographer James Linn cited a brief entry in one of her notebooks written as early as 1896 in which she wondered whether the "forced 'internationalism' developed [among diverse immigrants] in American cities ... [might] be made an effective instrument in the cause of world-peace." This became a major theme in Newer Ideals of Peace.

In support of the anti-imperialist campaign triggered by the U.S. acquisition of the Philippines in 1899, Addams gave a talk in April of that year on "Democracy or Militarism." There she introduced her concern with the issues of militarism and indicated her broad conception of peace, associating it with democratic, internationalist humanitarianism. "We must also remember that peace has come to mean a larger thing. It is no longer merely absence of war but the unfolding of life processes which are making for a common development."

The two Chautauqua lectures on "The Newer Ideals of Peace" in July 1902 (see n. 3) contained many ideas that were later discussed in Newer Ideals of Peace. In the first lecture, Addams presented a critique of the peace movement's appeals to sympathy and prudence, which she later expanded in Chapter I of the book. She also discussed the appeal to the sense of human solidarity, asserting that "when we once surround human life with the same kind of heroism and admiration that we have surrounded war, we can say that this sense is having such an outlet that war will become impossible."

In her second 1902 Chautauqua lecture Addams spoke of a new internationalist conception of patriotism: "Let us imagine that [great numbers of young men in this country] shall have the kind of patriotism which the intermingling of the nations has forced upon us, instead of the patriotism which prevailed when each nation had to regard the others as enemies."

Addams then went on to speak of new "positive ideals" of peace. She urged her audience to imagine that "the newer ideals of peace should come to be something so positive" that young men would no longer seek war as the path to heroism, but would rather conceive of "some such positive ideal" of heroism as the effort to "make possible a higher type of life." She also made clear in this lecture that a positive ideal of peace must encompass a concern for the conditions of labor for both children and working adults. She dwelt at length on the issue of sweatshops, and though her focus was on the prevalence of sweated labor in the United States at that time, her words resonate as strikingly familiar in the global anti-sweatshop movement today: "We may get to the point where we are more cautious of the garments we wear, as to the method of their making."

In the spring of 1903 Addams lectured on "A Moral Substitute for War" at the Ethical Culture Society in Chicago. She continued elaborating this idea in addresses at the International Peace Congress held in Boston in 1904. Then, in her prefatory note in 1906, she identified this as a central theme of Newer Ideals of Peace: "These studies in the gradual development of the moral substitutes for war have been made in the industrial quarter of a cosmopolitan city where the morality exhibits marked social and international aspects" (p. 3, emphasis added).

Undergirding Addams's elaboration of this theme in Newer Ideals was a complex, often surprising, critique of what she named "negative peace" and of the militarized character of American society in the twentieth century.

II. The Critique of "Negative Peace" and of the "Founders"

In the post-World War II field of peace studies, Norwegian sociologist and leading peace researcher Johan Galtung initiated discussion of the concepts of "negative peace" and "positive peace" in several papers published in the 1960s. These concepts, which have become central to contemporary peace theory, are often attributed to him.

But Jane Addams had used the term "negative peace" nearly sixty years earlier in Newer Ideals of Peace, and though she did not use the phrase "positive peace" as such, the "positive ideals of peace" that she spoke of in 1902 were elaborated in Newer Ideals and correspond closely with present-day interpretations of that concept. The history of the terms in the subsequent decades has not been traced, though both Quincy Wright and Martin Luther King, Jr. had already used them, before Galtung did. Over the course of that history, the term "positive peace" has had quite varied meanings, but in general, the term "negative peace" has been defined mainly as the absence of war, conflict, or violence.

Addams expressed this idea in 1899, as noted above, in saying that the concept of peace had become "no longer merely absence of war." But in Newer Ideals of Peace, Addams used the term "negative peace" also in a different and more complex sense, to characterize certain older ideals of peace that she held to be negative or inadequate. In this sense her use of the term brought with it the implication that peace should be understood to encompass more adequate and positive goals and principles.

A remarkable feature of Addams's argument was her sharp critique of the intellectual, political, and military heritage of the eighteenth-century philosophers and founders of modern political and social institutions, as well as the traditional advocates of peace. She contrasted "the claims of the newer, more aggressive ideals of peace" with an "older dovelike ideal" (p. 5). Philosophers of the past (among whom she singled out Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham, and Thomas Buckle) were, she wrote, "the first to sigh for negative peace which they declared would be 'eternal'" (p. 15, emphasis added). Skeptical of "universal peace" and "permanent peace," or "the old dogmatic peace," Addams found such ideas "discouraging" in what she held to be their abstract and static character (pp. 6-7).

While she expressed admiration for Leo Tolstoy, Vassili Verestchagin, and Jean de Bloch, who exposed the horrors and costs of war, as well as for "the untiring efforts of the advocates of peace through many years" (p. 6), she suspected that these approaches embodied a fatal error: "Here it is quite possible that the mistake is being repeated which the old annalists of history made when they never failed to chronicle the wars and calamities which harassed their contemporaries, although, while the few indulged in fighting, the mass of them peacefully prosecuted their daily toil and followed their own conceptions of kindliness and equity" (pp. 6-7).

For Addams, the focus on war itself, on the warriors and the values associated with war and conquest-"the flimsy stuff called national honor, glory, and prestige" (p. 64)-perpetuated the dominance of "the older military virtues" and habits in society and obscured the processes of dynamic evolution towards a more positive kind of peace.

Addams's critique, however, extended beyond attention to war, to address many of the central tenets of government and democracy: "To follow this newer humanitarianism even through its obvious manifestations requires at the very outset a definite abandonment of the eighteenth-century philosophy upon which so much of our present democratic theory and philanthropic activity depends" (p. 18). She challenged the "historic and doctrinaire method" of the founders for its inadequacy "when it attempts to deal with growing and human institutions," especially as manifested in the failures of municipal administration in her time (p. 20).

The founders, she argued, "with all their fine talk of the 'natural man' and what he would accomplish when he obtained freedom and equality, did not really trust the people after all" (p. 21). She reproached them for "timidly" adopting the principles of English law, more concerned "with the guarding of prerogative and with the rights of property than with the spontaneous life of the people" (p. 21). They distanced themselves from the daily life of the people, she contended, and by modeling their governmental machinery on European traditions, "failed to provide the vehicle for a vital and genuinely organized expression of the popular will" through effective local self-government (p. 22).

Addams questioned the founders' abstract notion of "the natural man," as "a creature of their sympathetic imaginations," and she argued in a passage that would be well to heed today: "Because their idealism was of the type that is afraid of experience, these founders refused to look at the difficulties and blunders which a self-governing people were sure to encounter, and insisted that, if only the people had freedom, they would walk continuously in the paths of justice and righteousness" (p. 20).

Thus Addams makes clear that, rather than holding a naïve faith in "the people," she was well aware that they would face difficulties, might make blunders, and might not always act with "justice and righteousness." She faulted the founders for their reliance on institutional models that failed to give scope to local self-governance, and their unrealistic confidence in an ideal of "freedom" alone, understood as the protection of individual "natural rights," and in particular property rights, through the traditions of English law.


Excerpted from Newer Ideals of Peace by JANE ADDAMS Copyright © 2007 by University of Illinois Press. Excerpted by permission.
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