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CHAPTER TWO Courts, Judges, and the Rule of Law IN 1905 a minor secession took place within the ranks of the decade-old Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitra­ tion. Dean George Kirchwey of the Columbia University Law School, appearing at the conference for the first time, expressed the dissatisfaction of a small but growing faction within the con­ ference with the diffuseness and impracticality of the present or­ ganization. "I have longed," said Kirchwey on the final day of the meetings, "for some exhibition of a more definite purpose in the gathering than the threshing of the old straw of the Constitution or treading the wine press of ancient wars." It was all very well, Kirchwey continued, for the participants in the Mohonk Con­ ference to engage in a kind of semireligious "experience-meeting" in which, by constant recitations and incantations on the same theme, they gained a new level of spiritual exaltation and went forth to preach the principles of peace with renewed faith.1 But that wasnot enough. The time had come, Kirchwey told the members of the Mohonk Conference, for the taking of "some definite step in the direction of organization of machinery for forwarding the purpose." This "purpose," as Kirchwey explained it, was not to foster vague long­ ings for peace, but to advance such concrete programs as the development of international law and the advancement of the Hague Conferences. To meet the need for more practical, more effective work Kirchwey proposed the formation of a new or­ ganization—an American Society of International Law.2 It was significant that Kirchwey called for the founding of a new organization rather than a reorientation of the program of the old one. Presumably the Lake Mohonk Conference could have met his specific criticisms by taking up the campaign for "the in­ stitution of a reign of law" and the perfection and implementa1 Report of the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration (Lake Mohonk, N.Y. 1905), p. 128 (hereafter cited as Mohonk Conference with appropriate date). 2 Ibid., pp. 28-30. 40—The American Peace Movement 8c Social Reform tion of the Hague Court as its central program.3 Certainly it was already giving considerable attention to this approach to peace. But the dissatisfaction on the part of those for whom Kirchwey spoke was based upon the makeup of the group as well as its current ideas and programs. A new group of lawyers, with academic or practical expertise in international law, had recently begun to play an important role in the Mohonk Conferences. While only one or two members of the Conferences of 1901 and 1902 had been involved profession­ ally, as teachers, diplomats, or international lawyers, with inter­ national arbitration tribunals and matters of international law, in 1903 the number of such figures in attendance reached five. By 1904 the contingent of international lawyers reached nine and by 1905, thirteen.4 These men eagerly sought a forum for the dis­ cussion of international relations but they were disappointed by the lack of expertise and the atmosphere of sentimentalism and impracticality that seemed to pervade Mohonk. The level of discussion of international law at Mohonk was far too unsophisti­ cated, they concluded. The majority of the participants were insufficiently aware of the need for a judicial resolution of interna­ tional problems. The international lawyers wanted to argue such matters with professionals of their own kind and they wanted a professional journal in which to publish their views. In promoting peace through a new, separate organization, they might also for­ ward their own academic or professional careers. Thus the peace movement of the early twentieth century began to transform itself. In reaching out to bring men of greater promi3 Ibid., p. 29. * See the yearly list of "Members of the Conference," in Mohonk Conference, from 1901 through 1905. The numbers are derived by comparing the list of Mohonk Conference members with a list of forty-five international lawyers selected on the basis of their prominence in initiating the American Society of International Law, holding positions of leadership in the society, and participating actively in the programs, meetings, and publications of the society. It is to this core group, and to those who closely followed their lead, that I have subsequently referred when using such general terms as "the international lawyers" or "the international lawyer group." The list of forty-five includes: Chandler P. Anderson, James B. Angell, Thomas W. Balch, Simeon E...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400870257
MARC Record
OCLC
933516392
Pages
462
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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