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The Volume XXV

Green July, 1913

The Present Administration and

NSE petit placidam sub libertate E quietem, the motto of the Common wealth of Massachusetts, expresses the dominant sentiment of a large part of the world's population. Only by power ful armaments is the unruffled peace of free institutions to be maintained. That sentiment may be expressed by the para doxical but significant phrase the peace of the sword. It recalls the age of private war, when the military prowess of the feudal lord was the only guar antee of the security of his tenants — the age which preceded the establish ment of the King's peace and the sub stitution of the strong arm of the law for the sharp edge of the sword. Private war of individuals has disappeared, private war of nations survives as a singular anachronism, for all war is private war, and there can be no such thing as war where courts possess other means than wager of battle for settling disputes. Every civilized state has passed the age of baronial license and substituted the peace of the law for the peace of the sword. The peace of the law is a fair goal, whether the peace of the state, in the terminology of modern indictments, or the peace of nations, yet there may be some insin cerity in this use of the word peace, for there can be no peace between those who keep and those who break the law, and we have grown, in our modern life, to think of the law not so much as a means

Bag Number 7

International Justice

of protection against the oppressor as a mode of exacting restitution from the wrongdoer. There is an element of chicanery in the assertion that the powerful nations sincerely desire peace with the weaker, for they desire above everything the preservation of their national rights at whatever cost to those who infringe them. The weaker nations may with greater sincerity plead for the peace of nations, as it is they which have most to fear the coercion of the powerful nations. The King's peace, however, was a bread term, signifying vindication of the rights both of the strong and of the weak, and the peace of nations means nothing more nor less than the security of national rights, both of the weak and of the powerful. The movement aiming at international con ciliation and the expansion of inter national law ought therefore not to be regarded as essentially a peace move ment, though peace may be one of its fruits, but as a movement seeking the security of effective administration of international justice. Instead of the peace of the sword or the peace of sentimentalism it strives above all for the security of justice, the peace not of the King but of that obscure abstraction the international sovereign. Dr. Lyman Abbott at the recent Mohonk Lake conference supported this idea of peace maintained at the point of the sword, saying: "There are two