Portrait of P Munch

Description

Before World War One the social-liberal politician P Munch (1870-1948) advocated to dissolve conflict through negotiation, arbitration and disarmament. Through their anti-militarism, he and other international social-liberals were in favour of pacifist prosperity in Europe and Russia. The outbreak of war, however, meant a collapse of Munch’s great aspirations.

In 1914 Munch was minister of defence in the neutral Denmark. In his efforts to keep Denmark out of the war he had to back down on his ideals about disarmament. Munch had the administrative responsibility of a defence force of 50,000 men and the building of a major fortification around Copenhagen. In his memoirs he later wrote, ‘From a bright time of progress in which the (peace-) initiatives could be carried out in a climate of reasonable safety, we had to face a time of misery and hatred characterised by insecurity’.

Related articles

Pacifism and Conscientious Objection

Article by:
Martin Ceadel
Theme:
Civilians

With particular focus on conscription, Professor Martin Ceadal discusses instances of pacifism and conscientious objection during World War One in Britain, the US, Canada and New Zealand.

Europe before 1914

Article by:
Professor David Stevenson
Theme:
Origins, outbreak and conclusions

Considering factors such as globalization and military advancement, Professor David Stevenson examines the political and diplomatic landscape of Europe before the outbreak of World War One.

Related collection items