Mid-West Quarterly, The (1913-1918)



Charles Kuhlman

Date of this Version



Published in THE MID-WEST QUARTERLY 2:4 (July 1915), pp. 397-414. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons & the University of Nebraska.


Modem pacifism is a by-product of social democracy. It originated in the extreme left wing of the French Revolution. Its first representatives are found among those men of terror and blood who made themselves known and abhorred throughout the world as "Jacobins. " The revolution was, at its inception, a revolt against the absolute monarchy in France only. It was not until this monarchy had been completely overthrown that it took the form of a declaration against practically all the other governments of Europe. The classic argument of kings, the bayonet, failed Louis XVI when the army stood aloof or made common cause with the revolution and then dissolved into an undisciplined rabble. On the other hand, as the national guards were being organized in large numbers, the better informed leaders began to feel secure against a return of despotism from within. As long as France did not quarrel with her neighbours her enthusiasts appeared justified in painting her future in the rosiest colours.