Bertha Von Suttner (1843–1914)

Simone Peter

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599752
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Bertha Von Suttner (1843–1914)

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This chapter notes that the Austrian writer Bertha von Suttner was one of the leading figures of the late 19th-century peace movement. Her novel Die Waffen nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms!) was published in 1889 and was soon translated into the most important European languages. In 1891, Suttner founded the Austrian Society for Peace (Österreichische Gesellschaft der Friedensfreunde) and was the major influence on Alfred Nobel’s decision to include a peace prize among those prizes provided in his will. She was awarded Peace Laureate in 1905. Suttner’s attitude towards international law reflects the 19th-century optimism of liberal internationalism, characterized by its belief in rational thought and its advocacy for international cooperation within international institutions. Suttner was a talented propagandist whose aristocratic social background helped her to gain access to circles of power and influence.

Keywords: peace movement; Alfred Nobel; 1905 Peace Laureate; liberal internationalism; Austria; Society for Peace

Article.  1570 words. 

Subjects: Law ; History of Law ; International Law

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