Hague Rules OK: The 1899 Peace and Disarmament Conference

A peace conference held in Holland in 1899 in fact ended by rewriting the laws of war, says Geoffrey Best.

May 1899 saw the hotels and boarding houses of The Hague filling up with an unaccustomed crowd of visitors. The Peace and Disarmament Conference was the biggest international event of the year. Unlike the World’s Fairs and international congresses of professions and causes with which the West had by then become familiar this was on the highest diplomatic level. Almost every state of any significance was sending delegates with the noble purpose, so newspaper-readers understood, of stopping the arms race and inaugurating the reign of peace.

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