Nonviolent Resistance a global History 1830-2000



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Week 4. The 18th and early 19th centuries

In this week, we shall explore some of the pre-history and origins of nonviolent resistance. While the idea of not-killing and not-injuring opponents has existed in many societies, often with religious underpinnings, it only began to be established as a conscious political technique in modern times. After a brief introductory statement by David Hardiman, two main developments will be focussed on:



  1. The American tradition from the Quakers to Thoreau and Garrison.

  2. The English tradition, from Godwin to Lovett and the ‘moral force’ Chartists.

One person to present each of these two topics.
Core reading:

  • Mark Kurlansky, Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea, Jonathan Cape, 2006, chapters 1-6, pp.3-85.

  • Michael Randle, Civil Resistance, Chapter 2, ‘The Evolution of Passive Resistance, pp.19-51. Available at http://civilresistance.info/randle1994

Questions for discussion:



  1. The Quakers: Why were the Quakers in the USA unable to consolidate their ‘peaceable kingdom’? Why is John Woolman important in the history of nonviolent resistance?

  2. What was the significance of the William Lloyd Garrison’s Society of Non-Resistance (1838)?

  3. What is the significance of Thoreau in the history of nonviolent resistance?

  4. Discuss the rival ‘moral force’ and ‘physical force’ debates within the Chartist movement. What were the strategic advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

  5. Would the Chartist movement have been more successful in 1839-40 if the ‘moral force’ strategy had prevailed?

Further reading:


Quakers

  • Peter Brock, The Quaker Peace Testimony 1660 to 1914

  • George Lakey, Non Violent Action: How it Works (Pendle |Hill 2005). Available online at: http://www.pendlehill.org/resources/files/pdf%20files/php129b.pdf

  • Staughton Lynd and Alice Lynd, Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History, pp.xii-xvii and 1-12. On William Penn and John Woolman


Revolutionary and Post-revolutionary America

  • Robert F. Berkhofer (ed.), The American Revolution: the critical issues

  • Mere E. Curti, ‘Non-Resistance in New England’, The New England Quarterly, 2, 1929, pp. 34-57.

  • Mark Kurlansky, Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea, pp.75-85.

  • Staughton Lynd and Alice Lynd, Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History, Part II, ‘Abolitionists’, pp. 13-41. Thoreau, pp. 21-41.

  • Daniel Marston, The American War of Independence: 1774-1783

  • Henry David Thoreau, ‘Civil Disobedience’, in Walden and Civil Disobedience, pp.385-413.

  • Harry M. Ward, The war for independence and the transformation of American society (1999)


Chartist movement

  • Warwick library section on Chartism DA 559.7.A8

  • Malcolm Chase, Chartism: A New History, 2007

  • Anna Clark, ‘The Rhetoric of Chartist Domesticity: Gender, Language and Class in the 1830s and 1840s’, The Journal of British Studies, 31, 1992, pp. 62-88.

  • Mark Hovell, The Chartist Movement, 1918.

  • J.M. Kemnitz, ‘The Chartist Convention of 1839,’ Albion, 10, 1978, pp. 152-170.

  • William Lovett, Chartism: A New Organisation of the People: Embracing a Plan for the Education and Improvement of the People Politically and Socially, London 1841.

  • William Lovett, Life and Struggles of William Lovett

  • Marc Newman, ‘Chartism: Violence vs non-violence’, Socialist Alternative, November 2000. Available on www.sa.org.au

  • Donald Read and Eric Glasgow, Feargue O’Connor: Irishman and Chartist, 1961.

  • Edward Royle, Chartism, pp. 18-28. Available on: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/main/electronicresources/extracts/hi/hi31d

  • Preston Slosson, The Decline of the Chartist Movement, 1967.

  • Robert Stephen and Dorothy Thompson, Images of Chartism, 1998.

  • Dorothy Thompson, The Early Chartists, 1973

  • Dorothy Thompson, ‘Radicals and their Historians,’ Literature and History, 5, 1977.

  • Dorothy Thompson, The Chartists, 1984.

  • J.T. Ward, Chartism, 1973. pp. 113-119 on the debate in London in early 1839 on ‘moral force’ versus ‘physical force.’

  • Joel Wiener, William Lovett, 1989.

  • D.G. Wright, Popular Radicalism: The Working-Class Experience 1780-1880 Chapter 6, pp. 112-149.

Week 5. Passive resistance for national self-determination without revolution – Hungary and Finland.

‘Passive resistance’ was legitimised as an effective political force above all by the successful struggles for national self determination by the Hungarians against Austria (1849-67) and the Finns against Russia (1899-1905). We shall examine these two movements this week, and discuss the strengths and limits to such movements.


One person to present each of these two topics.
Core reading:

  • Thomas Csapody and Thomas Weber, ‘Hungarian Nonviolent Resistance against Austria and its place in the History of nonviolence,’ Peace and Change, 32, 4, October 2007, pp. 1-21. Available through library online.

  • Steven Duncan Huxley, Constitutionalist Insurgency in Finland: Finnish “Passive Resistance” against Russification as a Case of Nonmilitary Struggle in the European Resistance Tradition, Societas Historica Finlandiae, Helsinki 1990, pp.52-77. Pdf version available through module website.

Questions for discussion



  • Trace the relationship between violent revolt and passive resistance in the Hungarian movement for self-rule in the period 1848-1867.

  • What strategies did Ferenc Deák deploy in his campaign of passive resistance?

  • What strategies did the Finns deploy in their passive resistance to Russia in 1899-1905?

  • Compare the social bases to these two respective movements.

  • Can we distinguish ‘passive resistance’ from ‘nonviolent resistance’? Are there distinctive features to the former not found in the latter?

Further reading:


Hungarian struggle for self-determination 1849-67

  • Warwick library section DB 925.H4

  • Agnes Deak, ‘Ferenc Deak and the Hapsburg Empire’, Hungarian Quarterly, Vol. 44, No.172, 2003, pp. 29-40.

  • Ivan Zoltan Denes, ‘The Value System of Liberals and Conservatives in Hungary, 1830-1848,’ Historical Journal, Vol. 36, No. 4, 1993

  • Alice Freifeld, Nationalism and the crowd in liberal Hungary, 1848-1914

  • Arthur Griffith, The Resurrection of Hungary. Available online at:

  • http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=RYWoRX7uL6kC&dq=arthur+griffith+the+resurrection+of+hungary&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=BWVASC6Afa&sig=OLKryL5GkvaDWKLDtZyrxat8xrc&hl=en&ei=sE4FS__fMdrTjAfK5e22Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

  • Andrew C. Janos, The Politics of Backwardness in Hungary: 1825-1945

  • Bela K Kiraly, Ferenc Deák (in store, has to be ordered from library desk).

  • Péter Hanák, ‘The Period of Neo-Absolutism’, in E. Pamlenyi (ed.), A History of Hungary (1973), pp. 285-320.

  • Peter F. Sugar, Péter Hanák, and Tibor Frank (eds.), A History of Hungary, chapters 12 and 13. (3 copies of Ch. 13, Éva Somogyi, ‘The Age of Neoabsolutism, 1849-1867, are in SLC.).



Finland: the Struggle against Russia 1899-1905


  • Risto Alapuro, State and Revolution in Finland (London 1988), Chapters 5 & 6

  • Steven Duncan Huxley, Constitutionalist Insurgency in Finland: Finnish “Passive Resistance” against Russification as a Case of Nonmilitary Struggle in the European Resistance Tradition, Societas Historica Finlandiae (Helsinki 1990). This out-of-print but important book is not available in the library; however, David Hardiman has a photocopy of the book for the person presenting the seminar.

  • Max Jacobson, Finland in the New Europe (1998)

  • D.G. Kirby (ed.), Finland and Russia 1808-1920, pp. 69-122. Useful collection of original source material on the movement in Finland

  • Brian Martin, ‘Learning about ‘nonviolent’ struggle: Lessons from Steven Huxley’, Nonviolence Today, No. 22, August-September 1991, pp. 11-14. Also at www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/91BRnvt.html

  • W.R. Mead, Finland (1968), pp. 142-45

  • John H. Wuorinen, A History of Finland (see chapter 5 on nationalism and the language question. There is no mention of the passive resistance movement in this book however)


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