Hague Conference Formulates Legal Norms of Behavior in War (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The Second Hague Peace Conference of 1907 revised and expanded the rules developed during the 1899 conference to mitigate suffering and protect the rights of persons in international war.
Summary of Event
In the second half of the nineteenth century, advances in technology were rapidly making the use of force more destructive. There was a growing need to limit what states were allowed to do in the course of armed conflict; the laws and customs of war had to be revised and expanded. A number of international agreements began to do that. For example, the 1864 Geneva Convention sought to improve the condition of wounded soldiers in the field, and the 1874 Brussels Declaration attempted to codify the norms of land warfare.
As the nineteenth century drew to a close, the expansionist drive of the great powers made the outbreak of war more likely. It became more urgent to codify the standards of civilized warfare. The initiative came from Czar Nicholas II, who invited all nations maintaining diplomatic relations with the Russian government to meet for the purpose of seeking the most effective means of preserving peace, limiting armaments, and regulating the conduct of war. The Hague was selected as the site for this conference. At the request of Russia, the Dutch monarch issued the invitations. Twenty-six governments participated in the First Hague Peace Conference from May 18 to July 29, 1899....
(The entire section is 2202 words.)
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