Anti-war movement

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Movement against wars in general and any specific war, whether present or future. In antiquity, universal religions and ethical systems began to condemn warfare as an institution contrary to divine will and harmful to society in that it corrupts the human being and dissolves society. In the Middle Ages, various popular religious movements had an antiwar component, and gave expression to popular protest, especially among serfs and peasants, against the kind of devastation commonly produced in the warfare between fiefdoms. The modern international a.m. arose in the nineteenth century and gained strength on the eve of the First World War. At national and international conferences and conventions, antiwar organizations were formed to forestall the outbreak of a world war and to condemn what were called colonial wars that involved the pillaging of less developed countries. These movements forced international diplomacy to develop a series of standards and to approve documents on specific procedures to limit the scope of international conflicts and the effects of military actions on civilian populations, to issue rules for providing medical aid to the wounded and treatment of prisoners of war, etc. In spite of these efforts, the a.m. was not able to prevent either of the two world wars. Following the Second World War, the a.m. grew larger and put forward the necessity of disarmament, above all the prohibition and elimination of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, as well as conventional weapons; the dissolution of military blocs and alliances; the closing of military bases on foreign soil and withdrawal of troops. The a.m. did achieve its objectives, even if only partially. The end of the Cold War caused a crisis for the a.m.