IN the last decade certain disconnected movements have accomplished something in the way of bringing about a world state, and other movements are on foot to bring about a completion of this general movement. The Hague Peace Conference (1899) brought about the establishment of a permanent international court of arbitration or the international department of justice; the Interparliamentary Union is trying to effect the establishment of a world parliament or congress, or legislative department, and if possible a world executive department. The purpose of this article will be to deal with the history and nature of each of these movements, to point out the reasons why the present movement ought theoretically to succeed and to discuss the obstacles to a successful realization of such plans.
1. The Hague Peace Conference and the Hague Tribunal.—In the summer of 1898 the Tsar invited all the principal states of the civilized world to send delegates to discuss concerted action for the maintenance of a general peace and the amelioration of the hardships of war and to plan for the possible reduction of the military and naval armaments of the world. This conference met May 18 to July 29, 1899. It was composed of one hundred delegates representing states having standing armies and navies; twenty-six nations in all were represented. The Papacy, the Transvaal Republic, and the states of Central and South America were not represented. The results of the conference were twofold: (1) Certain arrangements concerning warfare were made and (2) a permanent court of arbitration was established.
The arrangements concerning warfare need not occupy our attention; suffice it to say that a number of resolutions were adopted which tend to make war less brutal and have in view the ultimate reduction of military and naval armaments. Besides these humanitarian efforts of the conference, it accomplished what will be historically much more important, namely, the establishment of a permanent international court of arbitration. The powers agreed to submit all serious cases of international dispute for decision to an international tribunal. The conference provides for the selection of persons who shall constitute a permanent tribunal for six years. Each power can choose not more