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Peaceniks

Peaceniks

No matter which war through out our history there were always people who opposed it. Starting with our own revolutionary war our population was divided in to thirds. One third were in favor of independence, another third remained loyal to the crown and the remaining third just didn’t care one way or the other. The War of 1812 and the Mexican War both had opposition based on moral and legal grounds. The Civil War had some very interesting opposition groups on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Some Northerners like the Southerners thought that states had the right to leave a union that they had voluntarily joined and believe it or not the Union army had volunteer units from every one of the Confederate States! Then there were the other issues of slavery, conscription and pacifism to further divide the people. By the time of the Franco-Prussian War the many German immigrants here had reason to cheer for the old team but in most cases issued medals celebrating the return of “Peace” rather than victory. I think the reason for this was so as not to cast any doubt on their loyalty to their new homeland. By the time of the Spanish-American War in 1898 many Americans had begun to fear that the US had become an imperial power seeking colonies. The opposition was significant and the war was short resulting in a medallic vacuum. A national Peace Jubilee was organized and medals like the one below were issued to celebrate the return of “Peace” and not the victory or the war.

This is my interpretation of the history behind this medal, feel free to disagree.

About Fred Borgmann

Retired from KP after nearly 31 years as new issues editor and the Standard Catalogs.
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2 Responses to Peaceniks

  1. tom says:

    You can see another example of a Peace Jubilee medal at this site: http://www.socalleddollar.com/afMilitary.html
    and here is a link to a New York Times article about the Chicago Peace Jubilee banquet held in October 1898:
    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9E07E4DA1F3DE433A25753C2A9669D94699ED7CF&oref=slogin

  2. Fred Borgmann says:

    Good one Tom! Thanks. President McKinley comments were prophetic.

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