IV.2 Baron de Staal
The person who is portrayed smiling on page 109 of Punch is Baron de Staal, who was ambassador of Russia, and also took office of the
president of the Den Haag Conference. Here is part of his inauguration address:
"If the Emperor of Russia has taken the initiative for the meeting of this Conference, we owe it to Her Majesty, the Queen of the
Netherlands, that we have called together in her capital . . . We have under our eyes a striking example of what may by done for the
welfare of peoples by valor, patriotism, and sustained energy . . . As for myself, I cannot consider the election which has been
conferred upon me otherwise than as a result of my being a plenipotentiary of the Emperor, my Master - the august initiator of the
idea of the Conference . . . The proposition contained in the Russian circular is the most eloquent testimony of the unanimity which
peaceful ideas have attained . . ."
It is possible to infer that de Staal tried to emphasize the role of Russia in his address. From views of other nations which attended the
Conference, the prominent role of Russia could be offending. Punch also seems to view Russia rather negatively. The picture on page
109 satirizes the domination of Russia in the Hague Conference by showing emblem of Russia, the two-headed eagle with a crown.
Moreover, referring to de Staal as an 'actor' also implies that Punch thinks he rather 'showed off' than actually trying to settle the
peace among nations.
The First Peace Hague Conference was held from May 18 and signed on July 29, 1899 and entered into force on September 4, 1900.
It tried to build up peace among countries, and also tried to minimize the victims and crimes due to war by stating peaceful treaties.
The fact that the Hague Conference was an attempt to advance towards the peace was undeniable. However, whether it contributed
to the actual peace was questionable. As Punch points out, Hague Convention failed to cease the ongoing brutality in the archipelago
of the Philippines, which took away lives of hundreds of thousands of people.. Punch also satirizes that Russia, rather than settling
peace among countries, tried to show off its power by dominating the conference.
Russian note of 30 December 1898/11 January 1899
Geneva Convention covers the treatment of battlefield casualties and was adopted in 1864 as part of the
establishment of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The Spanish American War was a military conflict between Spain and the United States from April 25 to August 12, 1898
The Treaty of Paris of 1898, signed on December 10, 1898, ended the Spanish-American War.
Jacob Hurd Smith (1840-March 1, 1918) was a controversial United States Army officer, notorious for his
orders to "kill everyone over the age of ten" and make the island "a howling wilderness
The Philippine Constabulary (PC) was the oldest of the nationí»s four armed forces, and one of two national police forces of the Philippines.
Excerpted from Declaration I from the Hague Convention of 1899.
Punch Cartoon Library, in an email dated June 2nd 2008, was so generous to permit
the usage of Punch cartoons in students' papers as this one.
Punch Cartoon Library does offer full-size decorative prints of individual cartoons for sale.
Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol.116 p.254 May 31 1899 (figures 1, 1a)
Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol.117 p.62 August 9 1899 (figures 2, 2a)
Note : websites quoted below were visited in May 2008.
1. Article " "Hague Convention", from. Wikipedia
24 May. 2008, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Conventions_%281899_and_1907%29
2. Article "Spanish-American War", from Wikipedia
3. Article "Philippine-American War", from Wikipedia
4. Article "Geneva Conventions", from Wikipedia
5. Article "Permanent Court of Arbitration", from Wikipedia
6. "Hague Convention 1899", from International Humanitarian Law
7. "Peace Conference at Hague 1899" from
Avalon Project at Yale Law School
8. "The Philippine-American War 1899-1902", from
9. "Hague Convention", from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
30 May 2008, http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9038788/Hague-Convention
10.   D. Schindler and J. Toman The Laws of Armed Conflicts, Martinus Nihjoff Publisher, 1988
11. Arthur Eyffinger The 1899 Hague Peace Conference: "the Parliament of Man, the Federation", Martinus Nihjoff Publisher, 1999
12. William Holls The Peace Conference at the Hague Elibron Classics, 1914
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