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Peace is generally defined as a state of quiet or tranquillity, as an absence of disturbance or agitation (Latin derivation Pax = Absentia Belli).

More specifically, it can refer to an absence of violence or war. In this sense, peace between and within national states is a goal of many persons and organisations, notably the United Nations. Peace can be voluntary, where potential agitators choose to abstain from disturbance, or it can be enforced, by suppressing those who might otherwise cause such disturbance.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail that, "True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."

Henry Timrod, known as The Poet Laureate of the Confederacy wrote passionate poems that caused many young men to enlist in the Confederate Army of the American Civil War. But after seeing for himself the horrors of war, he wrote this poignant prayer for peace:

Not all the darkness of the land
Can hide the lifted eye and hand;
Nor need the clanging conflict cease,
To make Thee hear our cries for peace.

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