In this article we draw on our family histories of language loss to stimulate public discussion of the consequences of linguistic attrition for public school students in the United States. Our concerns for multilingualism, antiracism, and peace—and the salient connections among these three—are rooted in our lived experiences. Through an exploration of our family histories, we examine the ways in which empire and language identity can interact to shape decisions made by individual speakers of minority languages. We argue that multilingualism is a valuable resource for countering xenophobia, and that the teaching of foreign and world languages adds an important dimension to engaging empire, promoting peace and solidarity, and ultimately redefining what is legitimately “American.” We call attention to the potential power of well-designed educational policies to support heritage language maintenance, to promote language rights, and to respond to dangers posed by the disproportionate power accorded to English.
Many Western scholars and foreign-policy makers have lauded the Congress of Vienna, Metternich's “Concert of Europe,” and Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck's alliance system for keeping a “long peace” from 1815 to 1914. The superiority of nineteenth-century statecraft is a myth. Europe was busy at war between 1815 and 1914, if not in conflicts on the scale of the Napoleonic Wars and World War I. Furthermore, the chancelleries of nineteenth-century Europe not only quelled national uprisings, but suppressed peoples’ political rights and waged imperial wars throughout Africa and Asia. From the perspective of a Pole, a disenfranchised European, or an Indian, the century was not a “long peace” but a “long war.”
Although there was no separate women's peace movement before World War I, women were active in the movement almost from its inception at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Before the Civil War, male leaders of the American Peace Society and its predecessors were ambiguous in their attempts to recruit women into the movement. They encouraged women to join peace groups, contribute financially, and influence other women and children but not to take leadership positions or direct movement policy. Women joined the mixed-gender groups and formed their own peace societies. They also worked individually and in groups outside of the societies, writing on peace issues, influencing others, and acting as citizen-diplomats by forming networks with women internationally.
This article addresses two main issues. First, in what ways did the development of a pacifist platform among French women working against the patriarchal assumptions of their world shape a different discourse than the dominant male-managed peace societies—then the largest on the European continent before World War I. Secondly, how did the progressive members of the French feminist–pacifist community distance themselves from the presumably unchallenged, national enthusiasm for war in 1914, and what impact did that war have on postwar women’s movements.
This article explores the turn-of-the-century development of an American internationalism geared towards a peaceful global federation rooted in international law and guided by the example of the United States of America. American ideals played a critical role in defining and creating perception of what international law was how it could be developed through the creation of a tribunal or international court of arbitration, and what that development would mean for the peaceful coexistence of nations. Peace advocates were united in their commitment to using legal means to settle international disputes before resorting to violence, and to creating behavioral guidelines for the future based on a firm belief in Christian, Anglo-Saxon racial superiority and juris prudence.
This article addresses the shifting meaning of “pacifism” in the idiom of French political culture from the time the word was first introduced until the end of the First World War. “Le pacifisme” was intended as a way to forge a common identity for the different groups that composed the growing international peace movement at the turn of the twentieth century. Particular circumstances in France during that time influenced how its meaning was appreciated by the French authorities and general public, including the French peace movement's own indeterminate organizational structure and the manipulative mode of discourse employed by French nationalists during a period of intense political polarization. The turmoil of the First World War ensured that the ambiguity that already characterized the use of the word “pacifism” emerged as a full-blown transformation in the word's meaning within French political discourse.
This analysis of the decision-making process involved in Nobel Peace Prizes prior to the Second World War is illustrated with a dozen case studies. An independent Norwegian Nobel Committee chosen by the Storting, or Norwegian parliament, awards prizes. In this period its decisions reflected the dynamics among its members and advisers, all of whom were prominent political figures, some closely tied to the popular peace movement in Norway and abroad. Representatives of the Liberal party dominated the committee, although it also responded to the contesting views of other elements in the Storting. Nobel awards generally paralleled the orientation of Norwegian foreign policy, with its traditional bias toward peace.
Peacekeeping is challenging. The United Nations era is most well known for its multilateral peacekeeping initiatives, but these were preceded by interventions by the Great Powers of Europe in parts of the Ottoman Empire such as Lebanon and Macedonia. The Mürzsteg Reform Program of 1903–1908 was one such multilateral operation by the Great Powers, which has largely been dismissed for its failure to bring peace and stability to Ottoman Macedonia. However, an apparent exception to the rule was the British patrolled sector, where the British “peacekeepers” managed to swiftly establish themselves in a position of authority and implement reforms. Even their physical presence was credited for providing a pacifying effect on the local population. The British success was in stark juxtaposition to the French, Italian, and Austrian sectors, where political and ethnic violence continued and “peacekeepers” faced physical obstruction and bureaucratic recalcitrance from the Ottoman authorities. The intent of this study is to examine British official reports and diplomatic correspondence to address the question of whether the British “proto-peacekeeping” operation in Ottoman Macedonia was a truly a success and, if so, what factors can account for it.
The Mexican Revolution of 1910 was the explosive culmination of decades of economic transformation under the modernization program of Porfirio Díaz. Governmental policies intended to “modernize” Mexico led to tragic results for the majority of the population, especially the rural poor. Paradoxically, along with its often indiscriminate violence and destruction, the revolution also served as a creative force, planting in the era's children, for instance, the seeds of a deeply held belief in social justice. The youngsters shared with their elders a sense that the revolution would ultimately bring about a more just and equitable society. In addition, the revolution left a legacy of symbols and myths that constructed a national archetype—the child as revolutionary and the revolutionary as child.
International socialism's campaign of peace on the eve of World War I mobilized up to one million European workers to protest against the insanity of a European bloodletting. Yet the skewed image of “all” Europeans rallying to their fatherland in a patriotic frenzy is alive and well. The knowledge of this expansive peace movement largely has been marginalized and its nature misunderstood or interpreted ideologically. This article revisits the peace crusade of international socialism on the eve of World War I so that its size, complexity, and accomplishments can be appreciated fully. Instead of emphasizing the divisions and weaknesses of the movement—the conventional approach—the article attempts to describe and to explain how European socialist parties were able to stitch together an expansive international peace movement in spite of ideological, legal, and logistical challenges. The article starts with a brief overview of the peace activism of the Second International from 1889 to 1912 and then focuses on the spectacular antiwar campaign of “War against War!” and its concomitant International Socialist Congress of Basle in the autumn of 1912 to demonstrate three points: first, to shed new light on the peace movement of international socialism; second, to explain how the 1912 antiwar campaign informed socialist peace strategies on the eve of World War I (and thereby to dispel the myth of “war celebration” among Europe's working classes); and finally, to consider briefly the importance of this history for peace activists of today.
Historians have recently devoted significant attention to exploring the ways in which gendered imagery and assumptions were used to mobilize popular support for U.S. foreign and military policies during World War I. Preparedness and government propagandists routinely conflated manliness with military service and attempted to discredit male opponents of war by casting aspersions on their masculinity. The female Red Cross worker was upheld as the ideal model citizen for American women. But a diverse array of antiwar groups hotly contested the notions of gendered citizenship duties promoted by pro-war activists. This article explores the responses of the Socialist Party, Industrial Workers of the World, and American Federation of Labor to the gendered propaganda of preparedness advocates and the Wilson administration between 1914 and 1918.
This essay aims at developing the research on antimilitarist men from gender perspectives to acquire more nuanced and precise understandings. The focus is on pictures. I interpret images and texts as elements in cultural communication and in relation to their historical contexts, and look at how socialist antimilitarist ideals and norms coincided with and differed from dominant notions of what men should be. The essay includes discussions of concepts of masculinity, manliness, and unmanliness. I argue that socialist antimilitarist manlinesses contested military values in various degrees and forms, and find four different but overlapping sets of ideals and norms. The first three are revolutionary, muscular, and pacifist socialist manliness, and the fourth is related to visions of a new humanity. I also argue that to better understand men taking the risk to be culturally marginalized, we need more research with a focus on the perspectives of the men themselves.
Devere Allen (1891–1955), a prominent pacifist and socialist, was a journalist, author, editor, and historian of peace movements. He championed the cause of nonviolent resistance to war and militarism, especially as an influential member of the Socialist Party of America in the 1930s. He was the founder of the No-Frontier News Service, a clearinghouse for the exchange of news and information about the international peace movement, which also communicated the peace philosophy to the wider community. Allen's articulate expression of his pacifist beliefs and his extensive organizational involvement made him a central figure in the peace movement in the years between the world wars.
This essay examines Lucy Robins's contributions to the amnesty movement. A protégé of Emma Goldman, Robins undertook her amnesty campaign at Goldman's behest. Frustrated with what she defined as the left's lack of “constructive” solutions, Robins shifted her political alliances and joined the American Federation of Labor. Robins's choice to pursue amnesty within the A.F. of L., the essay argues, sheds important light on the early history of the civil liberties movement and its relationship to labor politics.
In April 1919, the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) created the Old Country Service School (OCSS) to train foreign-born women in American social welfare philosophy. The YWCA expected OCSS students to help rebuild war-torn Europe. A study of the school's curriculum and students provides an interesting examination of gender, class, and identity as they related to international peace efforts during the interwar years.
The mission of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) changed in fundamental ways in the 1920s. In the wake of the Great War, Nicholas Murray Butler, the CEIP's second president, decided that the institution's prewar focus on research and legalism was insufficient to meet the threat posed to “civilization” by continued war and revolution. Under his leadership, the CEIP became an active proponent of Wilsonianism, a more intrusive form of American internationalism. This article examines Butler's understanding of the purpose of conservative peace institutions in revolutionary times. It also aims to contribute to our understanding of the role of nongovernmental organizations in international relations and the development of cultural relations.
When the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) decided to open its membership to African American women in 1915, it entered a new era. Just as women changed the agenda and direction of the peace movement when they became increasingly involved in what had been an all-male club, so too did African American women alter the path of a cause that had previously lacked racial diversity. Black women brought to the movement historical experiences shaped by multidimensional pressures and societal racism. Their experiences influenced their definition of peace and freedom, which sometimes led to intense debate between them and their white colleagues over related issues. Nevertheless, the two groups of women were able to put aside their differences long enough to move forward on certain goals. Along the way, black and white dissidents had a tremendous impact upon each other. This study examines one side of that process: specifically, how African American women's increased presence in WILPF, coupled with their heightened desire to eradicate racial injustice, compelled the white leadership to revisit its own conceptions of peace and freedom.
Generations of peace seekers have sought an alternative modeling of the world beyond the Westphalian system of separate sovereign states. Recent global trends have raised the possibility of new institutional frameworks and processes for promoting world peace, including that of “cosmopolitan democracy.” If the utopian vision of cosmopolitan democracy is to become real, then the development of new political structures must be accompanied by a growing consciousness of what it means to be a cosmopolitan citizen. This paper examines the methods developed by one “utopian” to prepare his coworkers and followers for cosmopolitan citizenship in London during the years prior to the Second World War.
The American League for Peace and Democracy (ALPD) was the foremost group representing Americans who worked for peace in the 1930s on the basis of antifascism rather than pacifism. It also was the most important organization within the antifascist, pro-Soviet Popular Front of the Great Depression. But its story largely is absent in histories of the American peace movement. Harry F. Ward, a prominent clergyman and activist in leftliberal circles for decades, was the ALPD's chair from 1934 until its dissolution in 1940 following the Nazi–Soviet nonaggression pact. The story of the ALPD, and of Ward's political downfall at the hands of anticommunist colleagues, offers a window into the complexity of progressive politics during this tumultuous era and shows how liberals, radicals, and pacifists formed an anticommunist alliance prior to U.S. entry into World War II.
For much of the twentieth century, the War Resisters League (WRL) has offered a “socialist” pacifist critique of the existing world order and capitalistic system. Virtually alone among the secular Left in America, the WRL repudiated the use of armed violence to promote class war, advance social revolution, and defeat fascism during the Spanish Civil War. Unlike international wars, which it considered the product of capitalist rivalries and power politics, the League viewed the Spanish conflict as a class war/social revolution and championed a nonviolent social revolution and Republican victory. Also, WRL members both played a prominent role the Socialist Party (SP) debate over the Spanish conflict and formulated a pacifist critique of the SP and those radicals who embraced armed defense and armed social revolution in Spain. Largely unknown, this socialist pacifist current comprises an important alternative vision in the American socialist tradition, and one with continued relevance to nonviolent social change.
This article investigates a neglected dimension in the history of the U.S. peace movement—the local level. By examining the Syracuse Peace Council between 1936 and 1973, the author not only advances our knowledge of the community-level peace movement, but aids in providing a fuller understanding of the national movement during this time.
In the generation prior to Irwin Abram's (2001) second edition of The Nobel Peace Prize, the field of peace history has proliferated dramatically and has become ever more a comprehensive record of social reform, as well as a multi-disciplinary approach using social mobilization analysis in innovative ways. The field has also become increasingly international, in terms or cooperative research across national boundaries, in its subject matter, and in its contribution to a global paradigm shift regarding war and peace.
The Minnesota branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom sponsored two volunteer work camps for college students in 1939 and 1940. This article traces the group's commitment to economic justice and racial equality as it evolved during those camp experiences. More broadly, it provides a fuller understanding of the peace movement's social justice activism in the years between two world wars.
The East and West Association was formed during World War II with the aim of aiding the Allied war effort in Asia by helping Americans understand the culture and concerns of the people of China and India. Led by the novelist and political activist Pearl S. Buck, the association soon developed what the author calls a “critical internationalism” perspective, working against colonialism and racism in Asia and in the United States during World War II and expanding that work to include a critique of the Cold War in the following years. While the association did not have a major impact on United States policy during the 1940s, its efforts provided one model of how to mobilize United States public opinion on international affairs, and an analysis of its perspectives can help historians and activists distinguish between very different types of “internationalisms.”
Utilizing archival sources in both the United States and Britain to describe the changes in American policy in Iraq during World War II, and tracing the emergence of the United States as an important factor in Iraq's politics and history, the authors challenge the notion that the United States was a passive bystander to events there during the war. Washington initially followed the British lead, but, beginning in 1942, the United States became more assertive in its relations with Iraq, with American diplomats, State Department officials, postwar planners, and intelligence officers promoting the ideals of the Atlantic Charter while simultaneously aiming to secure Iraq's petroleum and tying it into a network of Western alliances. Iraq's vital strategic position and its rich petroleum resources made it an important part, along with Saudi Arabia and Iran, of the American effort to secure, militarily and economically, the oil-rich Gulf region for the West in the postwar era.