Abstract

In the World War I era, U. S. public schools became a battleground in the struggle over militarism in American society. Preparedness advocates and many physical education teachers pressed for military training in the public schools. Peace educators and teacher activists, predominantly female organizers for the American School Peace League (ASPL), strongly opposed it. This article highlights the centrality of gender politics in the struggle and the role of local classroom teachers. Teachers in the campaign against military training were part of a new, more radical trend in the U. S. peace movement in the 1910s. They were often at odds with the ASPL's conservative national leader, Fannie Fern Andrews. Teacher-activists developed a significant critique of militarism and its impact on children, and built diverse and effective community coalitions. They based their political authority not on maternalism but on professional identity. This study suggests that a full account of women's political culture in the early twentieth century demands closer attention to the activities of female teachers.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 150-179
Launched on MUSE
2003-08-18
Open Access
No
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