In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Preface I N the mid 1890s the peace movement in the United States con­ sisted of a small handful of provincial, impoverished societies with little claim to power or influence. The leaders of these so­ cieties had largely reconciled themselves to playing the role of semimartyred visionaries calling for reforms that were too "ad­ vanced" to gain current respectability. By 1912 the movement had become relatively affluent and emi­ nently respectable. Participation in the movement by an impres­ sive number of the nation's political, business, religious, and aca­ demic leaders gave promise of influence upon national policy and a kind of "establishment" status. Yet only five years later, the active portion of the movement was once again weak, financially destitute, and largely excluded from any access to the formulators of national policy. This mer­ curial rise and fall of the peace movement entailed several sub­ stantial changes of leadership and purpose. Underlying the pattern of rise and fall was one of progressive development from genteel mugwumpery to practical conservatism to progressive humanitarianism to social radicalism. The peace movement between 1898 and 1918 thus offers fas­ cinating opportunities for the study of shifting coalitions of lead­ ership in a reform movement and of the complex organizational expressions of shifting purposes and goals. But the history of the peace movement in this period is far from a self-contained story. No account of its history in terms simply of successive or­ ganizations, methods, goals, and day-by-day activities can reveal more than a part of the movement's meaning and function. Its development from 1898 to 1918 was not the mere working out of some inner logic. The dramatic changes of content and purpose reflected not so much a logical progression of ideas, or even the impact of international events, as they did the motives of various groups which successively joined and came to dominate the movement. Those who participated in the peace movement in these years χ—Preface cannot be understood simply as "pacifists" or as "peace advo­ cates." Even the officers of the organizations and the most active supporters were often men and women for whom the peace movement was just one among a number of reform and profes­ sional concerns. In many cases it was the desire to promote an­ other reform program, to advance the interests of their profes­ sion, to exercise social and civic leadership, or to find a safe outlet for philanthropic or reform impulses that brought individuals into peace organizations. Throughout the period the percentage of those in the movement who adhered to a philosophy of nonresistance to violence and war remained infinitesimal. Among the great majority, who were not absolute pacifists, few found the rather abstract idea of world peace capable of commanding their total devotion. Most of the supporters of the movement were ab­ sorbed in the pursuit of other reform, professional, or status ob­ jectives. It was these other concerns, often supplemented by some particular international experience—through business, travel, or participation in some international organization—that first led them into the peace movement and then determined the purposes to which they sought to direct it. In tracing the course of the peace movement between 1898 and 1918, therefore, I have not sought to give a complete year-byyear or event-by-event account. Rather, I have tried to emphasize the interconnections of this reform movement with other contem­ porary social movements and concerns. By analyzing the motives, assumptions, and effects of several distinguishable reform or oc­ cupational groups as they successively came to play a significant role in peace organizations, I have come to view the story of the peace movement in these years as a part of innumerable other stories—the campaign for woman suffrage, the movement toward Anglo-American rapprochement, the increase of specialization in the legal profession and the law schools, the impact of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe upon New York City labor organization, the struggle over judicial recall, the search for in­ dustrial harmony, the professionalization of social work, the movements for a social gospel and church unity, the failure of the Socialist Party of America to gain significant political power, and countless others. In nearly every case, the connecting link be­ tween these multifarious stories and the peace movement was the perception by some new group of how certain configurations of international politics or attitudes toward international affairs would affect itscrucial domesticconcerns. Thus the peace movement, particularly in the period before Preface—xi 1914...


Additional Information

MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.