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CHAPTER SIX The Maternal Instinct On 29 August 1914 fifteen hundred women in mourning dress marched silently down Fifth Avenue in New York City to the beat of muffled drums. Crowds interrupted their silence with applause as the leaders of the parade displayed their peace flag, a large white banner with a dove carrying an olive branch in the center. The women's funereal but dramatic protest against the war in Europe marked the beginning of a remarkable transformation of the peace movement in the UnitedStates.1 Within a year after the Woman's Peace Parade a multitude of new leaders and societies emerged to challenge the political and methodological biases of earlier peace organizations. Prewar leaders had viewed their peace campaign as a movement for sta­ bility, order, and the extension abroad of established American institutions; the new leaders after 1914 came to visualize the peace movement as a vehicle of change, of economic and political democratization. As their standard for the reform of international relations, these new leaders looked to social and political ideals that they insisted were still quite imperfectly embodied in present American institutions. While the older emphasis upon order and stability persisted vigorously in such organizations as the League to Enforce Peace, new groups explored the full range of possible connections between peace, particular domestic reforms, and po­ litical radicalism. The Woman's Peace Parade, organized within less than a month after the outbreak of the war, actually gave only the slight­ est intimations of the changes in the peace movement that were soon to come. The impetus for the parade had stemmed not from the desire to promote a specific peace program, but from "an im­ perative necessity for expression."2 The urgency of making a time­ ly protest overrode attempts to formulate a set of policies. Most of the leaders of the Parade Committee were content to view the 1New York Times, 30 Aug. 1914, H, 11:3. 2 "Minutes of the Peace Parade Committee," 12 Aug. 1914, p. 2, Fanny Garrison Villard Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University. The Maternal Instinct—183 parade as having three broad purposes: to express horror of war and sympathy with suffering in Europe; to emphasize the particu­ lar complaint of women against war; and to urge President Wil­ son to continue his efforts to offer mediation.3 But despite the modesty of its proposals, the Woman's Peace Parade did mark a departure in style, and to a lesser extent in leadership and con­ tent, from the prewar peace organizations. The Parade Committee's most apparent departure was in method. Several of the older organizations had made quiet pro­ tests through regular channels, but none had taken dramatic pub­ lic action. The women, many of them veterans of woman suffrage, social reform, and labor organizations did not share the distrust of demonstrations and the fear of indiscreet action that inhibited leaders of older peace organizations. The new departures in style symbolized by the Peace Parade suggested also the possibility of changes in political philosophy. In these years the tactic of ap­ pealing for popular support through public demonstrations had been frequently adopted by labor and reform groups. Leaders of the older peace societies were apt to view such methods as dema­ gogic and undignified. They sought to exert influence quietly and judiciously through official channels, an approach long preferred by promoters of more conservative causes. Not only had the Parade Committee acted dramatically while the older peace societies remained relatively silent, but it had be­ gun to enlist a new leadership. The chairman of the Parade Com­ mittee, Mrs. Henry Villard, the daughter of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and a discontented member of the New York Peace Society, proclaimed, "this is a time for a new peace move­ ment."4 Of the fourteen vice-chairmen of the committee, all from New York, only one was affiliated with the New York Peace So­ ciety; only nine of a committee of 121 supporting the parade be­ longed to that organization. Among the many women who were new to the peace movement were active social workers and settle­ ment house residents, leaders of the Women's Trade Union League, presidents of women's clubs and veteran woman suffrage workers.5 Some of the club and society women and the repres Ibid., pp. 2, 19-23, 25; "Rough draft o£ two-page memorandum of Woman's Peace Parade," F. G. Villard Papers, HL; New York Times, η Aug. 1914, 7:6 and...


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