Pacifism vs. Patriotism in Women's Organizations in the 1920s:
How Was the Debate Shaped by the Expansion of the American Military?


       Historians have not yet considered the ways in which women's patriotic groups might have contributed to the development of what President Dwight David Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex." This collection of documents shows that the single most important patriotic group of women, the Daughters of the American Revolution, systematically and effectively promoted the expansion of American military forces in the 1920s. The effects of their efforts lie beyond the scope of this project, but their prominence within the organization was clear.

       Historians have also not analyzed the impact of right wing attacks on women's liberal reform organizations in the 1920s. This collection of documents shows that leading reformers were unfairly characterized as unAmerican. The effects of that characterization on women's reform activities and their grass roots constituencies lies beyond the scope of this project, but we can assume that many women were prompted thereby to distance themselves from vital aspects of early twentieth century reform, particularly from social justice and international agendas.

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