Women's Peace Union

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Women's Peace Union (WPU) was organized by Caroline Lexow Babcock and Elinor Byrns in 1921 with the outset to work within the United States political system to outlaw war. WPU campaigned steadily and single-mindedly from 1923 to 1939, along with Senator Lynn Joseph Frazier of North Dakota, for a constitutional amendment that would outlaw war and the preparation for war in the United States and all its territories.[1] WPU refused to negotiate when it came to partial disarmament methods as they completely condemned all acts of violence.[2]

Although the group's ideas and strives were extreme, they were still very reflective of the attitudes of masses during that time period. A great accomplishment for the group came in the form of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 in which sixty-two nations agreed to renounce war as a way to advance national designs and as a solution to international squabbles. They were able to make their advances through their philosophy of non-violence and their push for suffrage. Their nonviolent tactics included lobbying, letter-writing campaigns and public meetings. They also adopted the principle of praising women and criticizing men. Their feminist philosophy led them to adopt the idea that it would be women who would save the United States and end all wars. Their destruction came from a narrow focus, which was mostly centered on passing the amendment against war. And they were not particularly welcoming of peace organizations that included men or encompassed popular thoughts of men which caused the WPU to be extremely isolated. By 1940, WPU was almost completely non-operable and not functioning as it was no longer in effect, but it actually started to dismantle in the mid to late 1930s.[2]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Amy Swerdlow.Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
  2. ^ a b http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdf?vid=3&hid=104&sid=826de658-9282-4421-a6f5-7afbb3f1a68a%40sessionmgr107

Further reading[edit]

  • Swerdlow, Amy, Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s. University of Chicago Press (1993). ISBN 0-226-78635-8.
  • Harriet Hyman Alonso, The Women's Peace Union and the Outlawry of War, 1921-1942. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989.