Noteworthy Essays
Secondary Sources
Primary Sources

 

Women & Peace History

Since the nineteenth century, considerable overlap has existed between the American women's movement and the American and international peace movements. Historical scholarship focusing on women peacemakers, whether as individuals or members of a group, has been building. As is obvious from a glance at the secondary source listings below, however, considerable work remains. The landmark book to consult on this topic is still Harriet Hyman Alonso's Peace as a Women's Issue: A History of the U.S. Movement for World Peace and Women's Rights (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1993).

The purpose of this page is to provide information about historical resources relating to American women and peace in history. It maintains listings of both primary and secondary sources available. Descriptions of the holdings in archives that maintain extensive collections of primary source material relating to American women and peace in history are below. These include the papers of individual peacemaker women as well as collections of women's peace organizations. The secondary sources section breaks the scholarship down by era. As with other sections of this web site, this page also highlights new or currently relevant work on this topic. To alert us to any resources to include or articles to highlight, please email our webmaster.

New & Noteworthy

Don't miss the new monumental work by Christopher McKnight Nichols, which examines internationalists and isolationists in the early twentieth century. It is terrific and includes terrific scholarship on Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch. Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age, published by Harvard University Press, is available through your favorite book retailer.

Check out Kristen E. Gwinn's biography of the social reformer and WILPF co-founder Emily Greene Balch, entitled Emily Greene Balch: The Long Road to Internationalism, published by the University of Illinois Press (December 2010). You may order it through amazon or your favorite online retail book store. For more information about the book, click here.

Read peace historian Harriet Hyman Alonso's essay considering the comparisons between Addams's Hull House neighborhood and a modern Brooklyn neighborhood: "Zip Code 11218 and Jane Addams's Newer Ideals of Peace."

For those folks interested in the history of peace movements and peace people or in peace and conflict resolution, you might want to look into the Peace History Society. (www.peacehistorysociety.org) Along with membership comes an on-line newsletter, announcements of conferences including PHS’s own meetings, links to other peace history related sites and a subscription to the journal Peace & Change: A Journal of Peace Research. An upcoming issue of the journal will feature articles and book reviews on Jane Addams, WILPF, women’s peace activism, and UNSCR 1325.

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Secondary Sources

Secondary sources containing histories of the women and groups that have consistituted this movement in American history vary in scope and detail. Without question, certain eras have received more scholarly attention than others.

Certain eras have received more scholarly attention than others. Women's peace activism during the First and Second World Wars, in the 1960s against the Vietnam War, the movement against nuclear proliferation, are examples of more examined eras in history. To help guide your search or interest, secondary scholarship is broken down by eras below. Further, the women and work of the U.S. Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) seem to dominate many of these studies. This is not surprising, given the dominance of this organization as the longest lasting peace organization in our history. Because of that fact, scholarship pertaining specifically to the history of the WILPF is listed separately, as are biographies of American peace women.

General World War I - 1920s
WILPF 1930s - World War II
Biography 1950s - 1970s
  1980s - Present
   
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General

Adams, Judith Porter. Peacework: Oral Histories of Women Peace Activists. Boston: Twayne, 1990.
Alonso, Harriet Hyman.Peace as a Women's Issue: A History of the U.S. Movement for World Peace and Women's Rights. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1993.
Chatfield, Charles. The American Peace Movement: Ideals and Activism. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992.
________. For Peace and Justice: Pacifism in America, 1914-1941. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971.
________, ed. Peace Movements in America. New York: Schocken, 1973.
Curti, Merle. Peace or War: The American Struggle: 1636-1936. New York: Norton, 1936.
Rupp, Leila. Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women's Movement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997.
Wittner, Lawrence S. Rebels Against War: The American Peace Movement, 1933-1983. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1984.
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WILPF Histories

Ballantyne, Edith. “WILPF History: Past, Present, Future.” Peace and Freedom (22 March 2004).
Blackwell, Joyce. No Peace Without Freedom: Race and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915-1975. IL: Southern Illinois University, 2004.
Bussey, Gertrude and Margaret Tims. Pioneers for Peace: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915-1965. Oxford: Alden Press, 1980.
Degen, Marie Louise. The History of the Woman’s Peace Party. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1939.
Foster, Carrie A. The Women and the Warriors: The U.S. Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915-1946. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1995.
Foster, Catherine. Women for All Seasons: The Story of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989.
Schott, Linda K. Reconstructing Women’s Thoughts: The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Before World War II. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press 1997.

Peace and Freedom Magazine

See all editions of The WILPF's Peace and Freedom magazines from 1999 through the present.


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Biography

Cook, Blanche Wiesen. Crystal Eastman on Women and Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Daniels, Doris Groshen. Always a Sister: The Feminism of Lillian D. Wald, A Biography. New York: The Feminist Press at The City University of New York, 1989.
Fowler, Robert Booth. Carrie Catt: Feminist Politician. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986.
Gwinn, Kristen E. Emily Greene Balch: The Long Road to Internationalism. IL: The University of Illinois Press, Forthcoming.
Herman, Sondra R. Eleven Against War. California: Hoover Institution Press, 1969.
Knight, Louise W. Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005.
________. Jane Addams: Spirit in Action. New York: Norton, 2010.
Norgren, Jill. Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President. New York: New York University Press, 2007.
Randall, Mercedes M. Improper Bostonian: Emily Greene Balch, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1946. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1964.
Sklar, Kathryn Kish. Florence Kelley & the Nation’s Work: The Rise of Women’s Political Culture, 1830-1900. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995.
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World War I - the 1920s

[Also, see the primary sources below that relate to this era.]

Alonso, Harriet Hyman. The Women’s Peace Union and the Outlawry of War, 1921-1942. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989.
DeBenedetti, Charles. Origins of the Modern American Peace Movement, 1915-1929. Millwood NY: KTO Press, 1978.
Early, Frances H.  A World Without War: How U.S. Feminists and Pacifists Resisted World War I. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1997.
Kuhlman, Erika A. Petticoats and White Feathers: Gender Conformity, Race, the Progressive Peace Movement, and the Debate over War, 1895-1919. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997.
Patterson, David S. The Search for Negotiated Peace: Women’s Activism and Citizen Diplomacy in World War I. New York: Routledge, 2008.
Steinson, Barbara J. American Women's Activism in World War I. New York: Garland Publishing, 1982.
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1930s - World War II

Alonso, Harriet H. The Women’s Peace Union and the Outlawry of War, 1921-1942. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989.

1950s - 1970s

DeBenedetti, Charles. An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era. Assisted by Charles Chatfield. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1990.
Epstein, Barbara. Political Protest and Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the 1970s and 1980s. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991.
Swerdlow, Amy. Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
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1980s - Present

Benjamin, Medea, and Jodie Evans. Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism. HI: Inner Ocean Publishing, 2005.
Gioseffi, Daniela, ed. Women on War: Essential Voices for the Nuclear Age. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.
Harris, Adrienne, and Ynestra King, eds. Rocking the Ship of State: Toward a Feminist Peace Politics. San Francisco: Westview, 1989.

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Primary Sources

Published Primary Sources / Digital Collections / Archival Resources / Return to Top

Primary sources refer to source materials that originate from or by the subject of study. These original sources include such documents as letters, journals, and newspapers or other publications dating to the original time period under consideration. This section lists published primary sources that might be of interest to those studying American women and peace in history. It then details the collections of primary sources in several archives.

Published Primary Sources

Balch, Emily Greene. Approaches to the Great Settlement. With an introduction by Norman Angell. New York: B.W. Huebsch for the American Union Against Militarism, 1918.

Bell, Julian, ed. We Did Not Fight: 1914-18 Experiences of War Resisters. London: Cobden-Sanderson, 1935.

Detzer, Dorothy. Appointment on the Hill. New York: Holt, 1948.

Jacobs, Aletta. Memories: My Life as an International Leader in Health, Suffrage, and Peace, ed. Harriet Feinberg, trans. Annie Wright,. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1996.

Lochner, Louis P. Always the Unexpected: A Book of Reminiscences. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1956.

________. The Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation. Stockholm: Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation, 1916.

Randall, Mercedes M. Beyond Nationalism: The Social Thought of Emily Greene Balch. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1972.

Snowden, Mrs. Philip [Ethel]. A Political Pilgrim in Europe. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1920.

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Digital Collections

Online collections of primary sources are beginning to gain a presence on the internet. Reputable collections ensure both the authenticity and accuracy of the online information. An especially relevant digital collection, which is only available by subscription, is Women and Social Movements in the United States. This collection advances understanding of women in American history through more than 2,800 primary source documents.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection (see below) also maintains several excellent photograph exhibitions, which depict the history of the women's peace movement. Click here!

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SCPCArchival Resources

See also the discussion of archival resources for Jane Addams materials.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection (SCPC) houses the largest collection of materials relating to the history of peace in the United States, particularly as it relates to women and the women's movement. Especially noteworthy collections at the SCPC are noted below and, if available, a link is provided to each collection's description or finding aid.

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Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Jane Addams Collection
American Peace Society Records
American Peace Test Records
American Peoples Mobilization
American School Citizenship League Records
American Union Against Militarism Records
Another Mother for Peace Records
Gertrude Baer Papers
Hannah Bailey Papers
Emily Greene Balch Papers
Katherine Devereux Blake Papers
Ellen Starr Brinton Papers
Kay Camp Papers
Carrie Chapman Catt Papers
Dorothy Detzer Papers
Crystal Eastman Papers
Emergency Peace Campaign Records
Fellowship of Reconciliation, U.S. Records
Rose Dabney Forbes Papers
Henry Ford Peace Expedition Records
Lella Secor Florence Papers
Anna Melissa Graves Papers
Hannah Clothier Hull Papers
Louis P. Lochner Papers
Edwin Doak & Lucia Ames Mead Papers
National Council for Prevention of War Records
People's Council of America for Democracy and Peace Records
Alice Thacher Post Papers
Edith Mary Pye Papers
Mercedes M Randall Papers
Dorothy Medders Robinson Papers
Rosika Schwimmer Papers
Vida D. Scudder Papers
Rebecca Shelley Papers
Anna Garlin Spencer Papers
Mabel Vernon Papers
Julia Grace Wales Papers
Agnes D Warbasse Papers
Woman's Peace Party Records
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section, Records
World Peace Foundation Records
 
 

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New York Public Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division

 
Carrie Chapman Catt Papers
Frieda Langer Lazarus Papers
Roska Schwimmer / Lola Maverick Lloyd Collection
Women's Peace Union Papers
 

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Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College

Fannie Fern Andrews Papers
 
 

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University of Colorado at Boulder

American Friends Service Committee (Colorado Peace Network) Records
Elise Boulding Papers
Janet Bruin Papers
Irene Eckert Papers
International Peace Research Association Records
Shirley A. Nuss Papers
Kathy Partridge Papers
SANE (Boulder Chapter) Records
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Records (Various Accessions)
Women’s Work for Peace In the 20th Century
 

 

Sophia Smith Collection

Jane Addams Papers
Madeleine Zabriskie Doty Papers
International Alliance of Women Records
Lola Maverick Lloyd Papers
Peace Collection
Schwimmer-Lloyd Collection
Gladys V. Swackhamer Papers
Florence Guertin Tuttle Papers
Women's Action for New Directions Records
 

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University of Illinois at Chicago, Special Collections

Edith and Grace Abbot Collection
Catharine Waugh McCulloch Papers
Alma Petersen Papers
Hilda Satt Polacheck Papers
 

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Jane Addams: A Chronology  
Statement regarding the Celebration of The 150th Anniversary of Jane Addams’s Birth and The Tenth Anniversary of the Adoption of United Nations Security Resolution 1325  
Zip Code 11218 and Jane Addams's Newer Ideals of Peace  
Historical chart comparing the 1915 and 1919 WILPF resolutions and U.N. SCR 1325  
   
   
   
   
See links to primary and secondary resources about Jane Addams at our Jane Addams Scholarship Forum