In the political sphere women had spent much of the 1920s and early 1930s making war on war. The cause of peace and the internationalist orientation gave form and substance to women’s politics, and also politicized a wide swath of the female population that might otherwise have been preoccupied with local and domestic concerns. One need only look at the Women’s Peace Pilgrimage of 1926 when 10,000 women from all over the country marched, culminating in a great demonstration against war and for disarmament in Hyde Park; the consistent work of the Women’s Peace Crusade; how Labour, Communist, and Liberal women came together to organize ‘peace weeks;’ and the millions of women’s signatures amassed for anti- militarist petitions. In particular, by the mid-1920s and into the early 1930s disarmament became a rallying point for women’s activism. As Ethel Mannin recalled, “pacifism was all the rage. It really did seem like that—a craze.”1 However, this powerful narrative of the unity of women with peace was critiqued and gradually rewritten under the pressure of international crises in the course of the ‘Devil’s Decade.’ “The whole European situation had been altered by the change-over in this one country [Germany] from a Liberal democracy to a dictatorship,”2


Foreign Policy British Woman Relief Work Woman Prisoner Peace Movement 
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Copyright information

© Julie V. Gottlieb 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie V. Gottlieb
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldUK

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