‘The women of the whole world form . . . a unity’
Feminist journals and peace questions
in ‘The truest form of patriotism’

Through the debates on physical force, many women active in the feminist movement were drawn to consider wider issues of military conflict and war. Such well-known feminists as Josephine Butler, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Lydia Becker, Caroline Ashurst Biggs and Henrietta Muller intervened in debates about the role of the armed forces and the utility of warfare. These women held widely differing perspectives, and Fawcett in particular emerged as a supporter of imperialism and armed intervention. But Butler, Becker and many other feminists opposed war in principle and in practice. This chapter discusses journals that provide a history of feminist debates and disagreements over the role of force in this period. Debates on peace and war occurred in relation to a number of different campaigns. The feminist journals, discussed here, catered for a variety of political perspectives and all included coverage of international issues affecting women.

‘The truest form of patriotism’

Pacifist feminism in Britain, 1870–1902


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