Page 8

Title page


Foreward to 2002 edition

Chapter 1: The Anti-Imperialist League 1898-1902
Pages 3 - 4

Chapter 2: The People's Council 1917-1919
Pages 5 - 6 - 7

Chapter 3: The American League Against War and Fascism and the Emergency Peace Campaign 1933-1939
Pages 8 - 9 - 10

Chapter 4: The Progressive Citizens of America 1946-1948
Pages 11-12

Chapter 5: The "Mobes" against the Vietnam War 1966-1970
Pages 13-14

Chapter 6: The Nuclear Freeze Movement and People-to-People Diplomacy 1980-1990
Pages 15-16-17-18

Chapter 7: Global Movement for a Culture of Peace 2000-
Pages 19-20-21

Chapter 8: The Root Causes of War
Pages 22-23-24-25-26-27

Chapter 9: The Future of the Peace Movement
Pages 28-29-30-31

Pages 32-33-34-35-36

Page 37

The largest and most effective peace movements in the years between the two World Wars sprang up in response to the threat of fascism (note 5).  By 1932 fascism had already seized power in Italy and Germany and had begun to develop powerful war machines. Fascist solutions were being proposed in the other capitalist countries to deal with the massive unemployment and militant organizing of workers during the Great Depression. In Germany, fascism was justified by Hitler to his anti-communist supporters as a domestic force against the communist and socialist parties and an international force against the only socialist country, the Soviet Union.

The American League Against War and Fascism was organized in September 1933 at a United States Congress Against War. The stimulus came from Europe where communists, socialists, liberals, and pacifists were beginning to work together in the face of the fascist threat. The United States Congress in 1933 was patterned after a World Congress Against War held in Amsterdam in 1932. Fascism had accomplished what no amount of ideological argument could do: it brought the socialists, communists and liberals together into a united front. Although their alliance was unstable and there were frequent quarrels, the American League prospered. By 1935 it could claim a rank and file membership of over two million through its affiliated organizations, which were particularly extensive in organized labor and in Protestant denominations.

The Emergency Peace Campaign, which Chatfield's history calls "the greatest single pacifist effort" between the World Wars, was established in 1935 as a ruling class response to the peace mobilization on the Left. It was intended to provide an anti-communist peace movement for liberals and conservatives. The Campaign grew out of a meeting of ruling class leaders described by Chatfield as "distinguished almost to a fault. These men, in their dinner jackets and black ties, were educators, editors, lawyers, or political figures. They typified conservative internationalists." Faced with a growing Left, their object "was not to stem the tide but...swerve it into the true channel of international cooperation." At its peak in 1931 the Campaign had developed workers and committees in some 2,000 towns and cities and it had a list of sponsors that represented all sectors of the nation's establishment.

The two organizations represented different class interests. The American League Against War and Fascism, though it attempted to attract as broad a following as possible and included many members of Roosevelt's Cabinets, was based primarily in the working class and its leadership was largely socialist and communist. By 1937, its Communist Party members boasted that 30 percent of the entire organized labor movement was represented in the League, and labor delegates occupied 413 of the 1416 seats at the national convention. Afro-Americans were also well represented in both the leadership and rank-and-file delegates. The Emergency Peace Campaign, on the other hand, drew mostly from the middle and upper classes and obtained little support from organized labor.

The programs of the two organizations reflected their different class interests. The League declared that "both war and fascism were organized by the same people for the same purpose - the preservation of their power and privilege" and it proposed to "withdraw from the war system the services and support of the masses, particularly the workers and farmers." The Emergency Peace Campaign took an isolationist position that sought to "promote international economic justice and keep a neutral America out of foreign wars."

(continued on next page)

previous page
home page
next page