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Pela Paz! For Peace! Pour la Paix!



Edited By Maria Manuela Tavares Ribeiro, Maria Fernanda Rollo and Isabel Maria Freitas Valente

Peace is generally defined as a state of non-belligerency between states. This means that it is defined negatively as the absence of war. So is peace just a pause between two wars?
In French, the term is significant: peace is considered a slice of life between two conflicts. Thus, we speak of the early 20 th century as the «Belle Époque» and we talk about the «interwar period», which implies the failure of peace.
Twenty years after the end of the Great War, another, even more terrible conflict began. At the same time, an inversion of values took place in European minds that along with the horrors of war made it very difficult for any Franco-German reconciliation to take place. We would have to wait for the end of the Second World War and its consequences to speak of peace as a realistic utopia.
This volume brings together a number of articles in Portuguese, French and English – on topics such as «thinking peace», intellectuals and peace, federalism and universalism, religiosity and secularism, women and peace, and campaigns and mobility – from many prestigious experts and young researchers. They bring new ways of thinking and interdisciplinary perspectives, and provide an attentive, critical reading of the core subject. This volume proposes to substantiate concepts, projects, movements, speeches, images and representations, and to deepen the knowledge of the key personalities who thought about peace between 1849 and 1939.
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Women, Pacifism, and the Pan-European Union. Searching for Support in Weimar Political Culture

Gendered Politics


Women, Pacifism, and the Pan-European Union

Searching for Support in Weimar Political Culture

Rebecca Shriver*

Abstract: This examination explores the gendered rhetoric associated with interwar concepts of pacifism, nationalism, and European unity through a detailed analysis of the Pan-European Union in Germany. In an attempt to garner women’s support, some Pan-Europeanists suggested the methods and goals for continental integration were inherently feminine, and therefore marketed a European union as a feminine political outlet. To determine whether these claims were successful in attracting German women to the PEU, this analysis examines relevant files held at the Historical Archives of the European Union, census and immigration records, and period directories. These sources make it possible to determine the approximate ratio of female members in the German division of the PEU between 1926 and 1927. Additionally, women’s financial support and their integration into the organization’s structure suggest there was a higher proportion and dedication among female members when compared to contemporary mixed-gender political organizations.

For many peace advocates, the horrors of World War I cultured a hatred and fear of the fervent nationalism that they blamed for Europe’s devastation. This distaste for chauvinistic nationalism fostered the idea of creating a European political union among individuals from a variety of different ideological backgrounds.1 Although some plans to unite Europe under one government proposed unification through force, others who were tired of war, death, and violence saw a ‘pacifist’2 approach to ← 289 | 290 → unification as a means...

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