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Mothers of ConservatismWomen and the Postwar Right$
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Michelle M. Nickerson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691121840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691121840.001.0001

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Patriotic Daughters and Isolationist Mothers

Patriotic Daughters and Isolationist Mothers

Conservative Women in the Early Twentieth Century

(p.1) Chapter I Patriotic Daughters and Isolationist Mothers
Mothers of Conservatism

Michelle M. Nickerson

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how women developed forms of antistatist protest in the first half of the twentieth century that posed an oppositional relationship between the family and government. By the 1950s, anticommunism and antistatism became widespread mechanisms of political protest for women on the right much as peace activism and welfare work came to seem natural for women on the left. But unlike the later generation of Cold Warrior women who exerted themselves most forcefully through local politics, conservative women of the early twentieth century made their strongest impact by attacking that national progressive state. They also demonized “internationalism” as the handmaiden to communism, discovering another foe that women's position in the family obliged them to oppose. Consequently, the earliest generation of conservative organizations adopted the habit of calling themselves “patriotic” groups to contrast their own nationalist sentiment with the internationalism of progressives, which they equated with communism. This pattern continued into the post-World War II era.

Keywords:   conservative movement, conservative women, antistatist protest, anticommunism, political protest, internationalism

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