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American Union Against Militarism

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Title: American Union Against Militarism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Crystal Eastman, Opposition to World War I, ACLU, Garland Fund, Susan N. Herman
Collection: Opposition to World War I, Organizations Established in 1915, Pacifism in the United States
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

American Union Against Militarism

The American Union Against Militarism was an American conscription, action which subjected it to state repression.


  • Organizational history 1
    • Establishment 1.1
    • Activities 1.2
  • Footnotes 2
  • Notable members 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5

Organizational history


In January 1915 a group of

  • American Union Against Militarism Records, 1915-1922, Collection: DG 004, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Swarthmore College,

External links

See also

Notable members

  1. ^ a b c Robert C. Cottrell, Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000; pg. 47.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cottrell, Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union, pg. 48.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Lillian Wald to Crystal Eastman, letter of August 27, 1917, Wald Papers, Columbia University, Box 88. Cited in "The American Union Against Militarism and World War I," an unpublished M.A. thesis by Holly Byers Ochoa, May, 1977, at the City College of the City University of New York.
  5. ^ Cottrell, Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union, pg. 49.
  6. ^ Cottrell, Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union, pg. 50.
  7. ^ Cottrell, Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union, pg. 51.


The group was also known for a time as the American Union for a Democratic Peace and the League for an American Peace. It ceased operations in 1920.

Most notable actions were their work in the effort to avert war with Mexico in 1916 and the encouragement of opposition to peacetime conscription following World War I. The office was raided by the government and AUAM publications were sometimes stopped by the postal authorities but the organization continued despite these actions.

In 1919, the organization was subpoenaed by the New York legislature's Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities, popularly known as the socialist and communist propaganda.

Activities included lobbying, publishing, a lecture campaign, and the establishment of a Civil Liberties Bureau. Out of this grew the National Civil Liberties Bureau which later became the American Civil Liberties Union.


The organization placed a strong emphasis on lobbying, sending Baldwin to Washington, DC regularly in an attempt to win elected officials to the ideas of the American Union.[7]

With American entrance into the war, a campaign against dissent was initiated, touching radical political activists, trade unionists, and critics of the war alike. Baldwin and the AUAM were in the forefront of the campaign to push back in defense of the First Amendment liberties of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right of peaceable assembly to address grievances.[6]

Particularly in its early years, the AUAM was a broadly constituted organization, including religious pacifists, socialists, and liberals, united in a distaste for war and militarism and a commitment to the maintenance of civil liberties.[5] The organization was not explicitly socialist, but rather was dedicated to a pacifist critique of international and American policy.

Lillian Wald resigned from the AAUM in August 1917, along with other moderates, over the decision by Baldwin, Eastman, and others in the organization to send delegates to a Minneapolis convention of the People's Council of America for Democracy and Peace in September.[4] The latter organization was formed to advance the Russian soviet system in the United States.

[2] This time Baldwin accepted, and he headed for New York to replace Eastman as executive director in the group's office, located in the Munsey Building on Fifth Avenue.[2] Baldwin involved himself in the activities of the

The slogan advanced by those favoring American entrance into the European conflict was that of "Preparedness." Throughout the latter part of 1915 this campaign gathered steam, inspiring the fledgling Anti-Militarism Committee to change its name to the "Anti-Preparedness Committee" in about January 1916 and to the American Union Against Militarism (AUAM) later in that year.[3]


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