'In 1915, pacifists organized the Anti-militarism Committee to oppose growing public enthusiasm for war. The group established two branches in New York and Philadelphia and set out to promote its agenda for the eradication of war and the preservation of American civil liberties. In its first year, the organization underwent several name changes until it finally settled on the American Union against Militarism. Among its active prominent participants was Emily Greene Balch.
The members of the American Union against Militarism lobbied Congress, published pamphlets, and conducted lectures against militarism. The group successfully worked to prevent a war with Mexico in 1916 and provided opposition to peacetime conscription following World War I. Despite being targets of intimidation as well as a government raid on its office, the activities of the American Union against Militarism continued unabated. The Civil Liberties Bureau section of the organization eventually evolved into the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
This collection is an excellent tool for researching the domestic reaction to the war spirit of the pre- and post-World War I era. Additionally, it is a key source for documenting the origins of the ACLU. The documents in this compilation cover the organization's history and include minutes of meetings, correspondence, publications, and financial records.
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