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Education for Pax Americana: The Limits of Internationalism in Progressive Era Peace Education

  • Megan Threlkeld

Abstract

Fannie Fern Andrews, a Boston educator and reformer, started the American School Peace League (ASPL) in 1908 in order to educate schoolchildren in the principles of what she called “world citizenship.” Through its curriculum, A Course in Citizenship, the ASPL taught students about cooperation, tolerance, and the peaceful settlement of disputes. At the same time, however, they were preparing white, native-born US children to lead the new world and to judge others’ capacity for membership in it—their fitness for world citizenship—according to “civilized,” white American standards. I argue that while Andrews and the ASPL professed a desire for internationalism, theirs was very much a US-dominated internationalism. A Course in Citizenship calibrated the standards of progress and civilization by which children were to measure not only themselves but others around the world. Education for peace was also education for the new American empire.

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1 On these international developments, see Coates, Benjamin Allen, Legalist Empire: International Law and American Foreign Relations in the Early Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016); Nichols, Christopher McKnight, Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011); and Boyle, Francis Anthony, Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations, 1898–1922 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999). On the Hague Conferences specifically, see Davis, Calvin DeArmond, The United States and the First Hague Peace Conference (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1962); Davis, Calvin DeArmond, The United States and the Second Hague Peace Conference: American Diplomacy and International Organization, 1899–1914 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1975); and Kuehl, Warren F., Seeking World Order: The United States and International Organization to 1920 (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 1969).

2 On the peace movement in the early twentieth century, see Patterson, David S., Toward a Warless World: The Travail of the American Peace Movement, 1887–1914 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976); Chambers, John Whiteclay II, ed., The Eagle and the Dove: The American Peace Movement and United States Foreign Policy, 1900–1922 (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1991); and Marchand, Charles Roland, The American Peace Movement and Social Reform, 1898–1918 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973).

3 Patterson, Toward a Warless World, 130.

4 Patterson, Toward a Warless World, 132; for more on progressive interest in international relations before 1914, see Dawley, Alan, Changing the World: American Progressives in War and Revolution (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003).

5 Sylvester, Robert, “Mapping International Education: A Historical Survey 1893–1944,” Journal of Research in International Education 1, no. 1 (Sept. 1, 2002), 90125 .

6 “General Statement,” in First Annual Report of the American School Peace League (Boston: American School Peace League, 1909), 11.

7 For more background on the ASPL and its place in the peace education movement, see American School Citizenship League, American School Citizenship League: An Eleven-Year Survey of the Activities of the American School Peace League from 1908 to 1919 (Boston: American School Citizenship League, 1919); Stomfay-Stitz, Aline M., Peace Education in America, 1828–1990: Sourcebook for Education and Research (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1993), 4044 ; Howlett, Charles F. and Harris, Ian M., Books, Not Bombs: Teaching Peace Since the Dawn of the Republic (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2010), 6370 ; and Bajaj, Monisha, ed., Encyclopedia of Peace Education (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2008).

8 For a general introduction to the Progressive movement, see Flanagan, Maureen A., America Reformed: Progressives and Progressivisms, 1890s–1920s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); McGurk, Michael E., A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870–1920 (New York: Free Press, 2003); and Pastorello, Karen, The Progressives: Activism and Reform in American Society, 1893–1917 (Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell, 2014). For good overviews of education during the Progressive Era, see Steffes, Tracy Lynn, School, Society, and State: A New Education to Govern Modern America, 1890–1940 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012); Reese, William J., Power and the Promise of School Reform: Grassroots Movements During the Progressive Era (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986); and Kliebard, Herbert M., The Struggle for the American Curriculum, 1893–1958, 3rd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2004).

9 On racial ideologies among Progressives, see especially Dawley, Changing the World; Southern, David W., The Progressive Era and Race, 1900–1917 (Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 2005); Bederman, Gail, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880–1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); and Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876–1917 (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000). On the influence of those ideas in education, see especially the work of Fallace, Thomas D., Dewey & the Dilemma of Race: An Intellectual History, 1895–1922 (New York: Teachers College Press, 2011); Fallace, The Racial and Cultural Assumptions of the Early Social Studies Educators, 1901–1922,” in Histories of Social Studies and Race, 1865–2000, ed. Woyshner, Christine and Haeussler, Chara Bohan (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 3755 ; and Fallace, Race and the Origins of Progressive Education, 1880–1929 (New York: Teachers College Press, 2015).

10 Howlett and Harris, Books, Not Bombs; Stomfay-Stitz, Peace Education in America; Susan Zeiger, “Teaching Peace: Lessons from a Peace Studies Curriculum of the Progressive Era,” Peace & Change 25, no. 1 (Jan. 2000), 52–69; and Lindsay Ellis, “Law and Order in the Classroom: Reconsidering a Course on Citizenship, 1914,” Journal of Peace Education 10, no. 1 (April 2013), 21–35. On Andrews's career beyond the ASPL, see Christy Jo Snider, “Peace and Politics: Fannie Fern Andrews, Professional Politics, and the American Peace Movement, 1900–1941,” Mid-America: An Historical Review 79, no. 1 (Winter 1997), 72–95.

11 Stratton, Clif, Education for Empire: American Schools, Race, and the Paths of Good Citizenship (Oakland: University of California Press, 2016); Fallace, Race and the Origins of Progressive Education; and Angulo, A. J., Empire and Education: A History of Greed and Goodwill from the War of 1898 to the War on Terror (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). On lessons about the United States within a broader international context, see Garlitz, Richard and Jarvinen, Lisa, eds., Teaching America to the World and the World to America: Education and Foreign Relations since 1870 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

12 Stratton, Education for Empire, 7.

13 Fannie Fern Andrews to H. C. Phillips, Feb. 4, 1911, box 101, Fannie Fern Andrews Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University (hereafter Andrews Papers).

14 Andrews, Fannie Fern, Memory Pages of My Life (Boston: Talisman Press, 1948), 31 .

15 Fannie Fern Andrews, “The Relation of Teachers to the Cause of Peace,” Journal of Social Science 45 (Sept. 1907), 144.

16 Andrews, “The Relation of Teachers to the Cause of Peace,” 153–54.

17 A Course of Study in Good Will,” in Third Annual Report of the American School Peace League (Boston: American School Peace League, 1911), 44 .

18 Zeiger, “Teaching Peace,” 55.

19 Zeiger, “Teaching Peace,” 55.

20 Andrews, Fannie Fern, “The American School Peace League and the European War,” in Year Book of the American School Peace League, 1914–1915 (Boston: American School Peace League, 1915), 16 ; Zeiger, “Teaching Peace,” 54; Patterson, Toward a Warless World, 137; and Andrews, Memory Pages of My Life, 36–37.

21 Cabot, Ella Lyman, et al. , A Course in Citizenship (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1914), xviixviii .

22 Cabot et al., A Course in Citizenship, xix–xx.

23 Cabot et al., A Course in Citizenship, vii-x.

24 Ella Lyman Cabot, “Friendship with Other Nations,” in A Course in Citizenship, 223–227.

25 On the development of social studies education in the 1890s and 1900s, see Halvorsen, Anne-Lise, A History of Elementary Social Studies: Romance and Reality (New York: Peter Lang, 2013); Evans, Ronald W., The Social Studies Wars: What Should We Teach the Children? (New York: Teachers College Press, 2004); and Bohan, Chara Haeussler, “Early Vanguards of Progressive Education: The Committee of Ten, The Committee of Seven, and Social Education,” Journal of Curriculum and Supervision 19, no. 1 (Fall 2003), 7394 .

26 On the origins of the “expanding horizons” or “expanding environments” curriculum in this period, see LeRiche, Leo W., “The Expanding Environments Sequence in Elementary Social Studies: The Origins,” Theory & Research in Social Education 15, no. 3 (Summer 1987), 137–54; and Akenson, James E., “Historical Factors in the Development of Elementary Social Studies: Focus on the Expanding Environments,” Theory & Research in Social Education 15, no. 3 (Summer 1987), 155–71.

27 Dunn, Arthur William, The Community and the Citizen (Boston: D. C. Heath, 1907).

28 Steffes, School, Society, and State, 167–68. For a nuanced look at the role of immigrants in American educational materials in this period, see Mirel, Jeffrey, Patriotic Pluralism: Americanization Education and European Immigrants (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).

29 J. Lynn Barnard et al., “The Teaching of Community Civics,” (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1915), 9; and Reuben, Julie A., “Beyond Politics: Community Civics and the Redefinition of Citizenship in the Progressive Era,” History of Education Quarterly 37, no. 4 (Winter 1997), 399420 .

30 Mary McSkimmon, “Suggestions for Morning Talks: Helpfulness,” in A Course in Citizenship, 56.

31 Ella Lyman Cabot, “Introduction: The Nation,” in A Course in Citizenship, 186.

32 Dewey, John, The School and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1900), 44 .

33 For details on McMurry's early curricula, see LeRiche, “The Expanding Environments Sequence in Elementary Social Studies.” It was not until after World War I that many expanding environments curricula included consideration of the whole world, and even then a significant number did not go beyond Canada and Mexico. See Halvorsen, A History of Elementary Social Studies, 89–121; and Wade, Rahima, “Beyond Expanding Horizons: New Curriculum Directions for Elementary Social Studies,” Elementary School Journal 103, no. 2 (Nov. 2002), 115–30.

34 Fannie Fern Andrews, “Introduction: The United States and the World,” in A Course in Citizenship, 283.

35 Fannie Fern Andrews, “The United States a Melting-Pot for Races,” in A Course in Citizenship, 306.

36 Fannie Fern Andrews, “Topics for Discussion: The United States and the World Culture,” 317. For more on immigration and Americanization in elementary education in the pre-World War I period, see Mirel, Patriotic Pluralism, 50–58.

37 Fannie Fern Andrews, “Introduction: The World Family,” in A Course in Citizenship, 327.

38 Fannie Fern Andrews, “Each Nation's Contribution to the World,” in A Course in Citizenship, 336.

39 Fannie Fern Andrews, “Above all Nations is Humanity,” in A Course in Citizenship, 338.

40 Fannie Fern Andrews, “World Conferences Leading to World Federation,” in A Course in Citizenship, 369.

41 Andrews, “World Conferences Leading to World Federation,” 371.

42 Fannie Fern Andrews, “The United States and World Brotherhood,” in A Course in Citizenship, 319–20.

43 Fannie Fern Andrews, “How Can We Be of Service in the World Family,” in A Course in Citizenship, 375.

44 This approach became much more common after World War I. See Osborne, Ken, “Creating the ‘International Mind’: The League of Nations Attempts to Reform History Teaching, 1920–1939,” History of Education Quarterly 56, no. 2 (May 2016), 213–40; Smaller, Harry, “An Elusive Search for Peace: The Rise and Fall of the World Federation of Education Associations (WFEA), 1923–1941,” Historical Studies in Education/Revue d'histoire de l’éducation 27, no. 2 (Sept. 2015), 95119 ; and McCarthy, Helen, The British People and the League of Nations: Democracy, Citizenship and Internationalism, c. 1918–1948 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

45 Andrews, “How Can We Be of Service in the World Family,” 375.

46 Andrews, “Introduction: The United States and the World,” 283–84.

47 On progressive approaches to US foreign relations, see Dawley, Changing the World; Jacobson, Barbarian Virtues; and Johnson, Robert David, The Peace Progressives and American Foreign Relations (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995).

48 Dawley, Changing the World, 109.

49 Mabel Hill, “Good Will Among All Communities,” in A Course in Citizenship, 176–77.

50 Ellen Lyman Cabot, “The Contribution of Each Race to American Life,” in A Course in Citizenship, 194.

51 Andrews, “Introduction: The United States and the World,” 283.

52 Zoë Burkholder notes that in the early twentieth century any lessons on “racial tolerance” were limited to white ethnic groups. Nonwhite people remained largely invisible in curricula until after World War II. Burkholder, Color in the Classroom: How American Schools Taught Race, 1900–1954 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 11 .

53 Fanny E. Coe, “Introduction: American Ideals,” in A Course in Citizenship, 231.

54 Andrews, “The United States and World Brotherhood,” 319.

55 Cabot, “Introduction: The Nation,” in A Course in Citizenship, 185–86.

56 Hill, “Good Will Among All Classes of Citizens,” 171.

57 Cabot, “The Contribution of Each Race to American Life,” 196.

58 “The Forgiving Indian,” in A Course in Citizenship, 64.

59 Cabot, “The Contribution of Each Race to American Life,” 194.

60 Kramer, Paul A., The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, & the Philippines (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006). On education as a form of “soft power,” see Kramer, Paul A., “Power and Connection: Imperial Histories of the United States in the World,” American Historical Review 116, no. 5 (Dec. 2011), 1381 . On US imperialism in Central America and the Caribbean, see Rosenberg, Emily S., Financial Missionaries to the World: The Politics and Culture of Dollar Diplomacy, 1900–1930 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999); Renda, Mary A., Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915–1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001); Briggs, Laura, Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002); and Gobat, Michel, Confronting the American Dream: Nicaragua Under U.S. Imperial Rule (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005).

61 “Will What Visiting Congressman Saw Influence Future Legislation?” Manila American, Oct. 9, 1901, quoted in Kramer, The Blood of Government, 185.

62 Mary McSkimmon, “Suggestions for Morning Talks: Gratitude,” in A Course in Citizenship, 58–9.

63 Louis A. Pérez Jr., “Incurring a Debt of Gratitude: 1898 and the Moral Sources of United States Hegemony in Cuba,” American Historical Review 104, no. 2 (April 1999), 359.

64 Pérez Jr., “Incurring a Debt of Gratitude,” 364.

65 For a useful discussion of the discourses of civilizationism in this period, see Alridge, Derrick P., “Of Victorianism, Civilizationism, and Progressivism: The Educational Ideas of Anna Julia Cooper and W.E.B. Du Bois, 1892–1940,” History of Education Quarterly 47, no. 4 (Nov. 2007), 416–46. On the perpetuation of civilizational discourse in American schools during this period and its influence on social studies curricula, see Burkholder, Color in the Classroom, especially 15–16; and Fallace, “The Racial and Cultural Assumptions of Early Social Studies Educators, 1901–1922.”

66 Fannie Fern Andrews, “National Characteristics,” in A Course in Citizenship, 329–30.

67 John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Cable Hymn,” in A Course in Citizenship, 307.

68 Fannie Fern Andrews, “European Interest in Spanish America,” in A course in Citizenship, 301.

69 Fannie Fern Andrews, “The Influence of the United States on Asia and Africa,” in A Course in Citizenship, 308–9.

70 Andrews, Fannie Fern, “The New Internationalism and Its Relation to Teaching,” in Second Annual Report of the American School Peace League (Boston: American School Peace League, 1910), 11 .

71 “Future Work in the Philippines,” New York Times, Feb. 7, 1899, 6.

72 Fannie Fern Andrews, “American Ideals Yet to be Achieved,” in A Course in Citizenship, 325.

73 Cabot, Ellen Lyman et al. , A Course in Citizenship and Patriotism (Cambridge, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1918), 325 .

74 On the ASPL during World War I, see Zeiger, Susan, “The Schoolhouse vs. the Armory: U.S. Teachers and the Campaign Against Militarism in the Schools, 1914–1918,” Journal of Women's History 15, no. 2 (Summer 2003), 150–79.

75 Fannie Fern Andrews to William Andrew, June 13, 1919, and Andrew to Andrews, Dec. 20, 1919, box 10, folder 93, Andrews Papers. On the difficulties of pursuing peace work during the First Red Scare, see Jensen, Joan M., “All Pink Sisters: The War Department and the Feminist Movement in the 1920s,” in Decades of Discontent: The Women's Movement, 1920–1940, ed. Scharf, Lois and Jensen, Joan M. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983), 199222 ; and Nielsen, Kim E., Un-American Womanhood: Antiradicalism, Antifeminism, and the First Red Scare (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2001).

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