Women and Patriotism in Jim Crow America

By Francesca Morgan | Go to book overview

Chapter Five
The Security State

APPREHENSIONS AND disappointments resulting from the First World War further regendered women's nationalism. Especially influential among white women was the DAR's right wing. In the early 1920s it began shaping the organization's agenda. The women were rightists in that they attacked reformism and leftist radicalism simultaneously.1 The women embraced the state — especially the surveillance agencies that comprised the new security state — more fervently and unconditionally than ever. Indeed, the women struggled against the female-dominated peace movement on the state's behalf. Their rubric of “national defense” elaborated on wartime beliefs in military preparedness and entailed preserving military readiness in the face of government retrenchments, international disarmament efforts, and peace activism. More broadly, national defense conflated the state's preservation with the nation's preservation. Foremost among external threats to the nation were Bolshevik hopes for worldwide communist revolution. The idea that Bolshevik infiltrators in the United States chose as their hosts credulous liberals and reformers caused statebased nationalists to oppose international peace initiatives and domestic reforms, especially those relating to women or children, and explains why the women applauded the government's permanent surveillance efforts, which were unprecedented in American peacetime. The development of the national defense ethos among state-based nationalists illustrates the masculinization of women's nationalism because of that ethos's relative skepticism of

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Women and Patriotism in Jim Crow America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Gender and American Culture ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - The Nation 19
  • Chapter Two - The Empire 57
  • Chapter Three - The State 79
  • Chapter Four - The War 101
  • Chapter Five - The Security State 127
  • Epilogue 153
  • Notes 165
  • Bibliography 239
  • Index 273
  • Gender and American Culture 295
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