Document 15: "Do You Mean to Say I've Got to Raise the Family on This?" The Records of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section, 1919-1959, Swarthmore College Peace Collection (Microfilm, reel 33, frame 82).

Introduction

      The Woman's Peace Party (WPP), organized in 1915 and led by reformer Jane Addams, sought a quick and peaceful resolution to the European war through mediation and dialogue. A delegation from the peace party attended the International Congress of Women at The Hague, Netherlands, in 1915, out of which WILPF arose. After the War, the WPP affiliated with the International WILPF, becoming the U.S. Section of the organization.[20]

      The U.S. Section of WILPF was well aware of the strong public opinion opposing the use of poison gas at the end of the war despite the recent embrace of chemical weapons as legitimate methods of waging war by much of the U.S. military (see Document 7). In this cartoon publicizing their campaign to eliminate funds in the national budget intended for use in preparing for future wars, they used the image of the skull and crossbones to represent the horrors of poison gas, hoping to use the repulsion chemical warfare engendered to convince the public of the folly of spending 88% of the national budget on the military. Notice as well the canister of poison gas on the left, as well as the ridiculous amount of armaments the unhealthy looking soldier is carrying: a bayonet, a gun, a string of amunition, and bombs on the shelf behind him.

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