Discuss the ethics surrounding wartime activism and women’s fight for political equality.  

M6D1: Suffragettes and Kitchen Soldiers: Women at Home

This discussion addresses the following outcomes:

·         Discuss the ethics surrounding wartime activism and women’s fight for political equality.

As you read about in the assigned articles and saw in the videos, the First World War represented an opportunity for American and British women to gain access to the vote. But the major US women’s organizations were divided on how to proceed. Neiberg, M (2005). Fighting the Great War: A Global History. Harvard University Press. Carrie Chapman Catt’s National American Women’s Suffrage Association. (NAWSA) sought to score sympathy for their cause by openly supporting the war effort. Through their demonstrations of loyalty and sacrifice, the NAWSA hoped to advance their cause at the national level, earning political concessions as a reward for their dedication to America and the goal of women’s suffrage.

By contrast, Alice Paul’s National Women’s Party (NWP) took a more provocative stance, denouncing the NAWSA’s efforts at supporting the war as distracting from the real work of securing women’s suffrage. Instead, the NWP used the war as an opportunity to shame the current administration by arguing about the hypocrisy of fighting for democracy abroad when half the nation’s population at home was denied the vote. They picketed the White House, leading to the arrest of over 200 members, many of whom went on hunger strikes out of protest. While imprisoned, these women were force-fed by the state, generating public sympathy over their treatment. In 1920, after many years of struggle, the states ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, providing women the right to vote.

In preparation for this discussion, make sure you read the following articles: “Onward kitchen soldiers”,  “Suffragettes and Soviets: American Feminists and the Specter of Revolutionary Russia.”, and “’How Long Must We Wait?’” and view U.S. in World War I, Female Anti-War Reformers in WWI, Women’s Changing Wartime Roles, and Patriots & Prisoners.

Then, in an initial post of at least 250 words discuss the following:

·         How did women’s roles change during the war and how did their experiences differ from men’s?

·         Is it ethical to advocate for political agendas at home during a time of war? Why or why not? Use evidence from the readings and videos about suffrage to support your argument.

Your initial post must use evidence from the assigned readings, including at least two full citations in proper APA or Chicago style.

M6D2: The Russian Revolution

·         Critically evaluate the problems facing Imperial Russia and the transition from Empire to Provisional Government to Bolshevism.

As you read in the Neiberg text, the Russian people were frustrated over the Tsar’s mismanagement of the First World War. His seemingly callous disregard for the lives of his soldiers echoed earlier complaints about his outdated and ineffectual ruling of the Russian Empire. After his overthrow and abdication, the Provisional Government inherited a difficult situation. The new government furthered the democratic reforms of the October Manifesto, but that was not what the majority of the Russian people needed. They did not care about elections; they needed food and stability.  And so, the Provisional Government had to choose whether to satisfy the needs of its people by ending the war with Germany, even if it meant abject surrender and a humiliating loss of territory and prestige. Or, in order to gain the recognition and financial backing of the major western powers, they would have to remain at war with Germany.

The Provisional Government chose the latter and, after more soldiers died during the failed offensive of summer 1917, the Bolsheviks provided the leadership the people wanted. Individual communities began to form collective councils, called soviets, which shared resources and information. The soviets largely ignored the Provisional Government, communicating with one another and marshaling their resources until they were able to seize power in the October Revolution, which lasted less than 48 hours. One of the first acts of the new Bolshevik State was the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, a humiliating treaty that ceded much of Eastern Europe to the German Empire, but bought the fledgling state of soviets the peace and stability it needed to govern itself.

In preparation for this discussion, read Chapter 8: Driving out the Devi l in the Neiberg text as well as the Module Notes.

Then, in an initial post of at least 250 words discuss the following:

·         Explain how the Provisional Government might have remained in power by choosing a different path, considering the obstacles they faced.

·         If you were Kerensky, explain why you would have either accepted Germany’s terms or fought on in favor of Allied funding.

·         Your initial post must use evidence from the assigned readings, including at least two full citations in proper APA or Chicago style.

Read the attached chapters and, view videos.

·         Required

o    PBS (1995). U.S. in World War I in Women First & Foremost [Video File, 01:12 minutes]. Films on Demand. Retrieved from: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=103647&xtid=44852&loid=171256

o    PBS (1995). Female Anti-War Reformers in WWI in Women First & Foremost [Video File, 01:46 minutes]. Films on Demand. Retrieved from: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=103647&xtid=44852&loid=171257

o    PBS (1995). Women’s Changing Wartime Roles in Women First & Foremost [Video File, 01:44 minutes]. Films on Demand. Retrieved from: http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=103647&xtid=44852&loid=171258

o    American Experience (1995). Patriots & Prisoners in One Woman, One Vote [Video File, 14:03 minutes]. Films on Demand. Retrieved from http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=103647&xtid=44178&loid=113217

o    “Harmonies on the Homefront” Digital Exhibition. 2016. The National WWI Museum and Memorial. Retrieved from: https://www.theworldwar.org/explore/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/harmonies-homefront

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