Jane Addams: “Passing of the War Virtues”

(1907)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

One of the chief concerns of Progressives was the establishment of effective institutions that could replace the notions of individualism and unrestrained commercialism that had characterized the Gilded Age. In chapter 8 of her book Newer Ideals of Peace (1907), entitled “Passing of the War Virtues,” Addams claims that a fairer society can be achieved only if the older military values that are considered founding virtues of the American social order are replaced by “the growth of that beneficent and progressive patriotism which we need for the understanding and healing of our current national difficulties.” The chapter is a logical anticipation of Addams's involvement in the movement against U.S. entry into World War I. Although Addams credits the war spirit of the past with having brought men together, she claims that the changing times require a new type of spirit, one that seeks “the construction of means” by “industrial action”...

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Jane Addams (Library of Congress)

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