This chapter illustrates the historiography of pacifist feminism, within which there is a general reluctance to look back further than the First World War. The wide range of literature on the Victorian women's movement that has been produced over the last twenty years has either neglected the fact that many feminists were active in campaigns for international peace, or has listed ‘peace’ as a women's issue during the late nineteenth century without offering any further analysis of how women were involved, or what they did in this connection. The chapter demonstrates that there were distinct pacifist feminist arguments from as early as the 1870s. Finally, it highlights that, during the nineteenth century, the women's relationship to, and role within, the nation was being subjected to unprecedented scrutiny, and that it was particularly in pacifist, internationalist and humanitarian strands of feminism that such ideas developed.
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