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Anarchism, 1914-18Internationalism, Anti-Militarism and War$
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Ruth Kinna and Matthew Adams

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784993412

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784993412.001.0001

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At war with empire: the anti-colonial roots of American anarchist debates during the First World War

At war with empire: the anti-colonial roots of American anarchist debates during the First World War

Chapter:
(p.175) 8 At war with empire: the anti-colonial roots of American anarchist debates during the First World War
Source:
Anarchism, 1914-18
Author(s):

Kenyon Zimmer

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781784993412.003.0009

America’s multi-ethnic anarchist movement had a rich history of supporting anti-imperial struggles and national revolutions. The three positions that anarchists took on the war—antimilitarist neutrality, qualified support for the Allies, or calculated endorsement of a German defeat of Russia—all had their roots in earlier discourses regarding anti-colonial and nationalist causes. They also engaged in a running dialogue with anarchists in Europe such as Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta. Drawing on American anarchist writings in English, Italian, Spanish, and Yiddish, this chapter outlines the earlier positions anarchists took regarding struggles such as Middle Eastern and South Asian independence movements, the Boer War, the Cuban War of Independence and Spanish-American War, and Zionism and Jewish territorialism. It then examines how the different anarchist factions drew on these previous discussions to make anti-imperialist arguments in support of their stances, and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments.

Keywords:   World War I, Anarchism, United States, Anti-imperialism, Imperialism, National liberation

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