Two Votes Against War and Other Writings on Peace by Jeannette Rankin

Two Votes Against War and other writings by the suffragist, lifelong pacifist, and first woman elected to the U.S. Congress (1917).

“In the geography class, we learned as children how to bound the country in which we live. By the map we were taught to orientate ourselves nationally. To most of us those boundary lines and coast lines still represent the limits of our country, and we feel that we have no concern with what lies beyond them. At any rate, we rested in that illusion until the bitter awakening which recently overtook us. It seems now that we must forthwith go to school again and learn about boundaries in a wholly different kind of way, namely, that they do not represent the end of the good citizen’s responsibility but also a beginning. Boundaries are contacts as well as limits. At what point do the interests of our country meet and possibly conflict with those of other countries? What are our real interests anyway and are they worth a war for their protection? And are the interests in question those of the nation as a whole or merely those of a small group of men or even of a single man? Are such clashes anyway settled better by heat and conflict or by a reasonable adjustment?”

    —Jeannette Rankin, “Peace and the Disarmament Conference”

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