Between the years of 1905 and 1917, the peace movement in the United States was dominated by an ideology known as Practical pacifism. The crux of this movement was a heterodox approach to preventing war that focused upon adopting a persona that appealed to the expanding middle-classes of the nation. This focus upon the character of the movement led the Practical pacifists to concentrate their persuasion upon their ethos, which defined both how they represented their movement and the other types of persuasion the movement used. This etho-centric discourse, a discourse focused upon persuading through character, allowed the movement unprecedented growth and support within the United States. Central to their creation of this ethos was the Practical pacifists' ability to link their movement to defining tropes and discourses within the United States at the time: the idea of practical rationality; law, justice, and patriotism; Social Darwinism and the Civilization discourse; and economic stability and growth. Using rhetorical analysis to examine the ways the Practical pacifists linked their discourse to these mechanisms of cultural definition illuminates the ways these peace advocates created identification with their audience and reveals the limits of their ethocentric discourse.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2009. Major: English. Advisor: Dr. Donald Ross, Jr. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 173 pages.
Bruenger, Aaron Michael.
A middle-of-the-road peace movement: ethos and the practical pacifists..
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