The period between 1911 and 1918 encompasses a number of events, movements and political attitudes that often worked at cross purposes and which all had a stake in defining the role of the mothers of Italy: the Italian campaign in Libya, the emergence of an organized antimilitarist movement that included socialists and anarchists, the continuing "battle of the sexes" and the women's movement, Nationalism and pronatalism, and Italy's intervention in World War I.
Antimilitarist women, however, brought politics into the domestic realm in that they idealized the unbreakable connection between mother and son, and then literally inserted mothers' bodies, in the form of authors and activists, into the public conversation about the ethics of war.
Writing in L'avvenire anarchico, textile worker and antimilitarist activist Jessa Pieroni represents this union of politics and private life:
While the antimilitarist use of motherhood as a way into citizenship might have been unconventional, the foregrounding of motherhood as a woman's primary role was already familiar to Italian readers.
For all their infighting, antimilitarists were able to rally fellow radicals en masse when it came to confronting "blatant abuses of power and hierarchy on the part of the government and military" (p.
Miller further insists that the experience of open debate and protest between 1900 and 1914 won even the most pur et dur antimilitarists over to the Republic.
Inflammatory denunciations of the patrie were, as antimilitarist leaders well knew, effective tools for capturing media and government attention, but they did not inspire the same kind of unified response among the working class as did questions of military abuse.
Although Miller admits that no clear link between the soldiers and the antimilitarist propaganda existed, the antimilitarists were successful in presenting the mutiny to the public as a defense of the civil rights of the protesters against an irresponsible military establishment.
Whereas in the decades after 1870 the antimilitarists had stood on the fringes of French political culture and society through their sharply antipatriotic and revolutionary propaganda, by 1914 they were now focusing on war itself and "its cruelty, its indifference to human life, and its capacity to reverse the 'progress' of European civilization, which included the bourgeoisie.
THE ROLE of the French antimilitarist Left in the years before World War I and its apparent "collapse" in the face of the nationalist surge in 1914 has for decades been widely debated by historians.
The affiche rouge affair of 7 October 1905 surrounded the activities of members of the Association Internationale Antimilitariste (AIA) who littered Paris with an antimilitarist affiche aimed at army conscripts.
Although there is a convergence of interests between antimilitarists
and sectors of the Right on the issue of "no U.