‘in not a few respects, a common history’: Women, Wartime Lawmaking, and the Prosecution of Dissenters’

University of Illinois Press
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Frontiers of Labor Comparative Histories of the United States and Australia, 2018, pp. 82 - 103
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This essay brings the work of labor journalists to the foreground in a study of national responses to the coming of world war. In Australia and the United States the democratic rights of citizens to dissent, to exercise their freedom of speech, and to protest in print were curtailed and criminalized by the passage of new national security measures. Labor journalists, political dissenters, anticonscriptionists, and antiwar protesters were subjected to harassment and prosecution by federal authorities to an unprecedented degree with the establishment of a censorship regime. The essay traces the intersections and divergences in this legal and labor history. Through the experience of two women—Alice Henry and Jennie Scott Griffiths—whose lives, political activism, and careers in journalism spanned both nations, the chapter exposes elements of gender differentiation in these prosecutions.
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