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Pre-World War II pacifists and isolationists were rarely identified as fraternal associates by their war-era critics.
In fact, despite their common opposition to United States involvement in foreign wars, journalists and scholars usually distinguished between the two groups and occasionally portrayed them as being ultimately antagonistic to one another.
Consequently, the distinction between pacifists and isolationists faded, and various overlapping noninterventionist categories were created, sometimes with hyphenated terminology. Donovan identified "two very different groups" of congressional isolationists, and he included pacifism as "a strand of American isolationism."2 Donald Drummond divided those who opposed the nation's involvement in war into three groups: "pacifists, internationalists, and nationalists or isolationists." According to Drummond, "all favored peace, but isolationists took a narrower position" than the others, viewing "war as an activity from which the United States should abstain except for immediate self-defense."3 Alexander De Conde recognized that "in the twentieth century we have had `isolationisms' rather than `isolationism'," and he included anti- militarism and pacifism among isolationist elements.4 More specific nomenclature was provided by Robert Dahl, who categorized a "pacifist- isolationist-reformist" group in Congress (and implied the existence of the "pacifist-isolationist-conservative"), which was "isolationist because of its pacifism; its members looked upon war as a destroyer of life and welfare."5 Later scholars did not completely accept Dahl's suggestion that some isolationists were motivated essentially by their abhorrence of war, or pacifism.
Selig Adler's lengthy overview of twentieth-century isolationism made only limited reference to pacifism as a significant part of the isolationist impulse.6 While Manfred Jonas recognized the "fear of war" and pacifism manifested by many isolationists, he nevertheless contrasted them with "genuine pacifists."7 Among historians of the American pacifist movement, John K. The peace movement marched to a different drummer."8 However, isolationism and pacifism were not always uncomfortable in or out of step in their mutual association. Holt (D) they coexisted as indistinct allies in an uncompromising resistance to America's intervention in a second world war.
Wittner wrote: "at the hard core of isolationism lay a belligerent nationalism, indifferent to the existence of foreign nations. Having waited since the general election to attain his thirtieth birthday, as required by the Constitution, he was sworn into office in June 1935.
From this viewpoint, their relationship could be seen as analogous to that of Communists and Fascists, both opponents of liberal capitalism, both proponents of the authoritarian state, but both representing antithetical political extremes.
Especially if his anti-war position was grounded in Christian dogma, the pacifist was often accorded understanding, respect, and deferment from the draft.
He had won fame and high office in West Virginia as a champion of the common man and a critic of privately owned utility corporations.
He benefitted from the enthusiastic backing of the United Mine Workers of America, and the blessing of West Virginia's Senator Matthew M. Though he proclaimed himself an unequivocal supporter of Franklin D.