An American Enterprise? British Participation in US Food Relief Programs

TitleAn American Enterprise? British Participation in US Food Relief Programs
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsProctor, Tammy M.
JournalFirst World War Studies
Date Published04/2014

This article examines a particularly fraught zone where the British and American conceptions of food aid and moral guidance conflicted – the former enemy nations of Austria and Germany. These countries were considered special cases for food relief, not only because the British and American public had little interest in feeding their former foes, but also because each was seen by aid officials as societies that might succumb to social revolution if food security was not established. While the Americans had established a massive child-feeding operation in Europe with US government financing, Austria and Germany posed unique challenges given the public relations problem in Allied nations with aid to former enemies. The Society of Friends (Quakers) became major players in the food aid schemes in Austria and Germany due to their non-partisan, pacifist humanitarianism. This article highlights the conflicts that arose between American and British Quaker societies due to contrasting ideals between the British imperial model and the American self-help model of relief.

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