At the turn of the 20th century the term “patriotism” had different meanings. To some, it referred to what has become known as “patriotic protest.” This meant that to be patriotic, it was important to point out what was wrong and fix it. The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon found its meaning in this definition. So did the Liberty Bell replica used by suffrage activists in 1915 in Pennsylvania.
By World War I, the other definition of patriotism came into more prominent usage. The definition of patriotism as protest can be found in the early women’s rights movement as well as many other social movements of the 20th century.
Happy Fourth of July.
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