Founded in 1908 by Fannie Fern Andrews, the American School Peace League was intended to promote peace by introducing principles of international justice and fraternity into the curricula of U.S. schools. By 1915, it had branches in 40 states, primarily because of the energy of Andrews and her fellow peace workers, including Lucia Ames Mead.
The National Education Association urged all teachers to cooperate with the League, and in 1912, the U.S. commissioner of education, Philander Claxton, invited Andrews to serve as special advisor to his bureau. The movement spread to Europe, with French teachers organizing a similar league. On a trip to England in 1914, Andrews helped organize the School Peace League of Great Britain and Ireland.
The League distributed circulars, leaflets and booklets for classroom use. The material included poetry, endorsements for peace from statesmen and military leaders, accounts of peace activity, information regarding other peoples and cultures, and a series of programs, including pageants and essay contests, that were designed to further the message of international peace. Following the outbreak of World War I, the League changed its name to the American School Citizenship League. Although it was most active as an organization in its early years, the League continued to function until the death of Fannie Fern Andrews in 1950.