In war, everyone makes sacrifices. Not all of them are voluntary, some are legislated.
After declaring war on the Central Powers, the US opened another front, a home front, against hyphenated Americans: German-Americans, Irish-Americans, and Jews (who were perceived as hating Russia).
It began in May 1917 with the Selective Service Act to raise an force to fight the enemy (no exclusions for religious reasons), and included the Trading with the Enemy Act (making it illegal to do business with the Central Powers).
June 1917- The Espionage Act prohibited spying and sabotage, but went further by forbidding public criticism of the military.
1918- The Alien Act deported noncitizen suspected of actions and beliefs hostile to the US.
The Sedition Act, an extension of the Espionage Act, banned lettering, printing, writing or publishing any disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language against the government or armed forces.
As a result of these acts, citizens and residents of German/Austrian ancestry were confined to specific regions in cities (ghettos), prohibited from working certain jobs, banned from displays of their culture, and the newly formed American Protective League encouraged citizens to spy on them and each other. Sadly, none of these ‘spies’ came forward when German-American shops were looted, their owners assaulted, or even killed.
Pacifists, labor unions, and Socialists were targeted specifically by the Espionage and Sedition legislation with over 700 people jailed because of it. Most of whom were forced to serve out their sentence after the Sedition Act was repealed in the 1920’s because its parent, the Espionage Act, remained in place.
The legacy of these acts continue today most notably in the prosecution and harassment of whistleblowers.