Acts Against Liberty

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  Most of whom were forced to serve out their sentence after the Sedition Act was repealed in the 1920’s because its parent, the Espionage Act, remained in place.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.

 

 

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at www.lindaandrews.net She’d love to hear from you.
This entry was posted in History, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s