During World War 1, the issue of civil rights were taken away from people, depending on their view towards a subject or depending on their race. Racial tensions were high during the first world war, people were changing the name of hamburgers to liberty burgers as just one example. Two acts were passed by the U.S. congress one to limit what people could say in order to not interfere with the government, and another to support the other, but sadly both of these became abused, and used to take away freedom of speech.

The espionage act of 1917 was passed in order to prevent the support of any enemies of the United States during wartime, and to prevent in subordination in the military. Although the reality of the act was very different, it was used to arrest people of german ethnicity or who favored socialism, and pacifists. One thing that the espionage act did was it made it dangerous for young men to oppose the draft for the fear of being thrown in jail. Also Victor L. Berger a German American, four time candidate was thrown in jail for opposing the war, although the first amendment says he has the right to speak freely.

Secondly the Sedition Act of 1918, was enacted in order to enforce the Espionage Act, and cover a broader range of speaking against the government. The definition of the act is “ forbade the use of disloyal, profane, or abusive language about the U.S. government or military. Just like the espionage act though the sedition act violated americans rights just as badly. Eugene Debs, spoke out against the espionage act, and the U.S. involvement in WW1, and was sentenced to ten years in prison under the Sedition Act. It also allowed the Postmaster General to refuse to allow newspapers speaking out against the U.S. although previously this would be considered a felony.

In World War 1 the United States fought against other countries preaching about our freedom, and how were accepting of all immigrants. Although thats what others believed it was clearly false because any person who spoke out against what was considered normal such as offering socialism or something related to their culture was imprisoned. And people could be denied of knowing what was going on because the newspaper was considered too anti american.