When President Woodrow Wilson was campaigning, he told the people that he would keep us out of the world war. He was able to keep this promise until his reelection in 1917. Because of this, by the time the U.S. entered The Great War, not everyone was on board with it. Not enough people were joining the military, and they were actually against it. This put Americans against their own government right from the start.
Women’s rights in 1917 and the years leading up to WW1, were better than ever. Women earned the right to vote in 1917, which was a huge accomplishment. But that would change when we joined the war. The espionage act was put in to play in 1917 and this took place only two months after we joined the first world war. The espionage act made it illegal to interfere with military recruitment, meaning anyone who decided to act out against the draft could lose his or her job and so on. This brought the morale of the U.S. citizens down. Not only were people being forced to join the war, but their freedom of speech was anything but free.
The sedition act, basically an amendment to the espionage act, came about in 1918. This happened when it was decided that the espionage act wasn’t strong enough. The sedition act made it so rebels could be fined thousands of dollars or face years in prison. People who were suspected of espionage were hunted down and beaten by mobs. U.S. citizens were treated as if they were aiding the enemy outright.
During times of war, civil rights of citizens can be shrunk. For them to be completely forgotten is unacceptable. Americans of this time frame were treated very poorly and feared their own government. This was mainly because it was legal to be sent to possibly die for your country. Morale was as bad as ever and it was getting worse because of our own government.