There were many eager African Americans to join the army during World War 1 yet most provided a support services to the people were fighting the war. The amount that were involved compared during the war was a drastic small percentage. Even though they were serving the country just as much as Caucasian males were during the war, Brandis website stated most “faced systemic racial discrimination in the army and endured virulent hostility upon returning to their homes at the end of the war.” With the tension in the states were rising many African American families had moved to the north throughout the 1940s to essentially run away from the racial oppression and the political environment that were deeply rooted in the south. World War 1 had marked the beginning of the civil rights movement that would help make America equal.
In the 1917 the two months after the world war one had started congress had passed the Espionage Act, which had put in place, stated by history.com “essentially made it a crime for any person to convey information intended to interfere with the U.S. armed forces prosecution of the war effort or to promote the success of the country’s enemies.” If found guilty would be fined 10,000 dollars at the time and sentenced to 20 years in person. Ultimately, the United States didn’t want the American people to hinder the ongoing war against other counties, which could possibly harm other innocent citizens. The second part states that if anyone celebrates the nations enemy could be subjected to punishment, the concept was if your living on American soil then “cheer” for us not the other countries.
The following year in 1918 the congress had passed the Sedition Act that piggy backed on the concept of previously, but in a more extreme fashion that challenges the civil rights of the American people. On history.com says the Act “anyone found guilty of making false statements that interfered with the prosecution of the war; insulting or abusing the U.S. government, the flag, the Constitution, or the military; agitating against the production of necessary war materials; or advocating, teaching or defending any of these acts.” This practically strips the first amendment down for the citizens. Yet at the time the government was under the first Red Scare, which was fear the communities’ influences was going to bleed into the government. Ultimately, deeply frightened all the government with all the acts in place that was as they felt the only way to prevent from the event from happening.
Yes, the national security justifies an alteration in the constitutional guarantee of civil liberties, and the American people understood why these changes were happening. But that doesn’t mean they were right in any sorts since parts of the acts that had come into place completely contradicted what the forefathers were set out to accomplished. At the time, it may have seemed like a good idea to somehow eliminate all the communist supporters from the country. With controversy decisions written as the law, there will be a guaranteed backlash from the people. As just like in the past with disagreements with the government, eventually citizens will start protesting.
Bencks, Jarret. “World War 1 and the African American Experience.” 21, July. 2014 http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2014/july/worldwar.html Accessed 2 October 2017
History.com Staff “U.S. Congress passes Espionage Act.” 2009 http://www.history.com/this- day-in-history/u-s-congress-passes-espionage-act Accessed 2 October 2017