Security vs. Freedom

Most often is the case that limitations are placed on personal freedoms during times of war. As Foner put it, “WWI raised the questions already glimpsed during the Civil war that would trouble the nation again…” A dissent in the public opinion usually puts a dent on America’s morale, which might impact the outcome of the war. In order to prevent that, the government relies on certain tactics to unify public opinion. Tactics like the Espionage act impeded upon certain liberties such as the freedom of speech. Foner’s coverage on this topic is more than what you would expect from a vanilla history text book. Foner’s main focus is on American freedom, therefore the effect of wars on liberties is bound to be highlighted. He also foreshadows the later effects of war on other generations.

After making an antiwar speech, Eugene V. Debs was convicted under the Espionage act. Surprisingly he managed to recieve 900,000 votes while running for the presidency in jail.

-Which specific group of people most resented the First World War?

-What impact did this group make on the making of the public opinion?

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