22 (1)
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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Belousov, Alexander

Abstract: The article deals with events that took place in the United States after its entry into World War I, and, first of all, with the resistance of the society against the state's participation in the war. It focuses on the American socialists and their leader – Eugene Debs, who was arrested in 1918 and convicted in 1919 on charge of violating “The Espionage Act”. The article describes the process of discussing and passaging of “The spionage Act” a few months after the US entry into the war, as well as the subsequent additions known as “The Sedition Act of 1918”. These laws imposed some restrictions on freedom of speech, and were criticized many times afterwards. In addition, the article contains detailed analysis of the mostly well-known Supreme Court of the United States’ cases related to the violation of these laws – “Debs vs. United States”, “Schenk vs. United States”, “Baltzer vs. United States”, and “Abrams vs. United States”. The article pays attention to the impact on the domestic situation of American Protective League, which consisted of two hundred and fifty thousand patriotic volunteer members who were engaged in informant activities, as well as to psychological and physical pressure over those American citizens who opposed US participation in the First World War.

Keywords: USA; “fifth column”; World War I; socialists; Espionage Act; freedom of speech; propaganda; public opinion; Supreme Court of the United States.

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