The first amendment of the United States Constitution was intended to protect Americans’ right to say whatever they want, practice whatever religion they wish, protect freedom of press, and defend peaceful protest. Does this amendment truly protect individual American’s rights if it can be taken away at the moment citizens truly need it? This kind of injustice is exactly what the vague language used in the creation of the Espionage Act of 1917 allowed to happen. Since the early 20th century, one of the main goals of the United States government has been to prevent the spread of socialism throughout its population. Preserving capitalism is in the best interest of the people who hold power within the United States government, as well as those who hold influence over those “leaders” through economic means. By making adverse opinions to the war illegal, the United States could also effectively silence socialists of the time and that is exactly what they did. Through propaganda they were able to equate being a socialist with being anti-American, and could therefore unjustly arrest socialist leaders with the support of the general public. It is disgraceful that the supreme court didn’t recognize the law as completely unconstitutional in the Schenck case and it is clear that checks and balances failed those who stood in opposition to the government when they needed it most. While it is extremely difficult to anticipate censorship, I do believe that social media and increased communication through technology makes it more difficult for the government to silence its people. Although all Americans need to stay vigilant that the government or other powerful groups don’t use their resources to obstruct the 1st amendment.
The US used the propaganda to make it seem as though the war was the just thing to do and to claim it would be “The War to End All Wars” when in fact their reasoning was capitalistic as is the usual of the government. The US was making so much money through supplying the allies, but were still shocked when Germany refused to acknowledge their neutrality. You can’t both supply one side and claim neutrality. It is debatable whether Germany was justified or not in sinking the “Lusitania”, but the United States was somewhat responsible for their involvement in the war and had no right to act as though they had done nothing to provoke the attack. Additionally, once the war began, the people who acrued wealth were, per usual, the wealthy. It would appear to be true that the poor fight the rich people’s wars.