Good Example Of History Essay - Concerning the Great War (World War I)

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: United States, Nation, War, Law, Politics, Terrorism, Speech, Rhetoric

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/12/10

Concerning the Great War (World War I)

How well did the government balance the need to uncover German espionage with protecting civil liberties during the war?
It was known that before the World War 1 happened, the United States is already accepting immigrants from different parts of the world including Germany. Consequently, civil liberties are also the major concern of many American citizens as well as expats from different countries. It would be very awful for the government to be a hypocrite to its own constitution. It is much evident that every person that resides in the United States already has their basic human rights including the freedom of speech.
With the enactment of the Espionage act of 1917, the United States has promoted national defense as well as protecting the civil liberties of every person. However the law was amended through time during the World War 1 because it has persecuted anyone who has misconducts in doing speech about national defense and speeches pertaining to gaining support on being anti-US government groups. The espionage act is a way for the United States to have a hold of any information about the war thus protecting the national security. But the debatable point is that it has cause many individuals to contest their freedom to speech.
Regardless of the fact that many are convicted because of these provisions, it has also protected the civil rights of anybody. They are protected given that they will coordinate with the government on information regarding national defense threat or any accountability on the Great War.
One of the individuals that have been pressed with charges by the law is German-American congressman Victor Berger. All in all, the law has protected the interest of any person regarding national security in the country however it also limits the freedom of speech to every commoner; German, American and everyone who resides the American continent.
How do these efforts compare with the anti-terrorism efforts (especially as embodied in the Patriot Act of 2001) in the past 10 years or so? 
The Patriot Act of 2001 was enacted because of the national threat posed by the September 11, 2001- world trade center terrorist attacks as well as the anthrax disease attacks.
The act was contested many times for these impractical provisions. Consequently, it has violated some basic human rights. The act indeed gives more budgets to the national security and is concentrated to the stoppage of any terrorist infiltration; American citizens or non-American. It has also given limits to monetary transactions that would lead to laundering. Awards are also given to those who give leads about a potential terrorist act.
The provisions of the law truly activate the strength of national security in response to terrorist attacks. I think the provisions on the act such as the indefinite detention of immigrants or individuals that are included in the process of giving threat to national security. Undeniably, these terms violate the basic rights to a lawyer, the right to remain silent and the right to not be arrested if a warrant is not presented. However it is also given that the defendant has been given the chance to defend himself.
In comparison with the Espionage Act of 1917, basically it is an upgraded version. The modes of communication have been greatly improved and the issue on freedom of speech is slightly answered with this law. However some law-makers contested this act to be a premature one. Moreover, the government has been paying 100% attention to these threats in order to protect the welfare of its citizens.
The only disadvantage to this act is the transparency of the government. Some contested the conspiracy going behind the curtains of every organization (Chesney, 2005). Nevertheless, it is much better than the espionage act in terms of the freedom of speech. Before anybody who was in support to the groups against the United States will be held liable to the espionage act but with the Patriot Act of 2001, it has considered a due process.
Fortunately, President Obama has made provisions to strengthen the law.


Chesney, Robert M. "The Sleeper Scenario: Terrorism Support Laws and the Demands of Prevention". Harvard Journal on Legislation (2005).

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