First World War Speech Analysis

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The early 1900s was an empowering time frame for the American people where we advanced as a nation and it was common for opinions from all over America were heard. To kick off the 19th century, our nation entered the First World War. We came across many great advances, like new jobs, new technologies, and the idea of patriotism, but unfortunately, we also came across many problems, where our country, the Government, and our people, had to deal with situations that have never been dealt with before. We had to make new laws and acts to prevent some of the new problems that were happening because of the new war era, and also had to be constantly reminded to follow the constitution we fought so hard to create. Although, we overcame and fixed many…show more content…
Debs was: “The most prominent spokesman for American socialism and a fervent opponent of American participation in World War I, [who] was arrested for delivering an antiwar speech and convicted of violating the Espionage Act. In his speech to the jury, he defended the right of dissent in wartime” (Foner 746). In his speech to the jury before sentencing, he brings up past history heroes who fought for the constitution, he brings up the prior opposition of wars, and he brings up the right of free speech, in war and in peace. Espionage was not much of an issue before World War I. Committing the crime of espionage, (“The Espionage Act of 1917 prohibited not only spying and interfering with the draft but also ‘false statements” that might impede military success” (Foner 742).), is to this day, a very big deal. It can be dangerous and endangers the mission of the military, but there is a difference between espionage and freedom of speech, which had to be made clear by Debs to the people of the court. Debs explained to the court that he should not be treated like a public enemy when he was just expressing his rights as an American citizen. His argument using the first amendment is still commonly heard and relevant to this day. Debs was not the only voice heard during the post-World War 1 era, he was followed by others to remind the nation of our beloved
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