World War I Questions and Answers
by Edward Paice

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In the context of WWI, discuss the U.S. effort to balance civil liberties and its global economic and political interests.

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The US government did a very bad job of balancing these interests.  It was much more interested in its economic and political interests than in protecting civil liberties.

The "poster child" for this was the Espionage Act of 1917 (and the amendments to it in the next year's Sedition Act).  Through this law, the US government essentially made it illegal to criticize the government or the war effort.  This was a clear violation of civil liberties.  By doing this, the government was in effect saying that the war (and its political and economic goals) was more important than civil liberties in the US.

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