Why do many historians argue that the Sedition Act of 1918 is hypocritical given the ideals of the founding of the US?

Asked on by kels246

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most important ideals of the founding was the ideal of personal and political freedom.  The founders thought that the freedom of speech was so important that it was protected in the First Amendment to the Constitution.  The Sedition Act deprived people of their right to free speech.  It essentially told them that they could not criticize the government, the flag, the military, or even the uniforms of the military.  This is hypocritical because the nation was founded on the idea that we should be able to speak our minds, even (or perhaps especially) when we disagree with the government.

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