Uphill All the Way: The Fortunes of Progressivism, 1919-1929
By Kevin C. Murphy, Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Chapter Three: Chaos at Home

Progressives in the Crucible of 1919

II. The Storm Before the Storm

I. Terror Comes to R St.
II. The Storm Before the Storm
III. Enemies in Office, Friends in Jail
IV. Mobilizing the Nation
V. The Wheels Come Off
VI. On a Pale Horse
VII. Battle in Seattle
VIII. The Great Strike Wave
IX. Steel and Coal
X. The Red Summer
XI. The Forces of Order
XII. Mr. Palmer's War
XIII. The Fever Breaks
XIV. The Best Laid Plans

Just as Wilson had foreseen a "tragedy of disappointment" emerging from Versailles before he left for Paris, the president had anticipated the chaos and dissension that would wreak havoc across America. In an April 1, 1917 interview with Frank Cobb, editor of the New York World, on the eve of entry into the Great War, he predicted that war would "mean that we shall lose our heads, along with the rest, and stop weighing right and wrong."1

"It will be too much for us," the president presciently lamented. "Once lead this people into war and they'll forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance. To fight, you must be brutal…and the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fiber of our national life, infecting Congress, the courts, the policeman on the beat, the man in the street. Conformity will be the only virtue. And every man who refuses to conform will have to pay the penalty."2

But while Wilson played the part of aggrieved statesman to Cobb, he himself had spent years stoking the fires of discord that would consume America during the war and after. In 1915, two full years before his second thoughts to Cobb, Wilson had delivered an address to Congress that served as a virtual litany of intolerance, as intemperate in its own way as any anarchist's dodger. "I am sorry to say," he intoned, "that the gravest threats against our national peace and safety have been uttered within our own borders." In other words, the Enemy that threatened to bring America into the war (as Wilson would himself do two years later) was among us. These were the dreaded Hyphenates:
There are citizens of the United States, I blush to admit, born under other flags but welcomed under our generous naturalization laws to the full freedom and opportunity of America, who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life; who have sought to bring the authority and good name of our Government into contempt, to destroy our industries wherever they thought it effective for their vindictive purposes to strike at them, and to debase our politics to the uses of foreign intrigue. Their number is not great as compared with the whole number of those sturdy hosts by which our nation has been enriched in recent generations out of virile foreign stock; but it is great enough to have brought deep disgrace upon us and to have made it necessary that we should promptly make use of processes of law by which we may be purged of their corrupt distempers.4
"Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy," he continued, "must be crushed out. They are not many, but they are infinitely malignant, and the hand of our power should close over them at once." And so, while conceding that "no laws, I suppose, can reach corruptions of the mind and heart," Wilson urged the Congress before him to enact "adequate federal laws…at the earliest possible moment," in order to preserve "the honor and self-respect of the nation."4

The intemperance at the heart of Wilson's Third Annual Address was not a one-time lapse. In 1917, Wilson warned that the German enemy "has filled our unsuspecting communities and even our offices of government with spies and set criminal intrigue everywhere afoot against our national unity of council, our peace within and without, our industries and our commerce." And it was echoed by other prominent political leaders and elites. Teddy Roosevelt railed against the "whole raft of sexless creatures," from the I.W.W. to the Socialists, which undermined America by desiring peace. "If you turn hell upside down," declared the popular evangelist Billy Sunday, "you will find 'Made in Germany' stamped on the bottom." Elihu Root was more direct: "There are men walking about the streets of this city tonight," he announced, "who ought to be taken out at sunrise tomorrow and shot for treason."5

And so, particularly after war became a reality, Congress worked to provide the "adequate federal laws" Wilson had requested. In June of 1917, two months after entry into WWI, it passed the Espionage Act, which set a punishment of up to 20 years and $10,000 for "false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States," including "willfully obstruct[ing] the recruiting or enlistment service." It also gave the Postmaster General the power to ban any mailings that violated this Act or otherwise advocated "treason, insurrection, or forcible resistance to the law of the United States." Robert La Follette would call the Act "the greatest crime of this war."6

A year later, Congress strengthened the Espionage Act with a series of amendments that came to be known as the Sedition Act. It made it criminal to "utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the Army or Navy of the United States, or any language intended to bring [any of the above] into contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute."7

To Senator Hiram Johnson, the Sedition Act was a "villainous measure." Such laws, he argued, "do not unite a people. They cause suspicion to stalk all through the land…they take a great, virile, brave people and make that people timid and fearful." Senator George Norris wondered what was the point of fighting a war for Democracy abroad if Congress was going to interfere "with the very fundamental principles of human liberty and human freedom on which our great Commonwealth is founded…What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" In quoting Matthew 16:26, Norris potentially put himself on shaky ground with the authorities. Speaking to a crowd about the Espionage Act in July 1917, Socialist Max Eastman memorably quipped: "You can't even collect your thoughts without getting arrested for unlawful assemblage…They give you ninety days for quoting the Declaration of Independence, six months for quoting the Bible, and pretty soon somebody is going to get a life sentence for quoting Woodrow Wilson in the wrong connection." The experience of the next four years would make a sad reality of Eastman's witticism. Between 1917 and the repeal of the Sedition Acts in March, 1921, 2,000 prosecutions were attempted under these Acts, resulting in 1055 convictions.8

Among those who found themselves a target for prosecution was one Charles Schenck, then the Secretary of the Socialist Party, who had printed and mailed 15,000 leaflets opposing the draft as a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition on involuntary servitude. After an appeal, Schenck's conviction under the Espionage Act was unanimously upheld by the highest court in the land. "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic," Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously argued in Schenck v. United States. "The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent."9

The Court also weighed in support of the Espionage Acts in another case, this time involving the beloved Socialist candidate for president Eugene Victor Debs. In a June 16, 1918 speech in Canton, Ohio, Debs had railed against the wartime oppression of Socialists. "I realize that, in speaking to you this afternoon," he argued, "there are certain limitations placed upon the right of free speech. I must be exceedingly careful, prudent, as to what I say, and even more careful and prudent as to how I say it." To the authorities in Canton, he was not careful enough, particularly when Debs told his audience:
They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command…[L]et me emphasize the fact-and it cannot be repeated too often-that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace.

Yours not to reason why; Yours but to do and die. That is their motto and we object on the part of the awakening workers of this nation.10
Arrested after the speech, Debs -- after a colorful trial where the great orator eloquently railed against the powers-that-be -- was ultimately convicted to ten years and a lifetime of disenfranchisement. Once again the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, and Debs entered a state penitentiary in West Virginia in April of 1919. (The federal pen, it was determined, held too many kindred spirits.) "Tell my comrades that I entered the prison doors a flaming revolutionist, my head erect, my spirit untamed and my soul unconquered," he said as he publicly accepted his fate. In private, Debs was deeply discouraged, "I don't know why but I feel dreadfully depressed," he wrote a confidant. "I want to get away from everybody. The comrades are kind as they can be and I am trying hard not to let them know what is in my heart. There's an awful loneliness that has gripped me."11

To Ernst Freud in The New Republic, Debs' detention set an exceedingly bad precedent, especially in peacetime. "A country can ill-spare the men who when the waves of militant nationalism run high do not lose the courage of their convictions," he wrote. Supporters of Debs petitioned the administration for clemency, which Wilson, while busy at Versailles, was willing to contemplate, at least in private. "[I'd be] willing to grant a respite in the case of Eugene V. Debs and the others," he wrote Tumulty from Paris, "but I doubt the wisdom and public effect of such an action." Instead, he asked Tumulty to talk to Palmer and 'let me know the result of the conference before I act." Palmer, now fully embracing the avenging angel role circumstances had thrust him in, hated the idea: Debs' "attitude of challenging and defying the administration of law,' he told the president, "makes it imperative that no respite of clemency be shown at the present time."12

After passions had receded a few years later, A. Mitchell Palmer would actually suggest to Wilson that he pardon Debs before leaving office, on Lincoln's birthday: February 12, 1921. But by then, bad health and grim circumstances had calcified the president's views. "Denied," Wilson told Tumulty then. "While the flower of American youth was pouring out its blood to vindicate the cause of civilization, this man, Debs, stood behind the lines sniping, attacking, and denouncing them…This man was a traitor to his country and he will never be pardoned during my administration." The New Republic was disgusted by Wilson's stubbornness. "It taxes credulity and taxes vocabulary. If there are Gods who enjoy human irony they staged this ironical scene -- Woodrow Wilson denying pardon to a man who stood by his convictions."13

While not reaching the level of the Supreme Court, another case upholding the repression of the Espionage Act was the ironically named U.S. v. Spirit of '76. Inspired by the rousing success of D.W. Griffith's 1915 Civil War epic Birth of a Nation, filmmaker Robert Goldstein -- the son of a German immigrant -- decided to make a similarly impassioned (and emotionally manipulative) film about the American Revolution. The final result reached theaters in May 1917, and while now lost to history, The Spirit of '76 included scenes, according to one film historian, of "Paul Revere's Ride, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Valley Forge, and, most conspicuously as far as later events were concerned, the British atrocities committed against the American settlers during the 1778 Cherry Valley Massacre." Among the atrocities lain at the foot of Englishmen were an infant slaughtered by British bayonet and the suggested rape of a colonial woman.

But one month after entry into the war was not an opportune time for such Patriot-style muckraking, and Goldstein was prevailed upon by Chicago's Censorship Board, headed by one Metallus Lucullus Cicero Funkhouser, to trim the offending scenes down. Goldstein did as requested, until he got to Los Angeles, where he showed the film uncut and in its original form. For this offense, he was quickly arrested. In the ensuing case -- US v. Spirit of '76 -- the judge accused Goldstein of "a sedulous effort" to "question the good faith of our ally" and "to insert those things which would tend to 'excite' and to create a prejudice against Great Britain." Goldstein was convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison (of which he served three.)14

Thousands such cases were prosecuted by the federal government during the war, many receiving great notoriety. Socialist speaker Rose Pastor Stokes was arrested in March 1918 for writing to the local paper: "No government which is for the profiteers can also be for the people, and I am for the people, while the government is for the profiteers." She was sentenced to ten years. Socialist Kate Richards O'Hare got five years for giving an anti-war speech in North Dakota - one she had already delivered several times over without repercussions.15

A particular wartime target was the International Workers of the World, a.k.a. the Wobblies. As encapsulated by historian Howard Zinn: "In early September 1917, Department of Justice agents made simultaneous raids on forty-eight IWW meeting halls across the country, seizing correspondence and literature that would become courtroom evidence. Later that month, 165 IWW leaders were arrested for conspiring to hinder the draft, encourage desertion, and intimidate others in connection with labor disputes. One hundred and one went on trial in April 1918; it lasted five months, the longest criminal trial in American history up to that time." In fact, almost half of Espionage and Sedition Act prosecutions occurred in thirteen (of eighty-seven) federal districts - the thirteen Western districts where IWW activity was centralized.16

Another prime target, of course, was Germans themselves. Soon after entry into the war, Wilson had decreed that all German males in America (and later German females) would have to register with the government, and keep their registration on them at all times. Over the course of the war, thousands of German nationals would be harassed or arrested by government officials and local authorities. Over 2000 - among them the famed conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Karl Muck, who was rumored to have refused to play "The Star-Spangled Banner" (it wasn't true) - would be shipped to military bases: Fort Douglas, Utah, in the West and "Orglesdorf," a.k.a. Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, in the East. There -- until they were all freed by incoming Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in early 1919 -- they would become the responsibility of the ambitious 22-year-old running the Enemy Alien Registration Section at DOJ -- John E. Hoover (later and better known as J. Edgar.)17

Meanwhile, in September 1918, a five-member committee in the Senate, chaired by Senator Lee Overman of North Carolina, was created to look into charges that the United States Brewers' Association had become a haven of pro-German activity within America. Senator Overman took his mandate broadly, and steered the committee to delve more widely and deeply into the subject of possible pro-German sentiment in America. Even though the Overman Committee only took shape within weeks of the end of the war, as one historian has noted, this was "the first congressional investigation of political activities and opinions of American citizens."18

If these wartime abuses of the Constitution were unnerving to progressives, more unnerving still was the extra-legal furor that accompanied them. Not content with leaving the policing of anti-American sentiment to the judicial system, the Wilson administration also worked to marshal the forces of public opinion to their cause.

And so, on April 13th, 1917, Wilson signed Executive Order 2594, creating a Committee of Public Information (CPI), to be headed by Denver journalist and muckraker George Creel. During the war, notes historian David Kennedy, the CPI "distributed 75 million copies in several languages of more than thirty pamphlets explaining America's reaction to the war...sponsored war expositions in nearly two dozen cities [and] issued 6000 press releases to assist (and to influence) the nation's newspapers in their reporting on the war." "Government," New York World editor Frank Cobb said, describing the work of the CPI, "conscripted public opinion as they conscripted men and women and materials…They mobilized it. They put it in the charge of drill sergeants. They goose-stepped it. They taught it to stand attention and salute."19

From the beginning, Creel had envisioned his task mainly as progressive muckraking writ large. Imbued with "faith in democracy…faith in the fact," in the words of Newton Baker, the CPI was intended by Creel to be a grand experiment in mobilizing public opinion through, as one historian put it, "information and disclosure, pure and simple." Chief among Creel's initiatives were the rollout of 75,000 volunteers - the "Four Minute Men," so named after their assessment of the average person's attention span - who traveled the country drumming up support for the war in four minute bursts. They were instructed by Creel and the CPI head office to rely on the facts and the facts only. "A statement only of patent facts will convince those who require argument more than doubtful disputations," Creel told them. "No hymn of hate accompanies our message."20

Similarly, Creel -- looking back in his 1920 memoir, How We Advertised America, as the Red Scare was beginning to burn itself out -- defended the work of the CPI during the war. "In no degree was the Committee an agency of censorship, a machinery of concealment or repression," he wrote:
At no point did it seek or exercise authorities under those war laws that limited the freedom of speech and press. In all things, from first to last, without halt or change, it was a plain publicity proposition, a vast enterprise in salesmanship, the world's greatest adventures in advertising...We did not call it propaganda, for that word, in German hands, had come to be associated with deceit and corruption. Our effort was educational and informative throughout, for we had such confidence in our case as to feel that no other argument was needed than the simple, straightforward presentation of the facts.21
But, however well-intentioned at first, Creel and the CPI fell away from its just-the-facts approach during the war and began to appeal to baser instincts. For one, by a year into the conflict, Four Minute Men -- which, by Creel's estimate, delivered over 7.5 million speeches to 314 million people -- were being actively encouraged by management to weave tales of German atrocities into their speeches. For another, even though each had been endorsed by local pillars of their respective communities, the 75,000 men of Creel's four-minute army could and did not always follow the company line.

According to a poem in the Four Minute Men News, these hardy speakers were called upon to "build morale and confidence in the right" and "defeat fear, mistrust and ignorance. Lies are cut down and fall naked before my sword. False rumor flies before the searchlight of my truth as does the mist at sunrise. I make clear the issues so that all may know and understand." But, in practice, many four-minuters would traffic in mistrust and innuendo all the same. "Ladies and gentlemen," one representative speaker began, "I have just received the information that there is a German spy among us - a German spy watching us. He is around, here somewhere, reporting upon you and me - sending reports about us to Berlin."22

Compounding the problem, it was often hard to tell the official four-minute men from the off-message vigilantes. For example, the man who told a Pennsylvania crowd he was "determined to wipe out seditious talk among pro-Germans here even if it requires tar and feathers and a stout rope in the hands of a necktie party." He then went on to name names of those locals he thought to have been "slackers in the purchase of war stamps and also disloyal to their adopted country in uttering seditious remarks." A CPI investigation set the record straight that this was not a Four Minute Man delivering the officially-sanctioned war message of Uncle Sam - but only after the story was reported in the local papers as Four Minute canon.23

Later, Creel would blame overzealous patriots and presspersons like these for the vigilantism and chaos that would ensue during the war and after. "People generally, and the press particularly," he wrote, "were keyed up to a high pitch, an excited distrust of our foreign population, and a percentage of editors and politicians were eager for a campaign of 'hate' at home." And clearly, many papers of record furthered the hysteria. The New York Times, for example, reminded its readers that "the duty of every good citizen [is] to communicate to proper authorities any evidence of sedition that comes to his notice." But, in truth, Creel's organization, even at higher levels than the Four Minuters on the ground, was not as blameless as he suggested. At one point, CPI put large ads in newspapers and magazines like the Saturday Evening Post requesting that good Americans "report the man who spreads pessimistic stories…cries for peace, or belittles our efforts to win the war."24

Also buttressing CPI and the press's efforts were the many patriotic organizations that had sprung up in recent years as part of the Preparedness movement - most notably the National Security League (established in December 1914) and its Republicans-only offshoot, the American Defense Society (born August 1915). Backed by some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in America - Elihu Root, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, T. Coleman Du Pont - the NSL could boast 100,000 members and 250 chapters in 42 states by the end of 1916. Two years after that, in April of 1918, Princeton professor Robert McNutt McElroy -- the head of NSL's propaganda arm, the "Committee on Patriotism through Education" - would publicly denounce the students, university, and eventually the entire state of Wisconsin as pro-German traitors.25

The ADS, meanwhile, was by February 1918 urging Congress to take even stronger action against any potential German fifth column in American life. "The appalling and complete moral breakdown of German 'Kultur' compels a sweeping revision of the attitude of civilized nations and individuals toward the German language, literature, and science," ADS argued in an official statement, for "the close scrutiny of German thought induced by Hun frightfulness in this war has revealed abhorrent inherent qualities hitherto unknown." Along with increasing internment efforts, ADS advocated expunging the study of German from public schools.26

Alongside these two organizations grew a panoply of homegrown spy organizations, among them the Liberty League, the American Defense Society, the Home Defense League, the All-Allied Anti-German League, the Boy Spies of America, the Knights of Liberty, the Sedition Slammers, and the American Anti-Anarchy Organization. The largest and most powerful of these, numbering 250,000 dues-paying members in 600 cities at its zenith, was the American Protective League, founded in April 1917.27

Over the course of the war, the members of the APL, as historian David Kennedy writes, "constituted a rambunctious, unruly posse comitatus on an unprecedented national scale":
Its 'agents' bugged, burglarized, slandered, and illegally arrested other Americans. They opened mail, intercepted telegrams, served as agents provocateurs, and were the chief commandos in a series of extralegal and often violent 'slacker raids' against supposed draft evaders in 1918. They always operated behind a cloak of stealth and deception, frequently promoting reactionary social and economic views under the guise of patriotism. The League sometimes counseled its members to commit outright physical assault on dissenters. It was, in one authority's view, 'a force for outrageous vigilantism blessed with the seal and sanction of the federal government.'28
Indeed, Attorney General Thomas Gregory applauded the "several hundred thousand private citizens…assisting the heavily overworked Federal authorities in keeping an eye on disloyal individuals." He even allowed the APL to state it was "Organized with the Approval and Operating under the Direction of the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation" on its letterhead. APL members often wore badges and cultivated the air of officiality that Gregory had bestowed upon them. After a three-day APL "slacker raid" of New York City that culminated in tens of thousands of arrests (for not carrying draft cards) and netted thousands of "slackers" -- people shirking draft duty -- a Justice Department official argued that everything "done in connection with this roundup has been done under the direction of the Attorney General."29

For his part, Wilson felt very uneasy about this public-private intelligence partnership. [I]t would be very dangerous," he told Gregory, "to have such an organization operating in the United States, and I wonder if there was any way in which we could stop it?" But, during his tenure, Gregory made no such attempt. In fact, dissolution of the partnership would not occur until A. Mitchell Palmer succeeded Gregory in early 1919. Arguing that "espionage conducted by private individuals or organizations is entirely at variance with our theories of government, and its operation in any community constitutes a grave menace to that feeling of public confidence which is the chief force making for the maintenance of good order," Palmer made severing the APL from government one of his first official acts as Attorney General.30

Nonetheless, when it came to harassment and repression of German-Americans and sundry other suspect individuals during World War I, it became hard to draw the line between what was government-sponsored activity and what was just citizen enthusiasm. Across the country, sauerkraut became "liberty cabbage," dashschunds "liberty pups," hamburgers "liberty sandwiches." In the House, a Michigan congressman introduced a bill mandating that "all cities, villages, counties, townships, boroughs…streets, highways, and avenues in the United States" named "Berlin or Germany" be re-named "Liberty, Victory, or [an]other patriot designation." In Iowa, Governor William Harding issued "the Babel Proclamation," which made English the official language of the state and banned the use of German in public places or over the telephone.31

In Butte, Montana, the government's war against the Wobblies would be taken up by private citizens (and, likely, Pinkertons): Two weeks after telling a crowd that he "don't give a damn what your country is fighting for" and that army enlistees were "Uncle Sam's scabs in uniform," IWW Executive Board member Frank Little was grabbed by six masked men and hung from a railroad trestle. Pinned to his corpse was a placard in red crayon reading: "Others Take Notice: first and Last Warning."32

Similarly, one of the darkest incidents of anti-German fervor on the homefront was the fate of Robert Prager, a German-born man in Collinsville, Indiana. When the war started, Prager had registered as ordered and even tried to enlist, but was unable to for health reasons. He had also previously attended Socialist meetings, and run afoul of local UMW members, some of whom apparently believed him to be a spy for local mine operators. In any case, in April of 1918, Prager was swept up by a drunken mob, draped with an American flag (which he was repeatedly forced to kiss), dragged through the streets, and ultimately lynched. Since the mob had forgotten to tie his hands the first time, and Prager had been able to grab the rope that was strangling him, Prager was lowered down and allowed to pen a brief letter. It read: "Dear Parents -- I must this day, the 5th of April, 1918, die. Please pray for me, my dear parents. This is my last letter. Your dear son." He was then tied up once again and lynched again before an approving crowd of 500.33

The mayor of Collinsville blamed this incident on Congress's failure to pass stronger anti-sedition laws. In the ensuing trial, the defense claimed Prager's execution was "patriotic murder" and the jury, after twenty-five minutes agreed. Said one jury member, "nobody can say we aren't loyal now!"33

Continue to Chapter 3, Pt. 3: Enemies in Office, Friends in Jail.

Return to the Table of Contents.

1. John Chamberlain, Farewell to Reform: The Rise, Life, and Decay of the Progressive Mind in America (Chicago: Quadrangle, 1965), 296.
2. Chamberlain, 296. Similarly, Wilson was rumored to have confessed to a friend around the same time that war "required illiberalism at home to reinforce the man at the front." Wilson's remarks to Cobb are so prescient, in fact, that there has been some historical dispute as to whether he ever actually said them. See Jerrold Auerbach, "Woodrow Wilson's 'Prediction' to Frank Cobb: Words Historians Should Doubt Ever Got Spoken," Journal of American History, LIV (December, 1967), 615-617. Harry N. Scheiber, "What Wilson Said to Cobb in 1917: Another View of Plausibility," Wisconsin Magazine of History (Summer 1969), Vol. 52, no. 4. Noggle, 85.
3. Woodrow Wilson, "Third Annual Message to Congress," The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29556
4. Ibid.
5. Pietrusza, 140. Howard Zinn , The Twentieth Century (New York: Perennial, 2003), 89.
6. Robert Strassfeld, "Major Acts of Congress: Espionage (1917) and Sedition (1918) Acts" (http://www.enotes.com/major-acts-congress/espionage-act-sedition-act) Thelen, 149.
7. David Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 80. Strassfeld. John M. Barry, Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998), 138.
8. Pietrusza, 179. Lowitt, 131. Steel, Lippmann and the American Century, 124. Witt, 191.
9. Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47(1919). In his book Free Speech in the United States, Harvard Law School professor Zechariah Chafee, according to historian Howard Zinn, "argued that a more apt analogy for Schenck was someone getting up between the acts at a theater and declaring that there were not enough fire exits." Zinn, Twentieth Century, 86.
10. Eugene V. Debs, "Speech in Canton, Ohio," June 16, 1918. Reprinted in The Call and at http://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1918/canton.htm
11. Nick Salvatore, Eugene Debs: Citizen and Socialist (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1982), 300.
12. Conservative Senator Atlee Pomerene of Ohio agreed:. "Since the decision of the Supreme Court [Debs] has preached Revolution, urged the establishment of Soviets in this Country…and spoke[n] of the Bolshevists in the most glowing terms…Any attempt to show Debs leniency now will be attributed to a spirit of weakness on the part of the Government…Let Debs pose as a martyr if he will…it will not do one half of the harm to the principles of the American Democracy that will result from exercise of misguided leniency." Ernst Freund, "The Debs Case and Freedom of Speech," The New Republic, May 3, 1919, 13-15. Salvatore, 308, 300.
13. Noggle, Into the Twenties, 113. "Debs," The New Republic, February 16, 1921 (Vol. XXV, No. 34), 337. Responded "Prisoner #9653" to this rejection: "It is he, not I, who needs a pardon. If I had it in my power I would give him the pardon which would set him free…Woodrow Wilson is an exile from the hearts of his people…the most pathetic figure in the world. No man in public life in American history ever retired so thoroughly discredited, so scathingly rebuked, so overwhelmingly impeached and repudiated as Woodrow Wilson." Paul Sann, The Lawless Decade: A Pictorial History of the Roaring Twenties. Excerpted at http://www.lawlessdecade.net/21-31.htm.
14. The end of Goldstein's story is not a happy one. While Wilson did commute his sentence in 1921, he was effectively disbarred from making movies in America. After several fruitless attempts to clear his name, Goldstein tried to start over as a filmmaker in other countries. He ultimately ended up in Germany, where he may well have ended up a victim of the Holocaust. Zinn, 91-92. Timothy Noah, "The Unluckiest Man in Movie History," Slate, June 13th, 2000. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/chatterbox/2000/06/the_unluckiest_man_in_movie_history.html
15. Kennedy, 83. After two appeals, Stokes' conviction "was reversed in March 1920, on the grounds that the charge to the jury was prejudicial against the defendant."Judith Rosenbaum, "Rose Pastor Stokes," Jewish Women's Encyclopedia (http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/stokes-rose-pastor)
16. Howard Zinn , The Twentieth Century (New York: Perennial, 2003), 94
17. Arnold Krammer, Undue Process: The Untold Story of America's German Alien Internees (Lanham: Rowan & Littefield, 1997), 14-15. Ackerman, Young J. Edgar: Hoover, 20. "Arrest Karl Muck as an Enemy Alien," New York Times, March 26, 1918. "Muck's Last American Concert," New York Times, March 24, 1940. Notes Chris Capozzola of Hoover's tenure: "The young bureaucrat was efficient, but-despite his later reputation-Hoover was not always ruthless. When considering how to dispose of the case of Otto Mueller, an enemy alien who, when asked what he thought of America, responded, 'fuck this god damned country,' Hoover urged leniency, in contrast to senior colleagues who wanted Mueller interned for the duration." Chris Capozzola, Uncle Sam Wants You (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 202-204.
18. Hagedorn, 53.
19. Kennedy, Over Here, 61. Ted Galen Carpenter, The Captive Press: Foreign Policy Crises and the First Amendment (Washington: Cato Institute Press, 1995), 21. Murray, 12. Barry, Rising Tide, 137.
20. Kennedy, Over Here, 61.
21. George Creel, How We Advertised America (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1920), 4-5.
22. Four Minute Men News, Edition C. Committee on Public Information, Four Minute Man Bulletin, No. 17 (October 8, 1917), Reprinted at "Four Minute Men, Volunteer Speeches during World War I," History Matters (http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/4970)
23. "Our chairman for that community," said the CPI report, "informs us that one result of his speech was that he was soundly trounced by two sons of one of the men whose name he mentioned, which may have had a subduing effect." Ibid.
24. Pietrusza, 142. Howard Zinn , The Twentieth Century (New York: Perennial, 2003), 90. Kennedy, Over Here, 61-62. Barry, Rising Tide, 137.
25. Mark R. Shulman, "The Progressive Era Origins of the National Security Act" (2000). Pace Law Faculty Publications. Paper 223. http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/223, 304-305, 308-309.
26. "Calls for Strict Ban on German Language," The New York Times, February 25, 1918.
27. Hagedorn, 25-26.
28. Kennedy, Over There, 82.
29. Ibid. "Get 1,500 Slackers in 3-Day Roundup," New York Times, September 6, 1918.
30. Stanley Coben, A. Mitchell Palmer, Politician (New York: Da Capo Press, 1972), 199-200. The New York Times, for one, argued Palmer was "perhaps a little hasty in telling the patriotic and defensive societies that their help in guarding the Republic is neither needed nor welcome." Hagedorn, 227.
31. John M. Murrin, et al, Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People (Florence: Wadsworth Publishing, 2011), 784. "To Strike Germany from Map of U.S.," New York Times, June 2, 1918. Kennedy, 68. Stephen J. Frese, "Divided by a Common Language: The Babel Proclamation and its Influence in Iowa History" The History Teacher, November 2005 http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ht/39.1/frese.html
32. "I.W.W. Strike Chief Lynched at Butte," New York Times, August 2, 1917. Leuchtenburg, 45.
33. Kennedy, 68. "German Enemy of US Hanged by Mob," The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 5, 1918. E.A. Schwartz, "The Lynching of Robert Prager, the United Mine Workers, and the Problems of Patriotism in 1918," Journal of the Illinois Historical Society, Winter 2003, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3945/is_200301/ai_n9170046/
34. Ibid.

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