Unit 5 Supreme Court Cases - Nicholas Russo Moloney2 Unit 5...

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Nicholas Russo Moloney2 Unit 5 Supreme Court Cases Schenck v. United States, 1919 I. Historical Background To promote national unity during WWI, Congress created laws which limited 1 st Amendment freedoms. In 1917, the Espionage Act punished those who made “false” statements intended to interfere with the war effort, which included causing unrest or interfering with the draft. The Sedition Act, passed in 1918, made it a crime to interfere with the sale of war bonds and restricted speech which was disrespectful to the government. The Committee of Public Information served to create propaganda on behalf of the war. However, the forced conformity caused some hysteria, as many were silenced or jailed, including socialist leader Eugene V. Debs, antiwar labor-organizer Frank Little, & Victor Berger. II. Circumstances of the Case Charles Schenck was the secretary of the Socialist party of America, which believed that the war was caused by and would only benefit the rich, while causing suffering for the poor. The party

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