Literature Study GuidesThe Espionage Act

The Espionage Act | Study Guide

United States Congress

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Course Hero. "The Espionage Act Study Guide." Course Hero. 26 July 2019. Web. 22 Aug. 2019. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Espionage-Act/>.

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Course Hero. (2019, July 26). The Espionage Act Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 22, 2019, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Espionage-Act/

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Course Hero. "The Espionage Act Study Guide." July 26, 2019. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Espionage-Act/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "The Espionage Act Study Guide," July 26, 2019, accessed August 22, 2019, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Espionage-Act/.

Overview

Author

United States Congress

Year Passed

1917

Type

Primary Source

Genre

History, Law

At a Glance

  • On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, thus entering World War I (1914–18) on the side of Britain, France, and Russia.
  • While many Americans supported the war effort, a vocal and growing anti-war movement existed. Opponents spoke out against military intervention and the draft (required military service).
  • As the United States prepared to send troops to Europe, Congress passed the Espionage Act in June 1917.
  • The Espionage Act defined and prohibited various acts of espionage and sabotage against the United States and its war effort.
  • The highest penalties, including death, could be applied to those convicted of transmitting information about U.S. war materials and plans to foreign countries and hostile agents.
  • The law also prohibited interference with the draft, which was used from 1917 onward to enlist men for service in World War I.
  • The Espionage Act was supported by many but was also highly controversial. Opponents included anti-war activists and groups dedicated to civil liberties.
  • The Espionage Act was amended and strengthened in 1918 with the passage of the Sedition Act of 1918.
  • In Schenck v. United States (1919), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Espionage Act did not violate the First Amendment.

Summary

This study guide for United States Congress's The Espionage Act offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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