The State of American Civil Liberties during World War I and the Red Scare

The State of American Civil Liberties during World War I and the Red Scare

As the World War I was ending, and after the Russian had undergone the Bolshevik revolution, the United States experienced one of the worst threats to its civil liberties. During this period, normally referred to as the First red scare, the United States was driven by the fear of the communists, anarchists, socialists and other dissidents who were thought to be collaborating with the communist regime. Many Americans feared that a Bolshevik-style revolution could erode all the gains that the United States had made in the democratization process. During the World War I, Americans had developed a great sense of patriotism. As the Americans soldiers were fighting overseas, most of the Americans were firmly with them back at home. Any person who was deemed as not patriotic enough was highly suspected. This laid the ground for the First red scare.

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Smallwood James, Reform, Red Scare, and Ruin. San Francisco: Xlibris Corporation, 2008.

[1] James Smallwood . Reform, Red Scare, and Ruin. (San Francisco: Xlibris Corporation, 2008) 136

[2] Todd Pfannestiel. (2003). rethinking the red scare: the Lusk Committee and New York’s crusade against radicalism, 1919-1923. (New York: Routledge,2003) 22

[3] Regin Schmidt , Red scare: FBI and the origins of anticommunism in the United States, 1919-1943. (New York: Museum Tuculanum, 2000), 24.