The 65th Congress: A Very Brief History

The year was 1917. Woodrow Wilson was begining his second term, the Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress, and the United States would soon enter World War One.

Congress declared war on April 6th, 1917. Just as with the Patriot Act, Congress found it required to pass legislation regarding what the American people could say about the government.

The Espionage Act made it a crime to help wartime enemies of the United States, but the Sedition Act made it a crime to utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the United States’ form of government.

The Espionage Act was designed to silence socialist and communist group that used their objections to the war to promote their agenda.

The Sedition Act of 1918 was an amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917 passed at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, who was concerned any widespread dissent in time of war constituted a real threat to an American victory.

The Sedition Act forbade Americans to use “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the United States government, flag, or armed forces during war.

Amazingly the Sedition Act was upheld by the US Supreme Court in Schenck v. United States.

This all was done by the Democrats of the time, could you imagine if the Republicans would propose anything like this today?


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