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The silent war:a war for freedom in the USA - Essay Example

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Freedom the basic principle on which our nation was built.It is seen in almost every aspect of our constitution.It is surprising then that it wasn’t until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries,over a hundred years after our countries formation that different groups were just beginning to actively demand their most basic rights and freedoms…
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The Silent War Freedom the basic principle on which our nation was built. It is seen in almost every aspect of our constitution, from the freedom of speech to the freedom of religion. It is surprising then that it wasn’t until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, over a hundred years after our countries formation that different groups were just beginning to actively demand their most basic rights and freedoms. It was on the brink of World War I that this other, less violent but just as important, war began to rock our nation and forever change the course of the United States. This was not war as usual, defined by guns and soldiers; this was a war fought politically on the inequalities so many Americans faced. This was a war for freedom. As we begin to investigate the different aspects and outcomes that defined this war including, women’s suffrage, the progressive era, and the espionage act we will see how this war forever changed and continues to change our nation. Before this war began women in the United States were denied many of their constitutional rights including the right to vote, and the right to run for office. The women’s suffrage movement started in 1848 during the Seneca Falls Convention. It was not really fought for, though, until after the Civil War in which the 15th amendment was added to the constitution; which allowed all men to vote regardless of color, however, women were still denied their right. Women’s suffrage finally scored a victory in 1920 when the 19th amendment was added to the constitution which gave all citizens of the U.S. a right to vote regardless of their sex. This was a huge break through for women all over the U.S. but the fight did not stop there and to this day women continue to push for equality in every aspect of their lives. It was during this time that the progressive era also became in full bloom. The main goal of the progressive era was to purify the government. Theodor Roosevelt showed his support for progressivism when he said, “A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy”. They saw the corruption forming in politics and governmental parties and tried to get it out. They aided the women’s suffrage movement in their right to vote because they felt women had a more pure look at politics and would bring change with their vote. They also made changes in education by making scientific subjects such as history and economics. The final great change that was felt as a result of this war was not as positive as the previous two mentioned. Due to the outpouring of people against the U.S involvement in World War I the government issued the Espionage Act in 1917. It instated a 20 year imprisonment and 10,000 fines for anyone who interfered with recruiting troops or divulged U.S. defense tactics. There was an outcry against this act in Washington and many government officials were sentenced to prison for publically denouncing the Espionage Act. This brought on many debates about the fine line that exists between our freedom of speech and treason, which are still in effect today. As in any war this war brought with it many gains such as in the women’s suffrage movement, and the progressive era, and some losses such as the Espionage Act. Though it may have peaked in intensity during the turn of the twentieth century this non violent war is far from over. This time period demonstrated to the citizens of the United States that though our nation is built on freedom it is up to us to stand up for our rights as individuals. Some key words used in this essay are: voting, change, rights, freedom, and government. Works Cited Roosevelt, Theodore. "In His Own Words: Life of Theodore Roosevelt." Theodore Roosevelt Association. Theodore Roosevelt Association, Chartered by Act of Congress 1920, n.d. Web. 29 Mar 2011. . Read More
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