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Sedition Act of 1918

The Espionage Act of 1917 was amended by Congress the following year to not only target those who interfered with the draft, but also those individuals guilty of sedition, in other words, those who publicly criticized the government — including negative comments about the flag, military or Constitution (text).

The revised law provided in part:

SECTION 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, ...or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct ...the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or ...shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution (narrative) of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States ...or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully ...urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production ...or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both....

United States, Statutes at Large, Washington, D.C., 1918, Vol. XL, p. 553 and following.

More than 2,000 prosecutions occurred under the original and amended Espionage Act, the most famous of which was that of Socialist spokesman and draft opponent, Eugene V. Debs, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Both the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act were repealed in 1921.


See the Red Scare of 1919-20.

Off-site search results for "Sedition Act of 1918"...

The American Revolution (Sedition Act of 1798)Footer Links
... An Act in addition to the act, entitled "An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States. "           SEC. I Be it enacted . . ., That if any persons shall unlawfully combine or conspire together, with intent to oppose ...
http://theamericanrevolution.org/hdocs/sedact.asp

Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798
... JULY 14, 1798 An Act in addition to the act, entitled "An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States." SEC. I Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress ...
http://www.civics-online.org/library/formatted/texts/alien_sed.html

The Sedition Act of July 14, 1798 - TEXT VERSION
... in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States, or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act, or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the ...
http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/sedition/s-text.ht ...