Freedom In America

2258 Words10 Pages
The United States of America is and has always been very close to realizing democracy’s ideal of a country where there is “liberty and justice for all”, though a number of factors have conspired to move the country away from them in the past, and threaten to do so in our immediate future. Though their outcomes have varied considerably over the years, the main factors causing the U.S to stray from its ideals of freedom and equality have always been one or both of the following factors—discrimination and war. These factors are perennial, affecting every nation that has ever existed and probably every nation that will exist, and our nation’s reaction to them has been on par with that of every other nation in a similar position. From…show more content…
One such factor is war. During World War I, the Espionage Act of 1917 was used to jail prominent critics of American intervention in the war—among them, Eugene V. Debs, four-time presidential candidate (Ball, 146). Shortly after the war ended, A. Mitchell Palmer used the powers granted by the act to conduct mass arrests and deportation of hundreds of foreign residents (Emert, 54, 55, 56). During World War II, the federal government forcibly relocated thousands of Japanese Americans into what were essentially concentration camps (Cooper, 10, 11). The Japanese internment was implemented in the name of combating a virtually non-existent military threat, for fear that Americans of Japanese descent might aid the Empire of Japan (Cooper, 63). After the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon and the declaration of the War on Terror, the USA PATRIOT Act was hurriedly conceived and passed into law (Ball, 38). Included in the law were provisions for roving wiretaps, the sharing of information between criminal probes and intelligence agencies and secret searches of private property in violation of the Constitution (Ball, 57, 74, 81). War has always been a major contributor to the detriment of civil liberties in all nations, and
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