Conscientious Objectors of World War I

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There were many groups and members of American society who objected to World War I. Recent immigrants, Irish immigrants, socialists, midwestern progressives and populists, and even parents of young men are a few of the members and groups who opposed the war. Moral and religious reasons contribute to the underlying reason as to why young men tried to avoid and even refuse the war draft.

Many recent immigrants from the Central Powers countries and regions were the ones who opposed the war. The immigrants still had very strong ties with their former homelands. Irish immigrants were against entering the war based on the sole fact that they undoubtedly hated the British. Irish immigrants felt like they were traditional enemies of the English. German immigrants strongly opposed fighting against the land of their ancestors. The German immigrants had great suspicion, anger, and hostility that grew against them. German goods, street names, and family names had begun to be changed. The German and even Austrian newspapers were being shut down. Civil liberties truly suffered with radicals and immigrants being arrested, put in jail, and even deported because of the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918.

The war was believed by the socialist to ultimately be an imperialistic or capitalistic conflict. Socialists truly considered World War I to be only a capitalistic dogfight. Socialist movements declared the war as workers killing each other in the millions in the only interests of their bosses. The socialists felt that any and maybe even all workers should not take part in the war. Once the war was declared, there were however, many socialists groups who decided to back the government and support the war. Some of the socialists groups argued that other socialists should support their nations in this time of war. There were however, a few socialists party groups who wanted to oppose World War I and actually stood behind that belief....
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