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American Civil Liberties Union

WHILE EUROPEANS fought in the early years of World War I, the United States remained neutral, at least in theory. America had a long tradition of isolationism and opposition to war in general, European wars in particular. Led by President Woodrow Wilson, the United States drifted closer and closer to backing Britain, then entered the war on the side of Britain and France. In reaction, antiwar protesters organized the American Union Against Militarism (AUAM). Founders included Crystal Eastman, Jane Addams, Paul Kellogg, Oswald Garrison Villard, and others. At the same time as it brought the United States into the European war, the government enacted a series of repressive laws, including the Espionage Act, that made antiwar speech and draft resistance into crimes. The AUAM established ...

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