Espionage, Sedition, Censorship, and Speaking Up

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Students analyze a political cartoon created by William Allen Rogers during World War I to give context to press censorship during that war. Next, students explore additional sources from the Library of Congress to analyze how censorship worked both before and after the passage of the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917-18.  Finally, students compose their own “email to the editor” of a local newspaper or online news source, expressing their own views about the importance of freedom of the press and their informed opinion of press censorship in wartime.

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High School


Civics, Social Studies


80-100 minutes


censorship, Committee on Public Information, espionage, Espionage Act 1917, free press, freedom of the press, newspapers, sedition, Sedition Act 1918, suppression, World War I, WWI


Citizen U CRF

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