Faculty Advisor

Kimberly Jensen

Faculty Advisor

Ricardo Pelegrin-Taboada

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


“World War I and the Policing Power of the State” analyzes World War I legislative power combined with inculcating hyper-patriotic propaganda and how these factors contributed to violations of First Amendment rights. A review of various primary sources from World War I, such as war-time legislative orders and federal government propaganda campaigns, demonstrates examples of how these violations exacerbated division within American society, leading to mob activity and a proliferation of extra-legal vigilantism. Citizen turned against citizen as vigilante organizations such as the federally endorsed American Protective League spread across the country, enforcing federal will. During World War I, zealous patriotism campaigned by wealthy, white American men, transformed the federal government into a powerful and autocratic force and through implementation of patriotic based policies, coerced Americans into a wave of vigilantism and at the very least, reinforced certain social turbulences such as classism and racism. World War I distinguishes an era in which a new U.S. wartime government used legislative power and patriotic propaganda to further establish centralized control. This was made possible through the indoctrination of the patriot, the inculcation of blind obedience and a pledge to 100% Americanism.

Document Type


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