Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Only Badge Needed is Your Patriotic Fervor Vigilance,...

Vigilantism in World War I America was a perversion of the law that in the eyes of the perpetrator was a just action no matter how gruesome or violent. The obligation of vigilance during the war time was seen as patriotic duty but somewhere along the way the thought of it became distorted. Christopher Capozzola writes in his article The Only Badge Needed is Your Patriotic Fervor: Vigilance, Coercion and the Law in World War I America about vigilance taking three forms: Defending the home front and in particular in Connecticut, labor disputes and social and moral disputes. During this article one sees that vigilantism was not a clear cut defiance of the American law or system it was a theory that put the power in the hands of the people†¦show more content†¦Capozzola shows that the people that committed these acts were not anti American, they thought they were the pro-America at its finest. Woodrow Wilson as the article points out, government sought out to clarify the nati ons standards of law and right. This article in the first section shows that when it came down to vigilantism in the World War I era the line is a little grey. He points out that the same officials that spoke out against lawless vigilantism stood up for the idea of vigilance organizations policing. The idea behind this that Christopher speaks of is that uncontrolled physical violence was politically illegitimate because it went against the nation and the spirit of their laws. The problem Capozzola sees in his article is that the American people were used to policing themselves and for that to work many people saw coercion and mob violence to fit under that category of self policing. The other grey area in all this is the fact that mob violence was never actually denounced. He uses a stat from historian Richard Maxwell Brown that shows that in the years between 1767-1951 there were 5,400 deaths from organized and unorganized groups that were ‘protecting the home front. On the home front there were signs like the one Conference Committee on National Preparedness that sought for defense against spies.

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