The suspension of the civil right in the United States of America took place during the First World War under the administration of Woodrow Wilson when the congress made laws purposed to silence opposition to the war. Many things took place; propaganda campaigns were initiated by the government, politicians were sent to prison, information released to the public through the newspapers were censured and people suspected not to be loyal were attacked (Paul, 1979).
Given the circumstances of the war crisis, was the government’s suspension of civil rights during WWI an “acceptable” violation of our Constitution, or should our freedoms never be restricted for any cause?
For example during Second World War, the situation in America was very tricky for the government of Woodrow Wilson. Opinion was divided in the public on whether the country should go to war or not.
Furthermore there were a lot of immigrants in America especially those of Germany origin and therefore the possibility of these immigrants sympathizing with their folks at home was inevitable. Therefore, the move by the Woodrow administration to suspend civil rights was well motivated and focused at channeling all the attention and resources (if possible) at fighting the enemy.
No wonder the Supreme Court ruled in a case Schenk vs. United States through Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that the congress was entitled to control speech when a nation is faced with a clear and current threat. The court agreed that the government can suspend some freedoms during periods of war.
Paul, M. L. (1979). World War 1 and the origin of Civil liberties in the United States . New York: Norton.