The Espionage Act of 1917 prohibited not only spying and interfering with the draft but also "false statements" that might impede military success. The postmaster general barred from the mail numerous newspapers and magazines critical of the administration. The Sedition Act of 1918 made it a crime to make spoken or printed statements that intended to cast "contempt, scorn, or disrepute" on the "form of government" or that advocated the interference with the war effort.
Effect for U.S. Women
Headed by Wall Street financier Bernard Baruch, the War Industries Board presided over all elements of war production from the distribution of raw materials to the prices of manufactured goods. The Railroad Administration took control of the nation's transportation system, and the Fuel Agency rationed coal and oil. The Food Administration instructed farmers on modern methods of cultivation and promoted the more efficient preparation of meals.
Effect for U.S. Immigrants
There was extreme repression at the hands of state governments and private groups. During the war, 33 states outlaws the display or possession of red or black fags (symbols of communism and anarchism), and 23 outlawed a newly created offense, "criminal syndicalism". 250,000 members of the newly formed American Protective League (APL) helped the Justice Department identify radicals and critics of the war by spying on their neighbors. They carried out "slacker raids" in which thousands of men were stopped on the streets and required to produce draft registration cards.
Effect for African-Americans
America's entry into the war threatened to tear the suffrage movement apart. Most leaders of woman suffrage organizations enthusiastically enlisted in the effort. Women sold war bonds, organized patriotic rallies, and went to work in war production jobs. Some 22,000 served as clerical workers and nurses with American forces in Europe. The National Woman's Party pressed for the right to vote with militant tactics many older suffrage advocates found scandalous.
Even as Americanization programs sought to assimilate immigrants into American society, the war strengthened the conviction that certain kinds of undesirable persons ought to be excluded altogether. IQ test administered to recruits by the army seemed to confirm that immigrants stood far below native whites in the IQ scale. In 1907, Indiana passed a law that authorized doctors to sterilize immigrants. In Buck v. Bell (1927), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of these laws.
Blacks experienced forced Americanization, as well as IQ tests and involuntary sterilization. Many motives sustained the Great Migration, in which blacks migrated from South to north. These were higher wages in northern factories, opportunities for educating their children, escape from threat of lynching, and exercising the right to vote. In the year after the war ended, black veterans experienced violence. The Tulsa riot, the worst race riot in American history, occurred in Oklahoma, in 1921 when more than 300 blacks were killed and 10,000 left homeless after a white mob.