The Fight For Our Rights During WWI

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In 21st century America, citizens assert their individual rights loud and clear. Media coverage shows that Americans defend, debate, and demand individual liberties, including freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. Yet just over 100 years ago, Americans valued the greater good of the country more than their personal freedoms, according to Christopher Capozzola, the author of “Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen.” Capozzola explains that the change from prioritizing one’s country to one’s self occurred during World War I. As the federal government gained more power during the First World War, its growing control was countered by a demand to protect individual rights, Capozzola says. The changing relationship between citizen and country would powerfully shape the society we now live in.

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