The specifics of the case During World War I, socialists Charles Schenck and Elizabeth Baer circulated pamphlets claiming that the draft violated the Thirteenth Amendment's restriction on involuntary servitude. The pamphlets urged people to defy the draft, but only in a nonviolent way. They claimed that this would be consistent with the amendment's purpose of providing slavery relief to black Americans.
The trial court dismissed the case, saying that the amendment was intended to apply to individuals, not to groups. The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed this decision, holding that although the amendment did prohibit slavery, it didn't apply to corporations or other entities.
In response, the Socialist Party sued its own members for violating the Conscription Act. It was an attempt by the party to show that going against the government is dangerous and should not be done without serious reason. The case was brought in federal court because there was $10,000 in controversy. A total of 85 people were named in the lawsuit.
All but one of the defendants won their cases before judges. The one defendant who refused to sign away his right to trial by jury was convicted by a military tribunal and sentenced to two years in prison. On appeal, his conviction was upheld. He served one year of his sentence before being released for good behavior.
The New York City draft riots (July 13–16, 1863), also known as Conscript Week at the time, were violent disturbances in Lower Manhattan that were largely considered as the culmination of working-class resentment with new regulations established by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the Civil War. The riots began after Mayor Alexander McNair Stewart issued an emergency order on July 11 requiring all able-bodied male residents between the ages of 18 and 50 to report for military duty. This order caused considerable outrage among city residents, especially since many believed that they had been granted permanent exemption from service. Violence broke out on July 13 when a group of soldiers attempting to protect their camp from attack was fired upon by an armed mob; four soldiers were killed and two others were wounded.
The riots began shortly after this incident when several hundred angry citizens marched on Union Square to protest the war and the draft. When they reached the square, they found it deserted because most civilians were attending a parade held in honor of the birthday of George Washington. As soon as the crowd learned that the mayor was not present, they began destroying property and attacking houses where suspected draft dodgers could be found. They also went looking for officers to punish for the murder of their comrades but were unable to find any; however, one or more of them may have been killed during this search. By the end of the first day, nearly all police stations in the city had been burned down or destroyed, and 48 people were dead.
The Thirteenth Amendment The 13th Amendment-Slavery Abolition.
Enacted on December 22, 1865, and officially ratified by the requisite number of states on January 8, 1866, the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution permanently abolishes slavery as an institution in all U.S. states and territories. It also outlaws the practices of involuntary servitude and peonage. The amendment passed quickly through Congress and the necessary number of state legislatures during the months following Lincoln's assassination. The 13th Amendment contains no provision for reopening the debate over slavery in any state where it has already been outlawed by constitutional amendment or by act of Congress. Thus, the amendment ensures that slavery will not be able to return to these states even if their governments were to change its status through referendum or otherwise.
The amendment was proposed by Congress and designed by Abraham Lincoln. He initially opposed the amendment but later changed his mind after the southern states threatened to leave the Union if it wasn't included in the final version of the Civil War amendments. The amendment was adopted by the required number of states within five months of its ratification by the last remaining slave state (Utah).
The main distinction between the Selective Service Act of 1917 draft and the Civil War draft was that substitutes were not permitted. During the Civil War, a conscripted man may evade duty by hiring another man to replace him. The substitute is then subject to no more punishment than the original conscript.
In fact, many men avoided serving in the Union Army during the Civil War because of its long duration or because they wanted to fight against the Confederacy. To address these concerns, Congress passed the First War Powers Act in June 17, 1864, which allowed any citizen over the age of 20 to serve in lieu of being drafted. This act was later modified by other statutes until its conclusion with the Selective Service Act of 1917.
The last federal statute allowing for substitutes was passed in 1966. At that time, all states had ratified the Uniform Military Conscription Act, which provided for mandatory service for all males within each state between the ages of 18 and 26. The only exception was if a male claimed he was exempt on religious grounds; then his local draft board would determine his status. If found eligible, he would be required to perform military duty.
There have been several attempts over the years to reinstate substitute service but none has ever become law.
The legislation, which was passed on May 16, 1918, as an addendum to Title I of the Espionage Act of 1917, called for further and increased restrictions on speech. Its passage eventually came to be considered as an example of the government overstepping the confines of First Amendment liberties.
Specifically, the Act made it a crime to knowingly convey false information about the military status of America or its allies. The punishment for this offense was up to 10 years in prison and a fine.
Furthermore, the Act prohibited anyone from publishing "any written material designed to bring about or continue a state of war" without first obtaining permission from the Secretary of War. Violators would be subject to up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Finally, the Act made it unlawful to publish anything that could be "construed as advocating opposition to any action or policy of the United States government." Again, offenders would face up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
In conclusion, the Act violated several provisions of the First Amendment and was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1919.
During the Civil War, the United States Congress approved a conscription legislation, resulting in the first wartime draft of United States citizens in American history. The statute required all men between the ages of 20 and 45, including immigrants seeking to become citizens, to register by April 1. Those who failed to do so would be taken as volunteers for military service.
In the end, more than 700,000 men served in the Union Army during the war. Approximately 300,000 of them were drafted into service; the remaining 400,000 or so volunteered. Draft evasion was common among men with families who could not be moved away from combat zones or men who simply did not want to go.
The vast majority of those drafted performed their duty honorably. But about 14,000 men refused to serve, leading to 3,500 criminal charges against them. More than 1,700 men were sentenced to death for refusing to serve. Only four men convicted under this law are known to have been executed. The last execution carried out under these laws was that of John Anthony Steinmayer in 1946.
These laws remained on the books until they were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1918.