Course Details

970: US Civil Liberties in Wartime

February 4-7, 2019
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

We will examine four major instances in which the constitutional rights of Americans were substantially restricted in times of crisis: the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 during the quasi-war with France; the suspension of habeas corpus and other civil liberties in the Civil War; the wide suppression of dissent during World War I; and the detention of Japanese living in the western United States in World War II. Why did these events happen? Were these presidential, congressional, and judicial decisions justified? How should we strike a balance between our civil liberties and our security? We will use the book War and Liberty by Geoffrey Stone. Participants should read the preface and chapter one before the first session.

Class Format: Discussion

Hours of Reading: Less than 1 hour/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Robert Coe
Bob Coe has an MA in History from Columbia and an MAT in Teaching from Wesleyan. A former Foreign Service Officer, he has been teaching mostly history courses at OLLI since 2005.

Reading List:

War and Liberty. An American Dilemma: 1790 to the Present, Geoffrey R. Stone. W.W. Norton & Company, 2007, ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0-393-33004-5.