Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Have we ever come to ask our self what is patriotism? Is it showing love for the country voluntary or is it forced? How do we show it? Do we show it through purchasing products or hanging the flag outside of our house? And what exactly is its purpose? To show people’s loyalty or just to represent of country? Although many of these questions are not often asked today, during the war these were things that no one asked because it simply was just a requirement from immigrants or anybody that looked like a terrorist including citizens of America. It was no longer voluntary patriotism it was coercive patriotism, patriotism that was force or threatened amongst people.
Coercive patriotism? What exactly is it? Its walking through the streets people staring at you and if you make one wrong move you could be tortured or taken to jail. Coercive patriotism was taken very seriously throughout the war. Coercive patriotism is the way Americans were made to support the war. During the war showing loyalty to the country was very important. Americans displayed the flag everywhere from advertisements to store products. If anyone at any time was caught suspicions of showing disloyalty to his or her country they were made to kiss the American flag in front of the public. Not only this but anyone who made bad or unpleasant comments about the flag were immediately sent to prison. This also included investigating residents who failed to get liberty loans, practicing or teaching patriotism in schools, including making teachers sign loyalty oaths. Coercive patriotism went as far as federal agents going into offices and arresting hundreds of people taking hold of many file and publications as well (Seagull, 753-754).
Although Coercive Patriotism was a way/ form for Americans and immigrants to support the war I do not think that the correct way to do this was by forcing people to stay loyal to their country. Yes, loyalty to one’s country is something one would want especially during war but the kind of patriotism that was shown during the war was inconsiderate and unreasonable. Furthermore, during war time if they really wanted to see patriotism and who was loyal to their country they could have avoided forcing it into people. When people actually love their country, and want to show it they’ll simply show patriotism on their free will. Not because their country is going into war and they do not express the same opinions as another person they should go to jail or be treated violently. Other ways of showing patriotism could have simply been voluntary by the citizens. During this time period the United States no longer showed any type of freedom, thus being because simply thinking a different way was wrong and was showing disloyalty to the country. But in all reality if we look at it from a different perspective did it really make a difference to force people to show patriotism if people were still being taken to jail?
The traditional freedom of Americans no longer existed or applied in the United States during the time of war. Many Americans fought for the right of freedom of speech and opinion and they should be able to express themselves in any way they want. When Americans and immigrants were forced to show patriotism and German food name had to be changed due to going to war with them, all types of freedom were immediately taken away. Freedom is the right to act think or say whatever one wants, thus being the case United states citizens no longer had any freedom. When they were controlled into thinking the same way about their country, they lost their freedom of opinion and belief. When they were forced to teach patriotism in school, students and teacher lost the freedom of being able to choose one’s life. When they lost all publication, and files due to the federal agents taking them and arresting many people in offices, these people lost their freedom of speech, privacy etc. The list can go on and on but the point is many of the people in the United states no longer had freedom due to coercive Patriotism.