Wilson, Woodrow (1856-1924) [Presidential commutation of the sentence of Otto Bruno Reichelt, convicted of violating the Espionage Act on 4 October 1918]

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Discussion

Wilson grants clemency to someone who has been convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1914.

This could actually be a good document to introduce the tensions that led to WWI. It can also help introduce students to the ways that foreign affairs affects domestic policy. Fear of foreign threats led to the creation of the Espionage Act.

Question that the neither the document, nor the summary answer: Why did Wilson let this guy go free after he was convicted? Was he a friend? What was their relationship before or after? Did new evidence surface? Was he appeasing some foreign leader?


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