After declaring war to Germany in 1917, US President Woodrow Wilson inaugurated compulsory military recruitment and service. These measures were not unanimously supported by the public opinion and pacifist movements began to spread.
Anarchist activists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman were committed to this struggle within the No Conscription League. They were sued in virtue of the Espionage Act and they appeared before court of New York on July 9, 1917. They did not renounce their ideas and they told the jury that it was a classical domination war and military conquest and that recruitment was a “servitude” imposed by the authorities that were trying to take democracy to Europe although it did not exist in the United States.
They were condemned to two years in prison. After the end of the war, they were expelled from the United States in accordance with the 1918 Alien Act, another special law.