Boycotting the War

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 8.14.05 PMTowards the start of World War I, there were many different reactions to the news of the United States entering the war. Some supported the war efforts, whereas there were others who were dead against the war. Some made their views public, and others simply kept their views to themselves. While researching the war around Suffield, CT, I was able to find some FBI files from the beginning of the war that track these public displays of antiwar sentiment. There are even some files of residents of Suffield and West Suffield who strongly disagreed with the war. One man from West Suffield strongly opposed the war and encouraged the people around him to boycott the second Liberty Loan since there was no use. In this FBI file form October 30, 1917, it stated that he felt that the Germans would soon control the U.S., so there was no point for him and his neighbors to buy into the loans. He was also seen on occasion in meetings in Springfield, MA, where he would not stand for the Star-Spangled Banner. In another FBI file from March 5, 1918, there was a German man who the FBI had been watching over. They concluded that the man was breaking the law for leaving West Suffield, CT, and moving throughout New York without permits. Through this I learned of the close eye that federal agencies kept on Germans leaving in the United States, since the U.S. was now at war with Germany. As I continue to look through more FBI files, I will most likely find more stories like the ones here and that will help to shape a vision of how the public felt about the war.

Source: This information comes from actual FBI files on these subjects provided by


6 thoughts on “Boycotting the War

  1. okinne88

    I found this post to be very interesting. I learned a lot about the people who opposed the war and am excited to learn more. Maybe you could include some information on why people supported the war in Suffield. I believe if you bring in arguments from both sides it would really compliment your post even more. The document about people going against the war is a great example of how cautious the U.S was during this time about possible spies.


    1. dylanchase62400

      This post was incredibly detailed and provides a topic that can be debated on. Similar to what Owen commented it would enrich the post even more to back up the debate idea with both sides. I think if a pro war piece is included, there is potential to have something great here.


  2. sedleyb1617

    This post gave a lot of examples of what was happening with direct examples of specific people which helps give a first hand perspective. As both Dylan and Owen said, it would be helpful to have more background on the topic before going right into the specific examples and stories.


  3. Rory Tettemer

    Wow, I had no idea that there were efforts to boycott the war that put our country and military on the political map. I really enjoyed how you analyzed your picture and described what role Suffield had in boycotting. I would recommend to not put any doubt in your hopes of finding another file like the one you did in this post. I believe this would help motivate the reader to anticipate your next post and keep them itching for more.


  4. bensylvester8

    I love this post because it sheds light on anti war sentiment, and how a lot of people did not want to go to war. This is very interesting post, and the photo helps make it amazing. I suggest looking into how they boycotted and its effect on the war effort on the homefront.


  5. burch2016

    I think you were very thorough and you wrote this really well. However, I am wondering how many times instances similar to this man’s happened. I think that you could use a more interesting image.



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