"With a firm hand of stern repression"
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This Thesis examines Woodrow Wilson AdministrationÕs handling of alleged draft evaders (or ÒslackersÓ) and those who inspired evasion during the First World War. This study argues that the federal government pursued slackers Ð mostly emanating from the poorest classes of society Ð as a means of combating an incorrectly perceived rise in radicalism and anti-war dissent in backcountry rural areas and northern industrial cities with large foreign-born populations. The federal government ordered Òslacker raidsÓ that targeted specific cities and rural locales that exhibited strong support for socialist politicians and anti-war and anti-Administration firebrands. The first chapter shows that before and during the war, the federal government suppressed lower class dissent by employing unlawful raids and federal troops. The second and third chapters Ð an example of a rural raid in north Georgia and an urban raid in New York City Ð reveal that the same strategies were used against suspected slackers and dissenters.