The Smith Act
The Smith act happened in 1940.
The Smith act had two different names. One as you know is called “The Smith Act” and the other is called “Alien Registration Act.”The Smith act was a law that was passed by Congressman Howard Smith of Virginia. This law was passed on June 29th in 1940.This law was about that it would make it illegal to anyone in the U.S.A. to talk about and support anyone on taking over the government. There were two parts of the law. The second part of the law said that legal immigrants older than four-teen must write a paper on: Where and how they are living and their job. Also, they’d had to write about what their opinion on politics. Almost five million people registered in the first few months.
The law was meant to weaken the American Communist Party and other groups like it in the U.S.A.Many leaders of the American Communist Party, and the Socialist Party were arrested. Some of these men were: Eugene Dennis, William Z. Foster, and Benjamin Davis.The trial of these men was very long. It was very hard to prove these men guilty because they didn’t openly talk about overthrowing the government and they didn’t collect weapons. The lawyers were put in jail for contempt of court because they would not talk about other members of the Communist Party.In a different trial it said that the leaders of the American Communist Party were found guilty of going against the Smith Act and put in jail for five years. They appealed to the Supreme Court and lost in 1951.