The constitutional problem to which the Espionage Act of 1917 gave rise is almost as old as the Government itself. As early as 1798 the constitutional authority of the Government over speech ,and the press was called into question. The controversy caused by the Sedition Act of that date forms the subject of this paper.
Thomas F. Carroll,
Freedom of Speech and of the Press in the Federalist Period the Sedition Act,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol18/iss7/3