Loyalty oath is a person’s declaration of his/her allegiance to the government and to its institutions. At the same time, this also means disavowal of support among foreign associations or ideologies. When the US became self-governing republic, the oaths of loyalty to new political system became an integral tool to sustain it.
What the Constitution Says?
In Article 2, 1, cl. 8 of United States Constitution, it is requiring the President to take oath of office and then in cl. 3 of Article 4, it is requiring oaths of office among members of US Congress, federal judiciary as well as the officers of the state executive, judicial and legislative branches of the government. These loyalty oaths play an imperative part in the process of naturalization. Thus, people who were born in the US are the citizens by birth but, resident aliens who like to become citizens should swear an oath of allegiance to US.
As a matter of fact, the government has enacted loyalty oaths among its employees during as well as after the World Wars. These oaths are actually considered as an integral tool in defense of the US from enemies both outside and within the country, particularly in times of war. In reality, during and after the World Wars, there’s a widespread fear towards socialism, fascism and communism.
Not to mention, the concomitant stress of ensuring that Americans were and will remain loyal to their homeland, led the state and the federal governments in enacting legislation that will help in eliminating subversive organizations and also, those who are supporting them.
Ensuring that Everyone Practices their Oaths
In fact, the congress is aggressive in investigating the citizen’s loyalty via special House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC as well as the Senate Permanent Investigation Subcommittee that’s chaired by the US Senator Joseph McCarthy. At the same time, it enacted statutes like Smith Act of 1940 as well as the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950 that seeks to stop the rise of communism across United States. In fact, even with fierce market competition like businesses that buy Instagram likes, paying ads to be shown on YouTube and the likes, US businesses are still practicing their oaths to maintain fairness among each.
Individual states also had the same laws both state and federal government imposed security programs that has loyalty oaths for members of the labor union and professional organizations and even government employees.