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Chapter 12 Section 1: Americans Struggle with Postwar Issues.

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1 Chapter 12 Section 1: Americans Struggle with Postwar Issues

2 Postwar Trends  Debate over League of Nations had divided America.  Returning soldiers faced unemployment or took jobs away from women/minorities.  Cost of living had doubled.  Nativism, the prejudice against foreign born people, swept the nation.  Isolationism, a policy of pulling away from involvement in World affairs, also grew.

3 Fear of Communism  Many Americans feared Communism, an economic and political system based on single party government ruled by a dictatorship.  In order to equalize wealth and power, communists would put an end to private property, substituting government ownership of factories, railroads and other businesses.

4 The Red Scare  In 1919, revolutionaries in Russia overthrew the czarist regime.  Vladimir I. Lenin and his Bolsheviks established a communist state.  A communist party formed in the U.S.  70,000 radicals joined, including some from the Industrial Workers of the World.  Bombs were mailed to the government and the people were afraid of the communists takeover.

5 The Palmer Raids  Palmer, J. Edgar Hoover, and their agents hunted down communists, socialists, and anarchists.  As they trampled people’s civil rights, hundreds of foreign born radicals were deported without trial.  Palmer Raids fails.

6 Sacco and Vanzetti  Both Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were anarchist immigrants and were arrested and charged with a robbery and murder.  There wasn’t much evidence but were found guilty and were sentenced to death.  Protest soon followed.

7 The Klan Rises Again  As a result of the Red Scare, different groups used anti-communism as an excuse to harass any group unlike themselves.  The KKK was devoted to “100% Americanism”  By 1924, KKK membership reached 4.5 million  KKK members were paid to recruit new members into their world of secret rituals and racial violence

8 The Quota System  Established max amount of people that could enter the U.S. from each foreign country  Reduced the total number of persons to be admitted in any one year to 150,000  Discriminated against people from eastern and southern Europe--mostly Roman Catholics and Jews

9 A Time of Labor Unrest  More than 3,000 strikes during 1919  The Boston Police Strike – the Boston police hadn’t been given a raise since WWI and were denied the right to unionize.  Calvin Coolidge is praised for calling out the National Guard to settle it down.  The Steel Mill Strike – workers wanted right to negotiate for shorter working hours/a living wage. 300,000 workers walked off, steel companies hired strikebreakers.


11 Labor Movement Loses Appeal  Union membership dropped because:  Much of the work force were immigrants willing to work in poor conditions  Unions had difficulty organizing immigrants who spoke different languages  Farmers who had migrated to cities were used to relying on themselves  Most unions excluded African Americans

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