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The Red Scare How anarchism, industrial unrest and anti- immigrant sentiment led to a crackdown against “radicals”

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Presentation on theme: "The Red Scare How anarchism, industrial unrest and anti- immigrant sentiment led to a crackdown against “radicals”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Red Scare How anarchism, industrial unrest and anti- immigrant sentiment led to a crackdown against “radicals”

2 Post World War I  End of war brings end of labor shortage and end of government contracts Corporations need fewer workers Returning soldiers need jobs Gains made by unions during war begin to erode  Immigrant labor needed during war now seen as undesirable

3 : General Strikes  Large strikes in Seattle, Boston, Pittsburgh and other places cripple manufacturers  Huge numbers of workers on strike concern business owners, but not enough for reform  Many resent unions for strikes and begin to blame union activism on “radicals” in the IWW and other organizations

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6 Anarchist Bomb Plots  In 1919, several failed bombings are directed at government officials and business tycoons  One attack is on the house of US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer Although only bomber is killed, Palmer’s house is destroyed and several people injured

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8 A. Mitchell Palmer  Presidential ambitions  Wanted to use “Red Hunting” to propel him to White House  As Attorney General, created the General Intelligence Division to apprehend and deport radicals Headed by J. Edgar Hoover

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10 Palmer Raids  December 1919, 250 suspected radicals rounded up and deported Including Emma Goldman  January 2, 1920, over 4,000 arrests made across the nation Most are IWW members  Many held in secret locations and deported without trial

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12 Other Forms of Red Hunting  Vigilantism American Legion formed in 1919 “To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism”  State and local assemblies enacted seditions laws making it illegal to say anything “anti-American”

13 Sacco & Vanzetti  Two Italian immigrant anarchists tried for murder during botched robbery  Trial a sham (although Sacco, at least, probably guilty)  Became a cause for anarchists  Executed in 1927 Bartolomeo VanzettiNicola Sacco

14 Wall Street Bombing  September 16, 1920  Horse & Buggy dynamite bomb  Over 30 killed, hundreds wounded  Note: “Remember we will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be sure death for all of you.”  Crime never solved

15 Red Scare Fizzles Out  Palmer predicts attempted Communist revolution on May 1, never happens  Many critical of “excesses” of raids  Attacks on socialists viewed as unwarranted - even by Palmer  Unions are mostly cowed  Americans want to think about other things

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