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America Struggles with Post War Issues How are civil liberties attacked in the post-war era?

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Presentation on theme: "America Struggles with Post War Issues How are civil liberties attacked in the post-war era?"— Presentation transcript:

1 America Struggles with Post War Issues How are civil liberties attacked in the post-war era?

2 Red Scare Widens After Lenin brings Communism to Russia a great panic hits the US Communists (aka Reds) called for a worldwide socialist revolution American people & businesses feared a communist takeover of private industries Some 70K workers (including IWW members) joined the American Communist Party around 1918 Many strikes blamed on Communists, are they trying to take over America??? Anarchists also gaining momentum

3 Palmer Raids When several bombs were mailed to government agencies, Atty. General A. Mitchell Palmer went to work Palmer Raids: Palmer & his assistant J. Edgar Hoover, hunt down suspected communists & anarchists No bomb making materials or evidence of a revolution are found but hundreds are jailed or deported without trials 1. What were some post-war economic problems? 2.Why are Palmer raids a dark chapter in US History? 3.What did Palmer claim he had?

4 Post War Nativism & Racism World War I left Americans exhausted & horrified, many resent US was in a foreign war ● Many Americans want to see a return to isolationism, let’s focus on America & not the rest of the world Anti-foreign sentiment known as Nativism sweeps across US ● End of war, also sees an increased amount of racism towards Af-Ams ● Many Caucasians resented Af-Ams taking jobs from them and living near them 1. East St. Louis: blacks & whites riot over jobs, 200 killed 2. Chicago: Black swimmer killed, Police fail to arrest culprit, Ntl Guard called in 3. Rosewood, FL: Middle class black neighborhood destroyed by KKK

5 Immigrant Backlash: America for Americans KKK increases in membership b/c extreme nativist sentiment 1921: To cut immigration Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act Sacco & Vanzetti is one of the best known anti-immigrant cases The two Italian immigrants, were accused of robbery & murder Despite having alibis and little evidence against them, the two are found guilty & executed (both were anarchists) The act establishes a maximum number of people who could enter US

6 Reaction against Discrimination In addition to the NAACP, other organizations form to protect rights Anti-Defamation League (ADL) founded in 1913 in response to anti-Semitism and discrimination against Jews Brought attention to discrimination in housing, employment & college admission American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) forms in 1920 in response to attacks on civil liberties Fought against Palmer Raids & to have those arrested under Sedition Acts freed from jail

7 Post War Labor Unrest E mployees want raises owed during WWI ● M anagement labeled strikers as “communists” out to wreck the capitalist system of America S ince strikes were illegal during WWI, after the war some 3,000 strikes occurred in the US (4mil workers) Boston Police Strike 1919 Boston police hadn’t had a raise since start of WW I When some ask for a raise they are fired, remaining officers strike Mass Gov Calvin Coolidge sends in National Guard to end strike, says no strikes in public safety

8 Pennsylvania Steel Mill Strike (1919) Unions do much better under John L. Lewis, his coal union wins in several strikes Steel workers want shorter hours, better pay, right to form union US Steel refuses to meet with workers reps (say union not legit) 300k workers walk off job, US Steel hires “scabs” to replace them Scabs & Strikers have confrontation but striking workers beaten by police, but US Steel makes it seems like strikers are communists But a newspaper report shows how bad conditions are in steel mill Workers get decreased hours & higher pay but still can’t form union However, overall union membership drops from 5 mil. to 3.5 mil.


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