Presentation on theme: "Politics in 1920s Ch. 14, Sec 1. The Red Scare 1917-1920-Russian Revolution. – Communists under Lenin overthrew Czar Nicholas II & took over Russia. Communism-"— Presentation transcript:
The Red Scare 1917-1920-Russian Revolution. – Communists under Lenin overthrew Czar Nicholas II & took over Russia. Communism- – Needs of the state took priority over rights of individuals. – Gov’t owned all factors of production. – Single political party ruled nation. Americans did not like communism.
Americans concerned that Communists infiltrating USA with immigrants. Strikers and labor leaders termed “revolutionaries”, bombers mailed bombs to gov’t officials. Fear of communist infiltration & takeover called “Red Scare”. Court cases supported Red Scare & Communist crackdown. – Schenck v. USA-During WWI, Charles Schenck mailed letters to draftees, urging them not to report to duty. Convicted of breaking Espionage Act, appealed on free speech. Supreme Court stated that free speech can be suspended in case of national emergency.
– Gitlow V. New York-Bernard Gitlow, Socialist, published letters urging overthrow of gov’t. Supreme Court upheld conviction, affirmed that 14 th Amendment also applied to states. June 1919-bomb exploded at home of A. M. Palmer, Atty Gen. of USA. – Palmer believed radicals attempting to overthrow gov’t. – Set up Palmer Raids on Communist, Socialist, & anarchist groups. Thousands arrested in 33 cities, 500 deported to home countries. – Had public’s support, but they turned on him when Labor Day passed without riots he warned about.
April 15, 1920-2 men robbed payroll of show factory in Massachusetts, killed guard. 2 Italian immigrant anarchists arrested. – Nicols Sacco & Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Both found carrying guns. – Many believed Sacco & Vanzetti arrested for political beliefs. – Put on trial (trial was unfair). – Found guilty, executed by electric chair August 1927.
Labor Strikes Waves of strikes during Red Scare; many believed Communist agitators behind strikes. – Was actually due to inflation & lowered standard of living. Boston Police Strike-Cops had no raises since WWI started. – Tried to organize union, 19 fired, cops struck. Led to riots in Boston, state guard called in. Steelworkers struck for shorter hours in Indiana. – Strikebreakers killed 18, injured hundreds. – Troops called in, strike failed.
Coal miners struck for better pay. – Courts demanded miner work, miners refused. – Winter-coal shortage, strikers win, 14% raise. Public did not like unions and strikes, saw them as Commie agitators hurting USA. Union membership began to decline, led to sharp drop in strikes by mid-1920s.
Warren G. Harding Served 1921-1923. Republican. Isolationist-no alliances with foreign nations. Promoted disarmament-nations would voluntarily give up weapons; promote peace. Raised import tariffs to highest ever. – Promoted American business. Created Dawes Plan-payment schedule for Germany to pay off war debt. Passed immigration quotas-limits to certain ethnicities.
Harding’s presidency plagued by scandals. – No proof Harding was involved in them. Worst-Teapot Dome Scandal. – Secretary of Interior Albert Fall secretly gave oil- drilling rights in Elk Hills, CA, and Teapot Dome, WY to two companies. – Received $300,000 in bribes for rights. This and other scandals probably led to Harding’s death in 1923. Vice-President Calvin Coolidge sworn in as new President.
Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge Not involved in scandals. “The chief business of the American people is business.” Laissez-faire business policy. – Lowered income taxes, higher tariffs. – Not all liked it, many Progressives felt gov’t should do more. Continued isolationist policies. Kellogg-Briand Pact-15, later 60 nations agree not to use threat of war in diplomacy. – Outlawed war.