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Postwar turmoil.

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Presentation on theme: "Postwar turmoil."— Presentation transcript:

1 Postwar turmoil

2 Sacco and Vanzetti The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti was marked by serious breaches of fairness by the judge and the foreman of the jury. The defendants were denounced for their immigrant backgrounds and beliefs in anarchism The execution of Sacco and Vanzetti elicited protests by prominent Americans such as Felix Frankfurter and provoked riots worldwide. Fifty years later, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis cleared the names of Sacco and Vanzetti, saying their trial had been “permeated with prejudice.”

3 Radical ideas Anarchism – a utopian belief that with the elimination of government will come a time of equality of happiness Communism – a utopian belief that with the inevitable fall of capitalism will come a time of equality and happiness

4 The First Red Scare The installation of a Communist government in Russia, Communist uprisings in Hungary and Bavaria, and the formation of two small Communist parties in the United States led some people to fear the spread of communism worldwide. A. Mitchell Palmer, a pacifist Quaker and attorney general for President Wilson, despised the Bolshevik theory that promoted violent revolution. The explosion of bombs in eight cities on June 2, 1919, confirmed Palmer’s fears of a Bolshevik plan to take over the world.

5 The Palmer Raids With funding by Congress, Palmer established the General Intelligence division within the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation. Under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, the division launched the so-called Palmer raids. The raids resulted in the arrests of thousands of people, most of whom were released because they had nothing to do with radical politics. Although the Red Scare exhausted itself by mid-1920, the raids and deportations demoralized American radicals. Business owners also used a fear of revolution to break a rash of strikes that broke out in 1919.

6 The Great Migration Between 1916 and 1920, half a million African Americans left the South for new jobs in the North. They took jobs as meatpackers, metalworkers, and autoworkers, all for more pay than they could have made in the South. Northern whites were no more eager than Southern whites had been to share power and opportunity with African Americans. Few cities escaped racial violence during the late 1910s and early 1920s.

7 Marcus Garvey Several radical African American groups sprang out of this ferment. Marcus Garvey’s “Back to Africa” movement became the most famous. Garvey called on African Americans to return to Africa “to establish a country and a government absolutely on their own.” Although his plan failed, Garvey instilled a sense of power and pride among poor African Americans, who were his most fervent supporters.


9 Voting and prohibition
Despite social tensions, the postwar decade began with two important reforms rooted in the Progressive Era: prohibition and women’s suffrage. The Eighteen Amendment, ratified in 1919, banned the manufacturing, transporting, and selling of liquor. The amendment was enforced by the Volstead Act, a law declaring beverages containing one-half of 1 percent of alcohol intoxicating.

10 Voting rights for women
Two groups–Carrie Chapman Catt’s National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and Alice Paul’s Congressional Union–used different tactics to secure ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in Catt publicized women’s contributions to World War I; Paul favored radical tactics such as hunger strikes.

11 Impact of the 19th amendment
The Nineteenth Amendment did not grant full equality to women. However, suffrage allowed women to win passage of the Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act of The act provided funds for states to improve maternal health care. It stayed in effect until 1929, when Congress failed to renew it.


13 Limits to progressivism
Despite these victories, a number of forces worked against progressivism: (1) a hostile Supreme Court that struck down protective labor laws, (2) a loss of confidence in political solutions to social problems after the brutality of World War I, and (3) violent strikes and radical political ideas that caused many middle-class progressives to side with big business.

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