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1920's Red Scare

History PBL 8th
by

Katie Jiannetto

on 8 May 2013

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Transcript of 1920's Red Scare

The 1920's Red Scare By: Katie Jiannetto Sacco-Vanzetti Case Who Were They? Accusations Trial and Verdict Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two Italian immigrants who spoke poor English. Sacco was a shoemaker and Vanzetti was a fish peddler. They were know to be both Socialists and Anarchists, and found to be involved in many labor strikes anti-war propoganda, and political agitations. They were also friends with the main suspect during the beginning of the case, Mike Boda, which had brought them under suspicion as well. Vanzetti was also involved in a previous robbery. In Braintree, Massachusetts on April 15th, 1920 a paymaster and his guard were delivering $15,776 in payroll to a shoe factory in the afternoon. Both men were shot outside of the factory and the money was taken and the killer(s) had driven away. The witnesses at the factory described the suspects as “Italian-looking”. Mike Boda was initially the main suspect, but he had fled to Italy. Two of his friends, Sacco and Vanzetti, were then under suspicion after they fell victim to a police trap. They were found with guns at the time of arrest and Vanzetti had a previous criminal record. They were also well know in the community as Socialists and Anarchists. What Factors Caused This to Happen? Bolshevik Revolution A big factor was the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917, where the communists “Reds” overthrew Czar Nicholas II and eventually killed the royal family. Americans feared that something similar would happen in the United States, so they grew to fear all socialists, communists, anarchists, and anyone with “Un-American” beliefs. Assassination of President McKinley President McKinley was the 25th president of the United States and was shot on September 6th, 1901 in Buffalo, New York in the Temple of Music on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition. He was shot anarchist, Leon Czolgosz. He was just wounded when he was shot, bu the wound had developed gangrene and he had died from infection. This event had developed the fear of anarchists. World War I During the first World War, the American government tried to suppress dissent and "Un- American" beliefs to build pro-war and draft oppinions. It had roused patriotic and nationalist feelings. Where Did The Term Come From? Communists were often referred to as “Reds” because the Russian communist flag is red, so the color red is often associated with communism. “Scare” comes from the fear of communism spreading through out the United States. It had lasted from 1919-1920 Problems in the US Immigration Increase Large numbers of immigrants had come in to the United States at the turn of the century. These people were often seen as a threat to the "American" way of life. Many of them were also from Eastern European countries, many of which were Communist at the time. Racial hate groups such as the KKK were also becoming more prevalent. Public Reactions Red Summer Bombings Case Significance Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty even after over 100 witnesses were called to the stand and were able to prove that the men were no where near the scene of the crime. The judge at the time had been known to hate socialists and Sacco and Vanzetti’s lawyer had tried to make it seem like they were being prosecuted based on their beliefs instead of whether they had actually did it or not, but did not know Massachusetts law very well. They had also raised a lot of support in the left wing political party, but despite this, they were still found guilty and were in prison for 6 years (being convicted in 1921) and were both executed in August 27th. After their death local gang member Celestino Madeiros (Morelli Gang) had confessed to the crime. This case had gained worldwide fame and recognition. It had sparked many protests around the world from radicals and leftists all over the world. It also sparked many protests in many Italian communities across the United States and the world. Most thought they were given an unfair trial and were sentenced to prison because of where they were from and their political beliefs. This case was significant because it is seen as one of the most controversial cases of all time because Sacco and Vanzetti were seen to be prosecuted based on their political beliefs instead of being given a fair trial. There were major violations of civil liberties throughout the case. Effects of the Red Scare Public Reactions Labor Race and Racial Unrest Sources Cited: •The Red Summer, was the summer of 1919 and a series of bombs were sent out to well known political figures. The mayor of Seattle, Senator Thomas R. Hardwick, Mitchell Palmer (his house was partially destroyed. Six more were made but weren’t sent out (one was even addressed to John D. Rockefeller), as well as the Wall Street bombings that targeted J.P. Morgan. Labor Strikes Throughout 1919-1920 there were numerous labor strikes throughout the country. Many went on strike for higher wages after World War I to adjust to inflation. Some of the strikes were the Seattle General Strike, the Boston Police Strike, and the Great Steel Strike, were just some of the labor strikes. Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918 During the Red Scare, Espionage Act and the Sedition Act were basis for legal action against leftists and prevented dissent during World War I. The Espionage Act outlawed labor dispute intimidation and military interference. The Sedition Act made it illegal during wartime to say anything profane or negative about the military, country, or flag. Palmer Raids President Wilson's Attorney General, Mitchel Palmer lead a series of "raids" because he had thought that a radical plot to over throw the government was underway. He and J. Edgar Hoover had begun tracking the activities of citizens who had voiced there disapproval of war efforts and government policies. From November, 1919 to January 1920, 6,000 Communists and Anarchists were detained and over 500 were deported . Palmer also claimed to know that many Socialists were planning demonstrations to try to spark a revolution on May 1st, but the day came and nothing happened, which made Palmer lose popularity with the government and people. During the Red Scare, most Americans condoned these actions by the government, but when Palmer had predicted mass strikes and revolution on May 1st and nothing had happened and when the Sacco-Vanzetti case was underway, they began to question everything, and by the summer of 1920, it had begun to die down. During the first Red Scare, labor unions were targeted and members were labeled "Communists" and "Radicals", even though most contained no Communists at all, but were viewed that way because of numerous strikes. During the Red Scare, union attendance was at its peak, but then it died down towards the end of the Red Scare. The Red Scare had an effect on race and racial unrest because during the period there was a lot of racial discrimination. This was because everyone who was foreign was seen as a threat to the "American" way of life. Racial hate groups such as the KKK were becoming very prominent throughout the period. It had eventually lead to the Immigration Act of 1921, which ended open immigration and had placed a quota system in. It also lead to the National Origins Act of 1924 which 152,000 people per year and had limited immigration from eastern and southern European countries, allowing more people from northern and western European countries and had banned anyone from Asia from becoming a citizen. Nativism, Immigration, and the Red Scare. Wikispace, n.d. Web. 11 Apr<http://roaring20scush8.wikispaces.com/Nativism+and+the+Red+Scare>.
The website helped a lot and it gave easy to understand information on the
Palmer Raids
The Red Scare. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://www.u-s-history.com/
pages/h1343.html>. The website gave information on the 1920's Red Scare
Red Scare. History, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://www.history.com/topics/
red-scare>. This website was very detailed and had a lot of information
for this topic.
The Red Scare. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/
projects/ftrials/saccov/redscare.html>. This website was also very
detailed and it had a lot of information.
The Red Scare. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/
projects/ftrials/saccov/redscare.html>. This website was also very
detailed and it had a lot of information.
Red Scare Effects on Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
<http://apushredscare.weebly.com/effects-on-society.html>. This
website had helpful information on the 1920s red scare and it was very
detailed.
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