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Intolerance in the 1920's


Kevin Sloan

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Intolerance in the 1920's

The 1920's:
An age of Intolerance
Immigration restriction
Reasons for Restriction
-People feared their way of life might change as new immigrants brought their own culture

How Immigrants were Restricted

Immigration Act of 1924

This lowered this number to 2% of however many people of that ethnic group lived in America and basically banned Asian immigration

During Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan was a racist group that mainly targeted former slaves.
The Red Scare
The Sacco and Vanzetti Trial
In 1920 in Massachusetts, a paymaster was robbed and killed by a group of men. After the crime was committed, the police set up a trap to catch the suspect. Instead of catching the suspect, however, two Italian men name Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti fell into the tap and were arrested and indicted for the crimes. In the trial, the judge was openly discriminatory against the men, as they had beliefs tied to the Italian anarchist movement. Even though there was no solid evidence to prove they had done anything, tboth Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty and punished to death. This was a huge example of suspicion and intolerance in the 1920's, as the men were charged and found guilty of the crime because of who they were and what they believed. The Red Scare truly affected America that much.
The Scopes Trial
In the 1920's, Southern states were passing laws that made teaching evolution in schools illegal.

In 1925 a teacher named John Scopes, who taught evolution in his classroom was arrested.
What Happened
Side 1 was asked a lot about the Bible's teachings, with the questions progressively getting harder as time went on.

Here are several questions:
Q: "Do you think the earth was made in six days?"

A: "Not six days of 24 hours ... My impression is they were periods ..."

Q: "Now, if you call those periods, they may have been a very long time?"

A: "They might have been."

Q: "The creation might have been going on for a very long time?"

A: "It might have continued for millions of years ..."

The jury decided in favor of Scopes, giving teachers in Tennessee the right to teach the evolutionary theory in their classrooms.

Scopes trial decision was later overturned in the Tennessee Supreme Court over a small technicality.

However, the issue still loomed large in the country, and remains an issue up to this very day.
As you know know, the 20's were a time of great intolerance.

Minorities were widely discriminated against, as seen with the actions of the KKK ; and old ideas clashed with new ones, as seen in the Scopes Trial.

The events of this decade changed America greatly, being stepping stones on the path to America existing as it does today.
The End
Immigrants at Ellis Island, 1924
Ku Klux Klan Demonstration
In 1917 (before the end of World War I) the Bolsheviks,
took control or Russia and set up a communist government in that country.

This deeply affected Americans, as they began to fear that the US would become a communist nation, as well.

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti
Scene from Courtroom
The number of Immigrants allowed into the United States was limited by a Quota System
-Unions believed that immigrants would come in and take jobs from Americans
-After World War I, the country wanted to be Isolationist and removed from anything that involved Europe, including new Immigrants

Example of the Quota System

There are 150,000 Irish here in America

2% of that would be 3,000

So 3,000 Irish immigrants would be allowed to enter the U.S. each year

There are 350,000 Irish here in America

2% of that would be

So 7,000 Irish immigrants would be allowed to enter the U.S. each year
So then the later ethnic groups of immigrants end up with numbers more like this ..................
There are 15,000 Greeks here in America

2% of that would be 300

So 300 Greek immigrants would be allowed to enter the U.S. each year
The Immigration Act of 1924
After World War I, they took advantage of the nativist attitudes in American and expanded their target to include Roman Catholics, Jews, and Asians.
The Klan was very organized and had more than 3 million members by 1920.

The group got involved in politics too - helping many candidates win offices across the nation.
Anyone who was thought to be supporting communism, became known as a 'red.'

This is where the term "Red Scare" started.
Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer became obsessed with hunting down "reds" to make sure they didn't influence our democratic government.

He started raiding offices and accusing people of being dangerous "reds".

Thousands upon thousands of communists and their friends were arrested and jailed, even if they never did anything wrong.

It was a very terrible situation, and many people who were not communist were also caught up in these Palmer Raids.
The trial was argued by two sides.

Side 1 = State of Tenneessee and fundamentalist beliefs, which meant that they thought every word in the Bible was being true and that should be taught in school

Side 2 = Scopes and the ACLU with their evolutionist beliefs, which meant they thought that the creation and evolution had nothing to do with God,
Full transcript