The Red Scare (1919-1920)

Thesis Statement: Did you know The “Red Scare” refers to the time where the fear of radicalism (especially Bolshevism) large number of strikes and bombings resulted in street violence and government crackdowns on suspected radicals.

Describing The Red Scare: The majority of Americans condoned these actions during the Red Scare Laws were eventually passed that made the Socialist Party an illegal organization and barred its candidates from becoming candidates in elections – these types of laws institutionalized the repression of radicalism and dissent But there was also a public backlash against the excesses of anti-communist hysteria; people began to question the compromising of individual rights Palmer had predicted a number of strikes to occur on May Day (May 1st) when this did not occur, Palmer was discredited and the Red Scare ended in the Summer of 1920 A Return to Xenophobia.

Two Impacts During The 1920’s : In 1921, Nicola Sacco and Bartolommeo Vanzetti were charged and convicted of killing two people in a robbery in Massachusetts.

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The judge and jury were probably prejudiced (the defendants were Italians, atheists, anarchists, draft dodgers and spoke very little English) and the defense lawyer was not familiar with Massachusetts law and tradition. The evidence was not conclusive but the actual guilt or innocence of Sacco and Vanzetti seemed to not be the point; their radicalism and lower class became the central issues. They were sentenced to death by electric chair in 1927 by Judge Webster Thayer and riots broke out around the world after the executions.

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Recent research seems to point to both men being involved in the robbery and quite possibly guilty, but the trial was not fair and again, their guilt was not the point.

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The Red Scare (1919-1920). (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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