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  • Rounding Up the "Reds" in a Nation-Wide Campaign Against Revolutionaries : Police Searching a Group of Arrested "Suspects" in Police Headquarters, ChicagoRounding Up the "Reds" in a Nation-Wide Campaign Against RevolutionariesOutlook, 1/21/20.Originally from the International (c).photograph

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  • American Life in the “Roaring Twenties”1919-1929
  • What problems are shown in post-war America?
  • Insulating America
    Bloody war, treaty failure led U.S. toward isolationism.
    “Red Scare” of 1919-1921 caused by:
    Russian Revolution
    Communist Party in America
    General Strikes (Seattle)
    “Fighting Quaker” Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer led crusade (a.k.a. Palmer Raids):
    6000 suspects held
    Due Process not followed
    Dec. 1919: 249 alien radicals deported to Russia.
  • Rounding Up “Reds”
  • Insulating America at Great Expense
    Criminal syndicalismlaws:
    mere advocacy of violence for social change was criminalized
    Laws used to prosecute IWWs “wobblies”/radicals
    harmed free speech.
    1920: 5 NY legislators denied seats because they were Socialists.
    Conservative business owners used scare against labor:
    “open” shop was “American plan”
  • Sacco and Vanzetti
    1921: Liberals regarded conviction of Sacco & Vanzetti as a “judicial lynching” because they were Italians, atheists, anarchists, draft dodgers.
  • Hooded Hoodlums
    KKK revival was more “nativist” than just anti-black.
    At peak in mid-20s it had 5 million members, large political influence, esp. in Midwest, South.
    Why in the Midwest?
    • KKK collapsed suddenly in late 20s: terror, cover-up embezzlement.
    • Congressional investigation exposed KKK as being basically a membership fee racket.
    Membership of the Ku Klux Klan1920 1930 1970 2000
    4,000,000 30,000 2,000 3,000
  • Stemming the Flood
    • The U.S. Government began to restrict certain “undesirable” immigrants from entering the U.S.
    • Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and Immigration Act of 1924
    • Kept out immigrants from southeastern Europe.
  • 1924 Act barred any Japanese immigration, but exempted Canadian/Latin Americans for work purposes.
    By 1931, more foreigners left U.S. than arrived.
    Act marked end of era of unrestricted immigration.
  • What is the most dangerous drug in America?
  • Prohibition “Experiment”
    1919: Progressive reform led by churches, women resulted in 18th Amendment, Volstead Act.
    Where was prohibition popular?
    Why there?
  • Prohibition “Experiment”
    Problems with enforcement:
    Disillusionment over outcome of war raised questions about further self-denial.
    Legislators’ private drinking.
    Returning WWI soldiers disapproved.
    Poor workers upset that while they lost beer, rich could still buy illicit alcohol.
    Bootlegging, “bar hunts” popular with young & old.
  • Prohibition “Experiment”
    But northern cities full of immigrants resisted.
    Corner saloons replaced by “speakeasies”– preferred hard liquor
    Strained diplomatic relations with Canada
    Personal stills popular, but product was often dangerous.
  • Prohibition “Experiment”
    Despite problems, bank savings increased, work absentee rate declined.
    Less alcohol consumed than prior to prohibition.
  • The Night Chicago Died
  • Golden Age of Gangsters
    Profits from illegal alcohol led to rise of criminal gangs
    War in Chicago led to 500 killings
    Al Capone
    convicted of income-tax evasion, sent to prison.
    By 1930, organized crime was making $12-$18B/year, several times more than federal government.
  • Happy Valentine’s Day