Red scare referat

Red Scare

The climate of repression which developed during World War One continued after the end of the war: The government interest focused on communism and Bolsheviks. These people were disrespectfully called the “reds”. The time period of this anti-communist mood occurred between 1918 and 1921. A. Mitchell Palmer, Wilson's Attorney General, believed communism was 'eating its way into the homes of the American workmen.' In his essay 'The Case Against the Reds,' Palmer claimed that 'tongues of revolutionary heat were licking the alters of the churches, leaping into the belfry of the school bell, crawling into the sacred corners of American homes, seeking to replace marriage vows with libertine laws, burning up the foundations of society.'

1919, the passage of both Prohibition and Woman Suffrage, and the Chicago race riot, made everything even worse. Followed by a series of terror acts of anarchists began in summer 1919; on June 2, bombs went off in eight cities, including the Capital of the States, where Palmer's home was almost completely destroyed. The terrorists names were never discovered. Although there were only about 70, 000 Communists in the United States in 1919, Palmer viewed them as responsible for a wide range of problems in America, including the bombings. Encouraged by Congress, which had refused to seat the duly elected socialist from Wisconsin, Victor Berger, Mitchell began a series of propaganda raids against communists and anarchists. Striking without warning and without warrants, Palmer's men smashed union offices and the headquarters' of Communist and Socialist assemblies down. Foreigners who had less rights were blamed.

The 'Red Scare' also strengthened the Americans belief in their freedoms by comparison to other nations. Two happenings show the absurdity of some of these fears. One is the case of the Connecticut clothing salesmen who were sentenced to sixth months in jail simply for saying that Lenin was clever. Another example was a case in Chicago. A navy member shot a man because he forgot to rise during the American national anthem.

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