How did or might the Red Scare have changed our attitudes towards immigrants?
Are there some specific examples of this in the 1920s?
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During the 1920's. Americans became known as what were xenophobia - an irrational fear of foreigners.
Americans were terrified that a communist revolution could break out in the United States. They were scared that their money and wealth would be taken away as well as the violence that would come with such a revolution. Communists were blamed for strikes, terrorist bombings like Haymarket Square and race riots. Americans hated and feared communists. All of this became what was known as the Red Scare.
Americans viewed Europe as a breeding ground for socialism and communism and as a result, blamed the immigrants, who were almost always from Europe. In the 1920's, the united states federal gov't jailed thousands of aliens suspected of being communists. At the same time President Woodrow Wilson's Attorney General, A Mitchell Palmer launched a series of Justice Department raids against the headquarters of radical groups in 33 cities. In these Palmer Raids over 3,000 people were denied due process rights like reasonable bail, the right to a defense lawyer and jury trials. Over 550 aliens among them were eventually deported.
The fear and hatred of outsiders, xenophobia, lingered on throughout the decade. It was a period of great intolerance. Some Americans were not willing to share their rights with others. Blacks, Roman Catholics and immigrants form Southern and Eastern Europe, who were mostly Jewish, were all targets of this intolerance. So was anyone who was different. Some people felt that "America must be kept American." In 1921 Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act closing the door to most Southern and Eastern European immigrants.
On April 15, 1920 a paymaster and a guard were killed outside a shoe factory on Braintree, Massachusetts. The money they were carrying, some fifteen thousand dollars, was stolen. Witnesses said five people had taken part in the holdup. The police arrested two Italian immigrants; Nicola Sacco, shoemaker and Bartolomo Vanzetti, a fish peddler. Both were admitted anarchists (people who believe in the destruction of all governments) and draft dodgers.
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