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American Life in the "Roaring Twenties" 1919-1929 Seeing Red Fear of Russia ran high even after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, which spawned a communist party in America. The " red scare " of 1919-1920 resulted in a nationwide crusade against those whose Americanism was suspect. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer was chosen to round up immigrants who were in question. In 1919-1920, a number of states passed criminal syndicalism laws that made the advocacy of violence to secure social change unlawful. Traditional American ideals of free speech were restricted. Antiredism and antiforeignism were reflected in the criminal case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti . The two men were convicted in 1921 of the murder of a Massachusetts paymaster and his guard. Although given a trial, the jury and judge were prejudiced against the men because they were Italians, atheists, anarchists, and draft dodgers. Despite criticism from liberals and radicals all over the world, the men were electrocuted in 1927 . Hooded Hoodlums of the KKK The Ku Klux Klan ( Knights of the Invisible Empire ) grew quickly in the early 1920s. The Klan was antiforeign, anti-Catholic, anti-black, anti-Jewish, antipacifist, anti-Communist, anti-internationalist, antievolutionist, antibootlegger, antigambling, antiadultery, and anti-birth control. It was pro-Anglo-Saxon, pro-"native" American, and pro-Protestant. The Klan spread rapidly, especially in the Midwest and the South, claiming 5 million members. It collapsed in the late 1920s after a congressional investigation exposed the internal embezzling by Klan officials. The KKK was an alarming manifestation of the intolerance and prejudice plaguing people anxious about the dizzying pace of social change in the 1920s. Stemming the Foreign Blood Isolationist Americans of the 1920s felt they had no use for immigrants. The " New Immigration " of the 1920s caused Congress to pass the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 , restricting newcomers from Europe in any given year to a definite quota, which was at 3% of the people of their nationality who had been living in the United States in 1910. The Immigration Act of 1924 replaced the Quota Act of 1921, cutting quotas for foreigners from 3% to 2%. Different countries were only allowed to send an allotted number of its citizens to America every year. Japanese were outright banned from coming to America. Canadians and Latin Americans, whose proximity made them easy to attract for jobs when times were good and just as easy to send back home when times were not, were exempt from the act.... View Full Document

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