I. Seeing Red
After World War I, America turned inward, away from the world, and started a policy of
.” Americans denounced “radical” foreign ideas and “un-American” lifestyles.
” of 1919-20 resulted in Attorney General
A. Mitchell Palmer
Quaker”) using a series of raids to round up and arrest about 6,000 suspected Communists.
In December of 1919, 249 alleged alien radicals were deported on the Buford.
The Red Scare severely cut back free speech for a period, since the hysteria caused many people
to want to eliminate any Communists and their ideas.
Some states made it illegal to merely advocate the violent overthrow of government for social
were convicted of murdering a Massachusetts
paymaster and his guard. The two accused were Italians, atheists, anarchists, and draft dodgers, and
the courts may have been prejudiced against them.
In this time period, anti-foreignism (or “nativism”) was high.
Liberals and radicals rallied around the two men, but they were executed.
II. Hooded Hoodlums of the KKK
Ku Klux Klan
was anti-foreign, anti-Catholic, anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-pacifist, anti-
Communist, anti-internationalist, anti-revolutionist, anti-bootlegger, anti-gambling, anti-adultery, and anti-
More simply, it was pro-White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) and anti-everything else.
At its peak in the 1920s, it claimed 5 million members, mostly from the South, but it also featured a
reign of hooded horror.
The KKK employed the same tactics of fear, lynchings, and intimidation.
It was stopped not by the exposure of its horrible racism, but by its money fraud.
III. Stemming the Foreign Flood
In 1920-21, some 800,000 European “
” (mostly from the southeastern Europe
regions) came to the U.S. and Congress passed the
Emergency Quota Act
of 1921, in which newcomers
from Europe were restricted at any year to a quota, which was set at 3% of the people of their nationality
who lived in the U.S. in 1910.
*This policy still really favored the Slavs and the southeastern Europeans in comparison to other groups. So, a new
policy was sought…
* A replacement law was found in the
Immigration Act of 1924
, which cut the quota down to 2% and the origins base
was shifted to that of 1890, when few southeastern Europeans lived in America.
* This change clearly had racial undertones beneath it (New Immigrants out, Old Immigrants in).
* This act also slammed the door against Japanese immigrants.
* By 1931, for the first time in history, more people left America than came here.