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Unformatted text preview: evolution:
Labor Strikes and the Red Scare*
- Almost as a continuation of the suppression of civil
liberties that occurred during the war, Americans
continued to oppress radicals following the Bolshevik
Revolution in 1917 – they worried about Bolshevism in
the country, and resented Russia as a result of its
separate peace w/Germany after the revolution.
- In fact, Wilson despised the Russians so much that he
even fought an undeclared war against Lenin and co. by
sending military expeditions to “guard Allied supplies and
rescue Czechs” in Siberia. He also refused to recognize
the Bolsheviks, sent arms to their opponents, and
economically blockaded Russia.
- At home, of course, unemployment and the post-war
recession contributed to anti-radical sentiment as well. In
1919, a series of labor strikes [think Boston police strike
and so on, not anything that was actually radical] and an
incident with mail bombs on May 1 led to the Red Scare.
- A steel strike partially led by an IWW member only
made things worse by allowing leaders to label the strike
a conspiracy by foreign radicals, which was not the case
189 as the American left was actually badly split between the
Communist Labor Party and the Communist Party.
- Consequently, anti-radical elements like the American
Legion joined with Wilson’s attorney general A. Mitchell
Palmer, who was appointed as head of the Radical
Division of the Dept. of Justice, in chasing down
supposed Reds. This climaxed in the January 1920 with
the Palmer Raids – gov’t agents broke in to meeting
halls and homes w/o warrants and arrested lots of
- The anti-red activities were regarded as antiConstitutional by many civil libertarians, and even
conservatives turned against Palmer when he asked for
a peacetime sedition act. But e/t Palmer’s activities
stopped for the most part in 1920, American radicalism
had suffered big time.
*America and the Postwar World*
- During the whole Red Scare deal, Wilson actually was
more into internat’l relations than...
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2014 for the course APUSH AP United taught by Professor Orban during the Fall '10 term at Harrison High School, Harrison.
- Fall '10