Politics in 1920s
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Politics in 1920s. Ch. 14, Sec 1. The Red Scare. 1917-1920-Russian Revolution. Communists under Lenin overthrew Czar Nicholas II & took over Russia. Communism - Needs of the state took priority over rights of individuals. Gov’t owned all factors of production.

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Politics in 1920s

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Politics in 1920s

Politics in 1920s

Ch. 14, Sec 1


The red scare

The Red Scare

  • 1917-1920-Russian Revolution.

    • Communists under Lenin overthrew Czar Nicholas II & took over Russia.

  • Communism-

    • Needs of the state took priority over rights of individuals.

    • Gov’t owned all factors of production.

    • Single political party ruled nation.

  • Americans did not like communism.


Politics in 1920s

  • Americans concerned that Communists infiltrating USA with immigrants.

  • Strikers and labor leaders termed “revolutionaries”, bombers mailed bombs to gov’t officials.

  • Fear of communist infiltration & takeover called “Red Scare”.

  • Court cases supported Red Scare & Communist crackdown.

    • Schenck v. USA-During WWI, Charles Schenck mailed letters to draftees, urging them not to report to duty.

      • Convicted of breaking Espionage Act, appealed on free speech.

      • Supreme Court stated that free speech can be suspended in case of national emergency.


Politics in 1920s

Charles Schenck


Politics in 1920s

  • Gitlow V. New York-Bernard Gitlow, Socialist, published letters urging overthrow of gov’t.

    • Supreme Court upheld conviction, affirmed that 14th Amendment also applied to states.

  • June 1919-bomb exploded at home of A. M. Palmer, Atty Gen. of USA.

    • Palmer believed radicals attempting to overthrow gov’t.

    • Set up Palmer Raids on Communist, Socialist, & anarchist groups.

      • Thousands arrested in 33 cities, 500 deported to home countries.

    • Had public’s support, but they turned on him when Labor Day passed without riots he warned about.


  • Politics in 1920s

    A. Mitchell Palmer


    Politics in 1920s

    • April 15, 1920-2 men robbed payroll of show factory in Massachusetts, killed guard.

    • 2 Italian immigrant anarchists arrested.

      • NicolsSacco & BartolomeoVanzetti.

        • Both found carrying guns.

      • Many believed Sacco & Vanzetti arrested for political beliefs.

      • Put on trial (trial was unfair).

      • Found guilty, executed by electric chair August 1927.


    Politics in 1920s

    Sacco Vanzetti


    Labor strikes

    Labor Strikes

    • Waves of strikes during Red Scare; many believed Communist agitators behind strikes.

      • Was actually due to inflation & lowered standard of living.

    • Boston Police Strike-Cops had no raises since WWI started.

      • Tried to organize union, 19 fired, cops struck.

        • Led to riots in Boston, state guard called in.

    • Steelworkers struck for shorter hours in Indiana.

      • Strikebreakers killed 18, injured hundreds.

      • Troops called in, strike failed.


    Politics in 1920s

    • Coal miners struck for better pay.

      • Courts demanded miner work, miners refused.

      • Winter-coal shortage, strikers win, 14% raise.

    • Public did not like unions and strikes, saw them as Commie agitators hurting USA.

    • Union membership began to decline, led to sharp drop in strikes by mid-1920s.


    Warren g harding

    Warren G. Harding

    • Served 1921-1923. Republican.

    • Isolationist-no alliances with foreign nations.

    • Promoted disarmament-nations would voluntarily give up weapons; promote peace.

    • Raised import tariffs to highest ever.

      • Promoted American business.

    • Created Dawes Plan-payment schedule for Germany to pay off war debt.

    • Passed immigration quotas-limits to certain ethnicities.


    Politics in 1920s

    • Harding’s presidency plagued by scandals.

      • No proof Harding was involved in them.

    • Worst-Teapot Dome Scandal.

      • Secretary of Interior Albert Fall secretly gave oil-drilling rights in Elk Hills, CA, and Teapot Dome, WY to two companies.

      • Received $300,000 in bribes for rights.

    • This and other scandals probably led to Harding’s death in 1923.

    • Vice-President Calvin Coolidge sworn in as new President.


    Politics in 1920s

    Albert Fall


    Calvin silent cal coolidge

    Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge

    • Not involved in scandals.

    • “The chief business of the American people is business.”

    • Laissez-faire business policy.

      • Lowered income taxes, higher tariffs.

      • Not all liked it, many Progressives felt gov’t should do more.

    • Continued isolationist policies.

    • Kellogg-Briand Pact-15, later 60 nations agree not to use threat of war in diplomacy.

      • Outlawed war.


    Politics in 1920s

    • Coolidge refused to run for 2nd term as President.

    • Herbert Hoover nominated by Republicans to replace Coolidge.

      • Organized, pro-business, pro-Prohibition.

    • Won in 1928 by large margin.


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