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The Roaring 20’s. Essential Questions: How did World War I affect post-war politics and create an atmosphere of fear? What were the cultural and social changes in American during the 20’s? How did spending and irresponsibility lead to the economic crisis during the 30’s?.

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the roaring 20 s
The Roaring 20’s

Essential Questions:

  • How did World War I affect post-war politics and create an atmosphere of fear?
  • What were the cultural and social changes in American during the 20’s?
  • How did spending and irresponsibility lead to the economic crisis during the 30’s?
post war america
Post War America
  • Nativism  hostility towards immigrants, sweeps the nation
  • Isolationism – US shifts back to staying out of foreign affairs
  • A great fear of communism exists in the United States
  • Beginning of the 1st Red Scare
slide4

The Red Scare

  • began in 1919 when the Bolsheviks (“the majority”) overthrew the Russian government and established a Communist society
  • a Communist party formed in the USA:
    • 70,000 radicals joined (including members of labor unions)
    • advocated an overthrow of capitalism and united worldwide revolution of workers
  • several dozen bombs were mailed to government and business leaders
palmer raids
Palmer Raids

- Mitchell Palmer – Attorney General of the United States leads the attack against communists

- J. Edgar Hoover – Special Assistant to Mitchell

  • Starting in 1919, Palmer and Hoover hunted down suspected communists and anarchists
  • Violate civil liberties and deport hundreds without trials (witch hunt)
  • Fail to turn up any evidence and Palmer eventually loses all credibility
slide6

May 1920 – Sacco & Vanzetti were arrested and charged with the robbery and murder of a factory paymaster and guard in South Braintree, MA (both were admitted anarchists)

  • witnesses reported that the criminals appeared to be Italians
  • both Sacco & Vanzetti asserted their innocence and provided alibis
  • the evidence was entirely circumstantial
  • the judge was biased and used prejudicial remarks

Sacco and Vanzetti

The Crime

slide8

“In all my life I have never stole, never killed, never spilled blood…We were tried during a time…when there was hysteria of resentment and hate against the people of our principles, against the foreigner…I am suffering because I am a radical; I have suffered because I was an Italian and indeed I am an Italian…If you could execute me two times, and if I could be reborn two other times, I would live again to do what I have done already.”~ Bartolomea Vanzetti

ben shahn
Ben Shahn
  • Shahn sheds light on the feelings of many immigrants of the 1920’s
  • Born in Lithuania, moved to New York at an early age
  • Photographs of people and street scenes, showing American life as it is
  • Made public the anti-immigrant feelings felt around the US, particularly with the Sacco and Vanzetti case
  • He addresses the social and political issues and shows the poor with a sympathetic attitude
slide10

“The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti” by Ben Shahn

The Characters standing are the President of Harvard University (middle), President of MIT, and a former judge named Grant. All known for the prejudice feelings.

This case came to symbolize the rift between immigrants and native-born Americans at the time

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