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The Red Scare and The Second Red Scare - Research Paper Example

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The Red Scare Communism is a sociopolitical movement that drives a society into being classless and stateless by advocating for communal ownership of capital and free access to consumer goods. By 1930s, it had gained popularity among some people especially the intelligentsia and the labour leaders as an attractive economic ideology…
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The Red Scare and The Second Red Scare
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Download file to see previous pages The first Red Scare The first main manifestation of strong anti-communism in the US occurred in 1919 and 1920 following the 1917 Bolshevick Revolution in Russia. It also came as a result of strong patriotic years of the First World War in which social agitation and left-wing political violence worsened the national political and social tensions. According to Murray (1971), the Red Scare can be described as a nation-wide anti-radical hysterical which was triggered by increasing anxiety and fear that the Bolshevick revolution was going to occur in America. This revolution was to change home, marriage, Church, civility and the American way of life1. During this time, newspapers increased the existing political fears into xenophobia because different radical anarchism was seen as the answers to poverty. At the same time the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) had supported many labor strikes in the period of 1916-1917. The press portrayed this as a radical threat which was inspired by the left-wing to work against the American society. However, this was a misinterpretation of the legitimate labor strikes by the press as plots to establish communism, crimes against society and crimes against the society2. In 1919, a plan to mail 36 bombs to popular members of the US economic and political establishment and immigration officers was discovered by the authorities. On 2nd June 1919, eight bombs exploded simultaneously in eight cities and the house of the Alexander Mitchell Palmer, the US Attorney General in Washington DC was one of the targets. Twelve famous lawyers and Felix Frankfurter, a Justice in the Supreme Court, criticized Palmer raids as unconstitutionally illegal3. Felix Frankfurter published a report concerning the US Department of Justice and the illegal practices in it. The report documented the violation of the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments to the US constitution through the wanton violence and illegal acts which he states as Palmer-authorized. Palmer responded defensively by warning that left-wing revolution that was government-deposing would begin on 1st May, 1920. However, it failed to take place denoting that there was a shift in public opinion concerning communism. There were legal criticisms against Palmer’s claims for example that less than 600 deportations out of the thousands of resident foreigners were substantiated with evidence. The resident foreigners had been illegally arrested and deported back to their home countries. As a result to the shift in public opinion during first the Red Scare, left-wing and communist organizations for example the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and the IWW lost many members. During the first Red Scare period, the ‘criminal syndicalism’ laws were enacted by many US states4. These laws outlawed the campaign for violence in as a tool for affecting and achieving social change. The passage of the ‘criminal syndicalism’ laws triggered aggressive police investigations of individuals accused of advocating for such type of violence, their arrest and deportation. The individuals were being arrested and deported because they were suspected to be either communist or left-wing members. The wave of arrests, trials and deportation by the government became the characteristic events of the first Red Scare. The second Red Scare ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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