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EQ: 36
What were the major attacks on civil liberties
that caused racial and ethic tensions during the
early 20th century.
During this E.Q we will be covering
Palmer Raids, Immigration Quota
Acts, KKK, Trial of Sacco & Vanzetti,
and the Emergence of Garveyism
Palmer Raids/Red Scare Era
Palmer Raids were a series of raids in the late 1919 and early 1920 by United
States Department of Justice intended to capture, arrest, and deport radical leftists,
especially anarchists, from the United States.
• General A. Mitchell Palmer led these raids.
He created the General intelligence Division and secured an increase in funds to
have to have anticommunist activities.
• A mail bomb plot triggered a fear that a Bolshevik conspiracy sought to
overthrow the U.S
• In 1919, the Communist Party was gaining strength in the U.S., and Americans
feared Communism. In January, 1920, Palmer raids in 33 cities broke into
meeting halls and homes without warrant 4,000 “Communist” were jailed, many
innocent immigrants were deported.
• It ended after Palmer’s unfilled prediction of a May Day 1920 Revolution
a. Radical leftists: “farthest left” of left wing politics.
b. Anarchist: someone who believes in “no authority”
Quota Acts
Limited the number of immigrants, allowed entry into the
United States through a national origins quota. The quota
provided immigration visas to 2% to the total number of
people of each nationality in the United States as of the
1890 national census. It completely excluded immigrants
from Asia. Except for the Japanese and Filipinos.
• William P. Dillingham introduced the idea to create
Immigration Quotas.
• Increased the tax paid by new immigrants
• Visas allowed immigrants to come into the country
• This act put a limit to the availability of visas given
out a year,
• A number of 350,000
• This act broke the GentleMens agreement between
Ku Klux Klan
A secret organization that used terror tactics in an attempt to
restore white supremacy in Southern states after the Civil War.
• William J. Simmons revived the Klan after seeing the movie “
Birth of A Nation” which portrayed the Klans Men as heroes.
• During the Reconstruction the robes were worn to mask
identities but the origin of the robe comes from ancient
European rituals meaning fraternal brotherhood.
• In its second incarnation, the Klan moved beyond just
targeting blacks, and broadened its message of hate to include
Catholics, Jews and foreigners. The Klan promoted
fundamentalism and devout patriotism along with advocating
white supremacy. They blasted bootleggers, motion pictures
and espoused a return to "clean" living. Appealing to folks
uncomfortable with the shifting nature of America from a
rural agricultural society to an urban industrial nation, the
Klan attacked the elite, urbanites and intellectuals.
• Their message struck a cord, and membership in the Klan
ballooned in the 1920s.
• In our time period today we still encounter The Klan today.
Ida B. Wells & Randolph
Ida B Wells
• An African American journalists, newspaper editor, suffragist,
sociologist, georgist, and early leader in the Civil Rights Movement.
Randolph Miller
A former slave, worked at Chattanooga Daily Gazette Manually
turning the press and made him develop a love for writing.
Started his own paper called “The Blade” a paper against segregation.
Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti
• Nicola Sacco (shoemaker)
• Bartolomeo Vanzetti (fish peddler)
• Two Italian immigrants
• The two were known as outspoken anarchist, labor
organizers, and anit-war activist. They were viewed
with great suspicion, because this was during The Red
Scare Era.
• Man murdered by the name Alessandro Beradelli: 2
men who fired shots escaped in a waiting car with
more than $15,000. 3 weeks later arrest made against
the two Italian immigrants.
• Neither men had criminal records. The Sacco and
Vanzetti case became a matter of national public
attention, due to them sharing their unpopular beliefs.
• A trial was held in the summer of 1921 in a Massachusetts Superior
Court. The accused readily admitted their radical beliefs, but denied
any involvement in the crime and conducted themselves with dignity
during the proceedings.
• In late 1925, a convicted bank robber, Celestino Madeiros, admitted
to having participated in the murders, which provided the Sacco and
Vanzetti backers with new hope.
• Even with this new found evidence, the case wasn’t reopened and the
men were vilified to the death penalty.
Emergence of Garveyism
• Marcus Garvey leader in the nationalist
movement by applying the economic ideas of PanAfricanist to the immense resources available in
urban centers.
• His Universal Negro Improvement Association
(UNIA) was the largest secular organization in
African-American history.
• He tapped into and enhanced the growing black
aspirations for justice, wealth, and a sense of
• Indicted for mail fraud by the U.S. Justice
Department in 1923, he spent two years in prison
before being deported to Jamaica, and later died in
Rise of NAACP
(National Association of Colored People)
Was founded by bi-racial activists in New York City in 1909.
Originally called the National Negro Committee, it is the nations
oldest civil rights organization. One often overlooked aspect of the
NAACP’s history is that the Jewish community contributed hugely
to the NAACP’s founding and continued financing.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the NAACP devoted much of its energy to
public publicizing the lynching of blacks through out the United
States. To show to the world that the members of the organization
would not be intimidated, it held its 1920 annual conference in
Atlanta, Georgia, considered at the time to be located in one of the
most active Ku Klux Klan areas in the nation.
Assessment Questions
What affects did the immigration quotas have on immigrants
trying to come in from Asia?
II. What is the KKK and who do they target?
III. Why did Sacco and Vanzetti have oppression towards them?