HI114 Lecture Notes - First Red Scare, Seattle General Strike, Palmer Raids

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
WLU
Department
History
Course
HI114
Professor
HI114
October 12
[IN LECTURE]
MCCARTHYISM [1]
Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Wheeling, Wet Virginia Speech (9 Feb 1950)
wasn’t recorded
according to accounts, during this speech, MC waves a bit of paper, tells his audience
he has a list of communists in his hands that are working for the US states department
comparable to saying I have a list of Al Queda members.
when he enters the congressional record, the number changes from 250, to 57, to 87.
One of the hallmarks of MC’s style
the speech generates intense media interest.
democratic admin (Truman) refutes the charge
The McCarthy Era (1940’s and 50’s)
Might say that on Feb 9 1950 the MC era began
however, communist accusation predates this speech, and continues after he is
gone
Other Key Players and Institutions
Harry Truman
J. Edgar Hoover (head of FBI 28-72)
Richard Nixon
FBI
Justice Department
HUAC (House Committee on Un-American Activities)
Some Other Names (for MCism)
The Red Scare
The American Inquisition
The Great Fear
PERIOD OF SUSTAINED POLITICAL OPPRESSION (effects private institutions,
and government)
the very foundation of America democracy was threatened
A) The First Red Scare (1919-20)
The Great War (1914-18) (america joins in 1917)
The Russian Revolution (1917) (Comintern, 1919)
will the communists impede the American war effort?
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HI114
communism of Marx and Lennon is viewed as extremely hostile to american economy,
way of life
Comintern - to export the russian revolution around the world, for it to be spread
worldwide. seen as a threat to the US
Three acts are passed:
Espionage Act 1917
any public statement that costruct the war effort or will aid the enemy, criminal
offense, 20yrs
Immigration act 1917
anyone in a revolutionary organization may not enter the united states, if you are
here and have revolutionary ideas you will be deported. RED ALIENS
sedition act 1918
any “disloyal opinion” punishable by up to 20 years of prison. demeaning
references to the flag or US government itself. evidence of disloyalty.
Two targets
IWW (wobblies) Industrial workers of the world
166 IWW leaders tried
wanted to bring down capitalism
socialist party
socialist leaders Eugene Debs and Victor Berger imprisoned in 1918
Major Unrest in 1919
Seattle General Strike (Mayor Hanson calls in the troops)
May Day Rioting - in 30 american cities
36 bombs explode (attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer)
sent to leading businessmen, politicians, attorney general, sent in the mail
no one is caught, no responsibility
inflation, business leaders trying to take down unions
The Palmer Raids:
7 November 1919 - 12 cites, 300 arrested
eg. Union of Russian Workers, Emma Goldman
mostly aimed at ^
go in, round them up, beat them up, many end up in jail
none guilty of the bombs, only of radical perspectives
DEPORTED
2 January 1920 - 33 Cities, over 4000 arrested
eg. Communist Party, Communist Labour party
again, many not guilty
detained for ridiculous reasons, looked like a radical, asked what was going on,
etc.
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Document Summary

One of the hallmarks of mc"s style the speech generates intense media interest. democratic admin (truman) refutes the charge. The mccarthy era (1940"s and 50"s: might say that on feb 9 1950 the mc era began, however, communist accusation predates this speech, and continues after he is gone. Other key players and institutions: edgar hoover (head of fbi 28-72, harry truman, richard nixon, fbi, huac (house committee on un-american activities) Some other names (for mcism: the red scare, the american inquisition, the great fear, period of sustained political oppression (effects private institutions, and government) the very foundation of america democracy was threatened. Three acts are passed: espionage act 1917, any public statement that costruct the war effort or will aid the enemy, criminal offense, 20yrs. Immigration act 1917: anyone in a revolutionary organization may not enter the united states, if you are here and have revolutionary ideas you will be deported.