The 1920's -

The 1920's -

The 1920s Cultural Conflicts Urban Cities vs. Rural Towns Fundamentalism vs. Modernism Harlem Renaissance and Marcus Garvey Red Scare

In the post WWI era, many in American became obsessed with anti-Bolshevism Bolshevism (Communism) are associated with Atheism, labor unions, social unrest, violence New immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe are coming to the US at a rate of 1 million

per year, and the are more likely to be sympathetic to Bolshevik causes in the eyes of many Americans Red Scare Both Communists and Anarchists (and usually by default

newly arrived immigrants) are associated with several violent plots in the U.S. In April 1919, the US Postal Service discovers 34 bombs addressed to US politicians. This plot is linked to members of the US Communist Party In June 1919, a bomb explodes at US Attorney General

Mitchell Palmers office A general wave of anti-communist panic and hysteria ensues in the US Red Scare The Justice Department sets up an Anti-Radical Division

under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover which will evolve into the FBI. Their job is to spy on, harass, and disable organizations they deem a threat to the US The FBI is responsible for the persecution of people deemed a threat even today. They do some good, but a whole lot of bad Google FBI and MLK

Palmer Raids: Over the course of 24 hours, federal agents arrest and detain over 6000 people (citizens and aliens). Many end up deported, jailed and harassed, or blacklisted American Civil Liberties Union

The most important free speech legal defense network in the country They are formed in this era in response to the Red Scare and are also involved in the Scopes Monkey

Trial They are very relevant today, and have been involved in hundreds of important court cases where persecution of free speech is an issue

Sacco and Vanzetti Sacco and Vanzetti Italian, Catholic, avoided the draft and didnt serve in the US

Army in WWI, and self proclaimed anarchists These guys represent basically everything that old-school Protestant Americans fear in the changing American society in the 1920s It is unclear if Sacco and Vanzetti are guilty of the robbery and murder they are charged with, but this very public case

becomes a referendum on what is American and what is not. This case is a representation of political and ethnic hostility in the US in the post WWI era Culture Wars: Urban vs Rural The battle between old stock Americans and more newly

arrived immigrants can be seen in the battle over Prohibition (18th Amendment). It starts as a reform movement of the Second Great Awakening and culminates with a Constitutional ban on alcohol starting in 1920 Alcohol is seen by many Protestant Americans as not only a problem for family and work life, but a bad habit associated

with immigrants, Catholics, crime, and city life It is a perfect example of the battle over Modernism in the US in the 1920s Fundamentalism vs Modernism Scopes Monkey Trial: Clarence Darrow (defended Leopold

and Loeb) defends a Tennessee biology teacher who is charged with violating state law by teaching the theory of evolution. Famous politician William Jennings Bryant acts as the prosecution, and maintains that the state law that prevents evolution from being taught is proper. Highly publicized trial. Broadcasted on the Radio

Scopes is found guilty of violating the law after the show trail is over Highlights the divide between Urban and Rural. Faith in religion or faith in science. Fundamentalists and Modern. Immigration/Nativism in the 1920s

In this era, we will see another episode of Nativism and the re-birth of the KKK National Origins Act (1924) placed immigration restrictions on Southern and Eastern European immigrants (2% based on the 1890 Census). Keeps a long standing ban on Japanese immigration in place The Chinese Exclusion Act is still enforced Immigration is not restricted from countries in the western

hemisphere and we see over 1 million Mexican immigrants arrive between 1900 and 1930. Employers in the Southwestern States want cheap labor, so Mexicans are not subjected to the same immigration laws. Re-birth of the KKK

The KKK will make a comeback during the 1920s and is another example of the conflict over Modernism They will not only target blacks in the South, but they will evolve into a Protestant White-Supremacy Group, targeting blacks, Catholics, Jews, and immigrants

The Klan will have over 1 million members by 1925 Traditional Protestant Values like prohibition are also ideas the Klan of this era fight for The Klan will be highly influential in politics and will be responsible for the election of Klansmen to offices from City Mayors to State Governors to State Senators

Harlem Renaissance Period of intense cultural achievement in terms of art, music, and literature in the black community of Harlem, New York As part of the Great Migration, Blacks from all over the South have

flooded into Harlem and other Northern Cities and will continue to throughout the 1920s Langston Hughes is one of the most famous Poets of the era Jazz Music is probably the most significant development of the Harlem Renaissance The concept of The New Negro is established. An early form of

black cultural pride. It means dont be ashamed of being black, dont let others tell you that you are not a man Marcus Garvey Jamaican born activist and founder of the United Negro Improvement Association based in Harlem

Promoted black separatism and encouraged people to move back to Africa because they would never be treated justly in white American society At one point the group will have over 4 million followers Marcus Garvey will be a major target of the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover

Garvey ran a newspaper (Negro World) and invested in a ship line called the Black Star Line with the idea of developing Caribbean Trade assisting blacks with the migration back to Africa Marcus Garvey Garvey will ultimately be deported back to Jamaica and the

movement will collapse His ideas evolve into Pan-Africanism or the idea that all people of African descent all over the globe needed to unite and work together to cooperate in political action

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