Racism and Intolerance in America During the 1920s Essay
1413 Words6 Pages
Racism and Intolerance in America During the 1920s
In the 1920s, it was widely believed around the world that the USA was a land of freedom and prosperity, in which an individual could escape from the poverty that plagued many parts of the world and build a better life for themselves and their family. In theory, America was a melting pot - immigrants would come into the country and lose their cultural identity to all fall under one label - American. However, the reality of life in America was quite different. Members of similar backgrounds tended to live together in certain areas of big cities, where there would be extreme poverty - an example of this is Harlem in New York. These would generally be…show more content…
Employers used violent and intimidating tactics with Government approval during these disputes.
The real reasons for the majority of these strikes were startlingly bad pay and working conditions. Despite workers in heavy industries often having to work more than twelve hours a day, average wages between 1914-1919 were way below the cost of living. The public and government had no interest in this matter, though, and reacted to the strikes as the start of a communist revolt across America. A series of bombing incidents took place in 1919, one destroying part of the home of the Attorney-General, Mitchell Palmer. Mobs and the police attacked May Day parades and the press caused a sensation. Socialist organization were raided and pamphlets were seized. After his home was attacked, Mitchell Palmer became devoted to fighting against "Reds". Up to 6000 suspected "aliens" were rounded up across the USA, and 556 were deported. In the end, it was shown that most of the suspects were not advocates of communism. Some people used the Red Scare as an excuse to attack a particular ethnic group that they disliked - less established immigrants such as Jews or Black people. Trade unions were weakened in the 1920s by persecution.
In 1921, the Republicans won the election, with Warren Harding as the President. They decided that problems thought to be caused by immigration, such as
Intolerance in American Society Essay
629 Words3 Pages
Intolerance in American Society
Intolerance of other people's culture, religion, ethnic background and skin colour was a major issue in the 1920's America. This was, of course the era of the economic boom that helped to make America a rich and prosperous country in which to live.
This economic boom made America a very attractive place to immigrate to, especially to those in countries that were not so well off. This meant immigration on a massive scale. People from all over the world, particularly Eastern Europe came together in one city and work for a living. The amount of people from different countries and social backgrounds all in one small area i.e. a city, America is huge, is bound to…show more content…
These areas where a place that was reserved for your kind of person and if overstepped the line and moved in to a street where you were not of the ethnic majority then you would expect a cold, even fierce reception.
These ghettos were in virtually every northern city with blacks being mainly in Chicago and New York.
Racial tensions were not only present in the northern cities; they were all over the southern states as well as black people sometimes outnumbered the whites.
The first black people came to America as slaves by the white settlers in the 17th century. By the abolishment of slavery in the 1800's, blacks did indeed outnumber white people in southern states at least. The white government, scared of their potential power introduced freedom-binding laws primarily aimed at black people. They were aloud to vote by national law, but local authorities prevented this in most cases, they had no access to a decent education, jobs and lived in poverty well in to the modern age.
As well as harsh laws against blacks, white supremacists set up an 'organisation' called the Ku Klux Klan. This Klan discriminated and used violence against black, sometimes lynching them etc. The KKK was a powerful 'political' force throughout the 1920's. Examples of KKK hatred are being beaten to a pulp for being a foreigner and marrying an American girl and a black man being lashed