First Red Scare

  • Russian Revolution

    Russian Revolution
    A revolution in Russia replaced the Czar (like a king) with a government that supported communism. Originally this government was made up of UNIONS OF WORKERS.
  • The Cost of Living Goes Up

    The Cost of Living Goes Up
    During WW1, the government controlled certain parts of the economy and set prices for some items. After the war ended, government agencies removed their controls. People raced to buy goods that had been rationed and businesses raised prices they had been forced to keep low. The result was an increase in the cost of living—the cost of food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. With orders for war materials evaporating, factories laid off workers.
  • Workers Across America Go On Strike

    Workers Across America Go On Strike
    Workers were not being paid enough to keep up with the rising cost of living (food, housing, etc.). Unions and workers went on strike to demand better pay. In 1919, there would be 3,600 different strikes in America. Some cities, like Seattle, had general strikes. This is when ALL workers in the city go on strike at once. People worry workers might use strikes to starts a communist revolution, like in Russia.
  • The Bombings

    The Bombings
    In April, the Post Office uncover 30 bombs that were sent to important Americans. In June, 8 bombs go off at the same time in 8 different cities. One of these bombs damages the home of US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. The Attorney General is the government's top lawyer.
  • First Palmer Raids

    First Palmer Raids
    With the FBI, Palmer works to discover who is behind the bombings. Although there is no evidence to support his claims, Palmer believes the bombings were caused by foreign born Americans and communists. He orders the FBI to raid the Union of Russian workers. He deports (expels) 249 immigrants.
  • Second Palmer Raids

    Second Palmer Raids
    Palmer ordered another series of raids on the headquarters of various radical organizations. Nearly 6,000 people were arrested. Palmer’s agents often ignored the civil liberties of suspects, did not use search warrants, jailed suspects indefinitely, and did not allow suspects to have a lawyer. Many of the nearly 600 immigrants who were deported never had a trial. He never found any evidence of a communist revolution plot.
  • Limits on Immigration

    Limits on Immigration
    Many Americans believed that communism and radical ideas were connected with immigrants, even though Palmer never produced any evidence. America begins to pass laws restricting the number of immigrants that could enter the country.
  • Presidential Election of 1920

    Presidential Election of 1920
    Many Americans hoped to put racial, labor, and economic troubles behind them and build a more prosperous and stable society. To do this, people felt America had to return to the way it was before WW1 and before the Progressive Era. Warren G. Harding called for a return to “normalcy" and was elected as President.