The Red Scare

By: Jacob Kuchavik and Justin Pitman

The Beginning of the Red Scare

The Communist Revolution began in Russia 1917, when the Bolsheviks, a Russian communist revolutionary group, overthrew Tsar Nicholas II and created the first communist govenrment. The government was mainly a dictatorship headed by Vladimir Lenin but soon after his death, Josef Stalin took on leadership. Both dictators were known to America and the rest of world as relentless, cold, and vile beings. The rise of the communists in Russia and the soon “prosperity” achieved inspired many and sparked communists all over the world. America had and still has a substantial amount of communists. The rise of communism also scared many other countries that were not communist, because it was a very new and extremely different form of government. The General Public of American were terrified of this idea because it was the economic opposite of capitalism, one of the great lures of the U.S. So communists and anarchist were posed as having the same views and were ridiculed, discriminated, and mistreated by the public, the authorities, and the politicians.

Effects of the Red Scare

Public Opinions of "Reds"

The Red Scare was a time when the majority of American Citizens were terrified of the Communists/Anarchists or the “Reds”. This fear caused many attacks, arrests, and overall discrimination of those not in total support of capitalism. Radical anarchists and communists were often persecuted without evidence of any crimes committed. A few hundred were even deported from the United States.

Many americans were afraid of a rise in communism or anarchy because they were the extremes of capitalism. When americans thought of communism they thought of a tyrannical and poor society filled with starving hard workers. When they thought of anarchy they imagined complete chaos and disorder with not a single happy person. But when capitalism was brought up, the idea of everyone being rich, prosperous, and healthy was common.

What is an Anarchist, What is Communism, and What is Capitalism?

An Anarchist is a person who believes that there should be no government. Anarchists were one of the radicals that were greatly discriminated during the Red Scare. Communism a economic system where the government controls the markets and owns all businesses and property. The Communists were the main audience of the discrimination, mistreatment, and violence. Capitalism is an economic system based on privately owned business and free enterprise. Capitalists were the heroes of the American public.

Sacco & Vanzetti

Sacco and Vanzetti were two Italian immigrants who were accused for the robbery and murder of a guard and a paymaster in a shoe factory. They were mainly accused because they were radicals. The only "legitimate" proof that they had about Sacco and Vanzetti murdering the victims was that Sacco owned a pistol SIMILAR to the murder weapon. They were given the death sentence and were proclaiming their innocence as they were executed.

Palmer & Hoover

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, and his deputy J. Edgar Hoover, were extreme anti-communists who accused, arrested, and persecuted communists who often were innocent of the accused crimes. They were responsible for hundreds of communists/anarchists being deported for no reason. Palmer and Hoover both believed that the radicals caused social unrest.