Nativism, Immigration Restrictions, and the Red Scare
Despite the rapid harmonious social and ecomonic changes that occured in the 1920s, nativism and immigration restrictions thrived as a result of native-born fears of foreign ideas thus creating a social divide within the United States.

By definition nativism means the policy of protecting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants.
In America, the term nativism was defined as protecting the interests of native-born Americans, especially if of Anglo-Saxon extraction, and that they are the ones who have superior rights to the "foreign-born". In the 1920s especially, they were high restrictive of Southern and Eastern Europeans immigrating over to the United States. Immigrants were not only seen as undesirable to native-born Americans, but were also seen as stealing natives' jobs and threating their "peaceful way of living." Nativists were also bothered by many immigrants' foreign culture and were fearful that their ways of life as well as language would replace what they had lived with for generations.
Examples of nativism: The Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan once again who not only targeted blacks, but also the Jewish and Catholics.

Immigration_Picture.gifImmigration Restrictions
The high surge in nativism quickly led to the strong immigration restriction legislature. Starting with the Emergency Quota Act or Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, this act limited the amount of immigrants coming into the United States. It was an immigration quota that limited annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to only 3% of the people living in the United States.
The Immigration Act of 1924 limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to only 2% of the people living in the United States.
Along with the Immigration Act of 1924, also came the National Origins Act of 1924 which also penalized the Japanese as well as other Asians, and also restricted greatly the flow of Southern and Eastern Europeans more than the other immigration restriction legislature had. In July of 1927, the quota was pushed down to only 150,000 immigrants annually allowed in the United States due to the National Origins Act as well.
In addition to anti-immigrant legislation, foreigners would receive messages from people in the United States teaching them to assimiliate into American culture, in hopes of "Americanizing" them.


The Red Scare

The year 1917 brought many changes to Russia. Unhappy with their monarchy government, the people successfully overthrew them and the government was replaced by Vladmir Lenin and his followers (the Bolsheviks). This lead to the later creation of the Soviet Union, and the first Communist country.
The Russian Revolution brought much apprehension to the United States. Citizens were terrified that people in the United States were going to try and overthrow the government and replace it with socialism, communism, or anarchism. They also believed Bolshevik or Communist sympathizers were going to try and overthrow the government in the United States as well.

In April of 1919, around 30 booby trapped bombs were mailed to prominient politicans such as Attorney General of the United States A. Mitchell Palmer, John D. Rockefeller, J.P Morgan Jr., and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. a Supreme Court Justice.
The bombs were meant to be received on "May Day" which is the international day of communism, socialism, and anarchism. Only a few packages were actually delievered which resulted in minor injuries of people who were not intended to receive the packages at all. Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson had a member of his staff open the package, yet he opened it the wrong way so the bomb never went off. Thomas W. Hardwick never opened the package, instead his housekeeper opened it and it blew off her hands.
No one was severely injured by the bombings and once the news was out there were bombs in the mail, a post office employee discovered sixteen of the bombs, and the twelve remaining were eventually found as well.

In June of 1919, more bombs, larger than before, were mailed to several people in the United States including government officials who had endorsed immigration restrictions, judges who had sentenced anarchists, and politicians. Attorney General of the United States A. Mitchell Palmer was targeted for the second time.
None of the intended were injured although A. Mitchell's house was damaged.
Bombs were marked with warning: "War, Class war, and you were the first to wage it under the cover of the powerful institutions you call order, in the darkness of your laws. There will have to be bloodshed; we will not dodge; there will have to be murder: we will kill, because it is necessary; there will have to be destruction; we will destroy to rid the world of your tyrannical institutions."
This would lead to Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer's idea of a organized nationwide police actions known as the Palmer Raids. This would also lead to a nationwide fear that a communist, socialist, and anarchist conspiracy in the United States was in the works. Citizens would take this fear and blame arriving immigrants, strikers, union workers, etc.


Palmer Raids (Red Raids)
"On a certain day... [radicals will] rise up and destroy the government at one fell swoop!" -A. Mitchell PalmerA_Mitchell_Palmer.jpg
Due to the anarchist bombings, A. Mitchell Palmer would create a new division of the Justice Department called the Bureau of Investigation, and would place 24 year old J. Edgar Hoover in charge of it. It was meant to investigate the programs and members of radical groups.
Palmer wished to have a group that would arrest and deport radicals as well as anarchists. He believed that getting rid of them before they could do any harm to the country was a good idea. Reds = people arrested under these raids or suspected, they were named after the Russian Communist flag. Palmer expected to find a large mass of people conspiring against the government, when in reality he found little to prove his theory (ultimately would lead to the demise of political popularity when he would run for president).
In 1919, Palmer started to work with the Labor Department Officials and begun by targeting the 4,000 member group called the Union of Russian Workers. They staged a violent raid against the workers, arresting them and deporting them as well. They continued to stage many of these raids and arrests into the 1920s. From November 1919 - January 1920 around 6,000 people were arrested with little criminal evidence, most of them were foreign born and some of them were even deported.
Raids were conducted in over 30 cities nationwide and were orchestrated by the Justice Department members or local police.
Although these raids seemed to be beneficial to the public, they were also violating a lot of United States legislature. Arrest warrants were not issued until after the suspects were arrested and due process of law was also violated.
As quickly as these raids and uprising had come, it was soon fading away into nothing when terrorists attacks failed to materialized. A. Mitchell Palmer had warned about the coming of a attack on May Day in 1920, but it never came. He lost his credibility and the public lost interest and their terror of the reds was slowly receding.

Nativism_Pictures_Comic.jpgConnection to Today
Today, nativism is still alive. Immigrants are still blamed for the problem of the United States as well as being persecuted heavily by "native-born citizens." For example, the Mexican immigrants that come over today are treated terribly. They are persecuted like the Southern and Eastern Europeans were before in the 1920s. They are discriminated against and stereotyped as not be as good as a "native-born" citizen. They don't have the reading or writing skills and are not as intelligent as "native-born citizens" are. They are blamed for bringing disease into the United States as well as taking jobs from the "native-borns." Sound familiar? Many immigrants in our history have been blamed for stealing jobs that "native-born" Americans rightfully should have had. Another recent claim against Mexicans is that they are the ones who brought the swine flu to American, and it is their fault that Americans were getting sick and going into this huge panic about the swine flu. People also believe that Mexicans who are illegal come into our country, do nothing, don't pay taxes, yet gain the benefits of our society. There are many people out there that still are strongly against immigrants coming into the United States.

KKK.jpgAlthough the Ku Klux Klan is not active today, they are still around and they still believe in the same things that they did before:"There is a race war against whites. But our people - my white brothers and sisters - will stay committed to a non-violent resolution. That resolution must consist of solidarity in white communities around the world. The hatred for our children and their future is growing and is being fueled every single day. Stay firm in your convictions. Keep loving your heritage and keep witnessing to others that there is a better way than a war torn, violent, wicked, socialist, new world order. That way is the Christian way - law and order - love of family - love of nation. These are the principles of western Christian civilization. There is a war to destroy these things. Pray that our people see the error of their ways and regain a sense of loyalty. Repent America! Be faithful my fellow believers. " -National Director of The Knights Pastor Thomas Robb