The roots of the "Red Scare" lie in the subversive actions of foreign and leftist elements in the United States
and the resulting efforts of the U.S. government to suppress dissent and to help promote pro-war opinion in the preparation
for the American entry into World War I. In 1917, President Wilson established a "Committee on Public Information"
to create and release news favorable to the Allied cause and hostile to Germany. To enforce the efforts of the Committee,
the "Bureau of Investigation" was created and disrupted the work of German-American, union, and leftist organizations
through raids, arrests, and legal prosecution. The Socialist Party of America strongly opposed the war on pacifist grounds
and the result was percecution and punishmnet under the provisions of the Espionage Act.
After the war was over, the investigations of these groups continued for months. They soon resumed in the context of Russian
Revolution of 1917, the Russian Civil War and the Red Terror. To some Americans, this was a time of uncertainty and fear over
the prospects of a socialist or communist revolution in the United States.
The sentiment against socialism and communism in America was even more invigorated when in the summer of 1919, known as
"The Red Summer", 38 mail bombs were sent to prominent members in government, enagainst communist tertainment, and
buisness. And on September 16, 1920 on Wall Street, 100 pounds of dynomite exploded kill 40 people and wounding 300. While
the source of all of these bombings was not discovered, some were linked to anarchist and socialist radicals, and that discovery
led to mass hysteria and a national sentiment and other radicals. The culmination of all of this hysteria was the Palmer Raids
which started in 1919 and ended in 1921, and were aimed at capturing and detaining suspected members of parties being persecuted.
|Aftermath of the Wall Street Bombing