• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Did America become more intolerant during the 1920's.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Did America become more intolerant during the 1920's America is the most powerful country in the world and prides itself in being a 'melting pot' of different cultures but has that always been true of America. I would like to argue that during the 1920's America became less tolerant of anything Un-American. I would like to mention immigration policy, the Ku Klux Klan, political hysteria and Religious intolerance. Before 1917 America had an 'open door' policy toward immigration but thousands of immigrants were pouring in from eastern European, Asian, and African countries which the WASPS (White Anglo Saxon Protestants), who had power at the time, didn't want in America. After 1917 a literacy test was introduced so all immigrants had to be able to read and write in English to be allowed in to the country which discriminated against non English speaking countries and poorer countries where people couldn't afford to learn English, and so the 'open door' began to close. In 1921 the amount of immigrants was still a major problem to the WASPS and the immigration quota act was introduced that only allowed three hundred and fifty seven thousand immigrants into the USA each year. It also stated the amount of people emigrating from a particular country should not exceed three percent of the number of people from that country already living in America in 1910. ...read more.

Middle

Communism and anarchy were feared so as: communist and anarchist extremists were seen to arrange trade union demonstrations which were described by the papers as communist demonstrations, an anarchist shot president McKinley dead twenty years previously, Russia had become a communist country in 1917 and the Palmer incident of 1920. In June 1920 an unidentified man left a bomb outside the house of the attorney general, A Mitchell Palmer which resulted in the death of the bomber. The attack was presumed to be a communist assassination attempt due to a copy of a communist newspaper being found in the vicinity of the blast, which may have been discarded there innocently or planted by Palmer to use the attack to stir up hatred for communists who were regarded as a threat to the American constitution and the WASPS in general. The attack resulted in A Mitchell Palmer heading raids on communists and anarchists that resulted in six thousand arrests and only two prosecutions for firearms offences. Another cause of political intolerance in the 1920's was the case of Sacco and Vanzetti. Sacco and Vanzetti were charged with a wages robbery in which two guards were shot dead. Sacco and Vanzetti were both recent immigrants from Italy, neither spoke very good English, both were carrying loaded guns when arrested (although this is no crime in the USA even today) ...read more.

Conclusion

In Dayton, Tennessee two teachers, Johnny Scopes and his college decided to put the new law to test and for Johnny Scopes to teach the theory of evolution to his class and his college to sue him for breach of the law. Johnny Scopes taught his class the theory of evolution and was subsequently arrested and put on trial. The two sides hijacked the trial and it became Christian fundamentalism on trail rather than Johnny Scopes. Benefactors from both sides of the argument hired two of the best lawyers in America to fight the 'Monkey trial' (as the press called it). During the trial the defence lawyer questioned the prosecution lawyer on flaws in the biblical theory he couldn't explain to which the prosecution lawyer replied, "I am not satisfied by any evidence I have seen." The questioning continued like this until the press began making fun of the prosecution lawyer and the judge put a stop to it. Johnny Scopes was found guilty of breaking the law and fined one hundred dollars. These are the main reasons for which I believe the United States of America was becoming more intolerant during the 1920's. I particularly believe the American immigration policy, the Ku Klux Klan and the Red Scare contributed greatly to the views of many Americans and all the intolerance was down to the selfishness of the WASPS who wanted to protect their own supremacy, wealth, beliefs and interests. History essay 10/05/07 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. How Tolerant Was American Society During The 1920s?

    The government appeared to show tolerance for the Native Americans as they had sympathy but no important changes were actually made. They were given citizenship in 1924 from the U.S. government but as the Americans took their land the US citizenship was rightfully theirs as the country belonged to them in the first place.

  2. American History.

    - As far as Oregon went, though, Polk had to throw out his campaign slogan and instead diplomatically [he didn't want to be fighting two wars at once] pressure the British for a split along the 49th parallel, which was agreed to in 1846.

  1. Which of the following problems do you consider to have been the most serious ...

    They wanted an end to this open-door policy for immigrants. By 1900 there was not as much land available and the need for workers had declined. Americans also believed that the quality of immigrants had declined as illiterate people came from came into the USA.

  2. How Strong was Opposition to Continental Commitments in the 1920's

    continental alliances and in a way dilute the power between the nations that it was believed Britain had after the war. Britain faced a lot of problems due to its illusionary status and becoming a member signifies Britains willingness to step out of the continental limelight and share responsibility with other nations.

  1. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    sent literacy rates soaring. The Second Great Awakening (1787-1825), a new religious revival that originated in New England, spread an evangelical excitement across the country. In its wake a ferment of social reform swept the northern states. The slave system of the South spread westward as rapidly as the free labor system of the

  2. Account for the making of the multi-ethnic American city from the 1880s to ...

    New York City was the favoured destination of European immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in 1910, when nearly 2 million residents, about 40 percent of the population, were foreign-born. Other eastern coastal cities, including Boston, were also first homes of immigrants.

  1. How far did America achieveprosperity in the 1920s?

    It was able to exploit it's vast natural resources of raw materials to produce steel, chemicals, glass and machinery. These products then became the foundation for secondary industries- or consumer goods. Telephones, radios, vacume cleaners, and washing machines were mass-produced and therefore more people could afford them.

  2. Why did a gangster culture develop in the USA in the 1920`s to the ...

    on one was an attack on all, and the last rule was to avoid any and all contact with the authorities. Hierarchy: Another evidence for the strong discipline in the Mafia was the hierarchical layout. The Mafia in America was organised like a "parliament" which was called the Commission.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work