Was the Sacco and Vanzetti case the worst case of intolerance in 1920s America? (16)

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Was the Sacco and Vanzetti case the worst case of intolerance in 1920s America? (16)

The 1920s was a period of great change in the USA, and is regarded as being the time of great change, with the 1920s being widely regarding as the ‘roaring twenties’ due to the fast economic and social revolution that society saw. However, there was another side to the ‘roaring’ side of the 1920s; the 1920s also saw some of the worst cases of widespread intolerance in America, including the horrific treatment of black American citizens, the harsh treatment of immigrants, the Sacco and Vanzetti case, as well as the Monkey Trial which highlighted the overall divide in society. The worst case of intolerance in 1920s is the treatment of black American citizens, who were seen and treated as ‘second class’ citizens simply due to the colour of skin, along with numerous incidents involving violence against the black American population.

The worst case of intolerance in 1920s America is clearly the mistreatment of black Americans. Black Americans suffered under the Jim Crow laws, in which they were segregated from the white community and not permitted to use the same public facilities as whites. Segregation was widespread in society, such as separate drinking fountains for whites and blacks, as well as the fact that black Americans were often the first to be laid off during harder economic times. The black population was also denied the ability to vote, undermining the ‘democratic’ basis on which the USA was founded upon.  The black American community also became victims of large scale violence, such as the KKK which sought to terrorise black people, using violence and carrying out their own version of justice such as lynching in order to intimidate foreigners, who they believed to be inferior, as well as various kidnappings and murders. The KKK also portrayed black Americans as childlike and animalistic, people who deserved to be treated as inferior.  All these actions were carried out simply on the basis of the colour of a person’s skin, without any justification.

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Another case of intolerance based on skin colour was the Sacco and Vanzetti case, arguably the second most important case. Sacco and Vanzetti were two Italian immigrants who were wrongly accused of the murder of Fred Parmenter, a paymaster of a factory. Despite large scale protests by the American public, several other people who confessed to the crime, evidence that the evidence used in the trial had been falsified, and 107 eye witnesses who confirmed Sacco and Vanzetti’s alibi, the judge of the case was intent on finding the two guilty, and both were eventually executed by the electric chair. ...

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