The 1920's
The Color of Fear - America's "Red Scare"

The Color of Fear - America's "Red Scare"
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.29

     challenging words:    anarchist, anti-war, disruption, exploiting, shorthand, storm-tossed, socialist, discontent, radicals, un-American, war-torn, further, terrorism, bloody, wage, suspicion
     content words:    Great War, In Russia, Then America, Industrial Workers, Joe Hill, After World War One

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The Color of Fear - America's "Red Scare"
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     The world is torn by war. Terrorism strikes fear into the hearts of people everywhere. Sounds like today's 5:00 news, right? Actually, this was the world of the early 1900s. The Great War was raging in Europe. In Russia, a group called the Bolsheviks waged civil war. They took over the nation of Russia in 1917. Many of the rebels were anarchists. They believed in the total disruption of law and order. Bombs were a common tool of this group. The anarchists killed many who opposed them.
2     The U.S. wasn't the scene of a battlefield. However, a war of sorts was going on. There had been a long debate over U.S. involvement in the war. Then America had joined the conflict. A wave of patriotism and unity swept the nation. Anyone opposed to the war then was considered un-American. Some groups remained anti-war. One of these groups was the socialists. The Communists were another. Involvement in the war, they believed, was a ploy of the wealthy.
3     Socialists defended the cause of the wage earner. They believed that wealth should be parceled out evenly among all. The Communists carried these ideas even further. They sought a society where people were not allowed to accumulate wealth. They believed the working class should rule. The symbol of these ideals was a red flag. "Reds" became the shorthand label for anyone who held these ideals.

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