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The 1920's
Justice Sees Red - The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti, Part 1



Justice Sees Red - The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.2

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cashboxes, frivolity, paymaster, Post-World, socialistic, spate, ensign, foreign-born, uptown, bookkeeping, payroll, riotous, working-class, disruption, ideology, anarchist
     content words:    Post-World War, Great War, Bolshevik Revolution, On April, Morrill Shoe Company, American Express, Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti


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Justice Sees Red - The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti, Part 1
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Post-World War I America was a riotous jumble of conflicting ideas and emotions. Old quarreled with new, teetotalers (those who abstained from alcohol) clashed with the party crowd, and on a deeper level, fear insinuated itself alongside the lure of pleasure and reckless abandon. The brutal realities of war had made Americans desperate to escape into frivolity. At the same time, a dark distrust of anything foreign brooded in the national consciousness. People were determined never again to be involved in anything as painful as the Great War. The country must focus inward, they said, and shake off the uncertainties of the world outside its borders.
 
2     The bloody Bolshevik Revolution in Russia confirmed these suspicions. The situation seemed like a prime example of the craziness of foreign groups and of radicals in general. The fact that radical ideologies were solidifying into groups and even movements within U.S. borders made many people very nervous. Socialists, communists, anarchists, labor organizers -- all were a source of anxiety for citizens and government alike.
 
3     Where would all these extremist ideas lead? Socialists wanted an even distribution of wealth, communists wanted to accomplish socialism through a working-class take-over, and anarchists sought socialistic goals through disruption of law and order. Labor leaders worked to organize workers so that their collective clout would be felt in the battle for better working conditions to even out the sharp divide between workers and wealthy factory owners.

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The 1920's
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