One important change that began to occur during the World War I era was the growing consciousness of just how diverse the United States really was. The Red Scare was a period in the 1920s in which Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer dispatched federal agents to raid politically active and radical organizations throughout the US. There was a widespread fear of associating with “Un-American” folk. Anyone who posed a threat to freedom was thoroughly persecuted. The extent to which Palmer took the scare was unprecedented. He was widely criticized by the press and many radicals and immigrant prisoners were released soon after. The Palmer raids remain as an example of one of the largest examples of the abuse of civil liberties in the 20th century.
Foner devoted about a page to the Red Scare. However, I felt that he got all the points down. With anything in history there is a general overview and the smaller details. Foner did a good job of letting us know about the Red Scare, but for the specific examples and cases of the Palmer Raid’s, I had to do additional reading. The coverage was moderate but it still was helpful.
Two questions that I am left wondering about even after reading Foner are:
1. Did any specific individuals come out in defiance against the Palmer raids?
2. Was future president Herbert Hoover well connected and widely associated with the Palmer raids?