Call to Order Monday, March 22nd
Call to Order • In a court case, what should a jury use in order to decide if someone is innocent or guilty? (Not just evidence! Think of different kinds of evidence as well as what type of thinking they should use.) Explain.
Re-Cap: Sacco and Vanzetti Case • This took place during 1920-1927 in Massachusetts • The two were arrested and put on trial for a murder and robbery of a shoe factory guard and paymaster. • The evidence in the case was shaky to begin with…
Background of Sacco and Vanzetti • Sacco and Vanzetti were Italian immigrants who were accused of murder and robbery in Braintree on April 15th 1920. • During the trial, it came out that politically, they did not believe in government; they were anarchists. • The two men were thought not to get a fair trial because they were immigrants who couldn’t speak very much English…
Climate in the United States: 1920s • After World War I, many Americans became distrusting of immigrants and fearful of communism • This was because a Communist revolution took place in Russia, and many feared that the US alliance with Russia would lead to a communist revolt in America as well. • Many people associated immigrants with communism.
The Red Scare • This deals with America’s fear of communists. • Began in 1919-1920 and there were increasing concerns about Communists, also known as Reds. • Communists- believe that there should be no such thing as private property; everyone should be equal, and there will be no private wealth. • Officials were also concerned about anarchists- people who wanted to get rid of all forms of government.
Communism Explained: • Americans were fearful of communism because it threatened personal wealth. • Under communism, all people, no matter rich or poor, upper or lower class, would be equal. • The reason for this fear was because a Communist society had begun in Russia, and people in the United States, especially those who were poor, thought Communism was a good idea. • Changes needed to be made in American society, and some believed that Communism was the way to go.
Xenophobia • Many Americans associated communism with foreigners, and this led to xenophobia: the fear and hatred of foreigners. • Americans began to round up “suspected” radicals– meaning communists and anarchists– and put them in jail without real evidence; this was most seen during the Palmer Raids. • Xenophobia was also said to have greatly influenced the trial of Italian immigrants: Sacco & Vanzetti.
Treatment of Immigrants During the 1920s • Foreigners and radicals (communists and anarchists were targets of violence and oppression during the years following World War I. • This was because America was still trying to recover from the war, and blamed these groups for many of their problems. • Immigrants and others were often denied their Constitutional Rights, like right to a fair trial by jury. This was the case with Sacco and Vanzetti…
The Verdict: Guilty • Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty of murder and robbery and executed on August 23, 1927. • Thousands protested the verdict, which led to the creation of the American Civil Liberties Union. • Massachusetts governor Alvan T. Fuller refused to overturn the verdict, and the men were executed by electric chair. • In 1977, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts issued a proclamation stating that the men had been unjustly treated.
Synthesis Questions • How did the red scare impact Sacco and Vanzetti’s case?
Assessment • Create an Epitaph for Sacco and Vanzetti that summarizes the impact of their deaths. Explain why and how they died, as well as the impact that the red scare had on the case they were involved in.