Racial Discrimination in America During the 1920's

2416 WordsOct 8, 199910 Pages
The motto of the United States of America is "E Pluribus Unum" meaning ‘Out of one, many'. It neatly recognises that although America may be a single nation, it is also one originally made up of immigrants who arrived not only from Europe and Asia, but forcibly as slaves from Africa and of Native Americans. It's population is the most racially and culturally diverse in the world and for that reason is often referred to as a "Melting Pot". <br> <br>During the 1920's, racial tensions in American society reached boiling point. New non-protestant immigrants like Jews and Catholics had been arrived in their masses from south-east Europe since early on in the century. Together with Orientals, Mexicans and the Black population these minorities…show more content…
They were two Italian immigrants, arrested for robbing a paymaster in Massachusetts on the 15th April 1920. The evidence against them was extremely weak, but they were found guilty and sentenced to death in 1921. The judge was openly hostile to the defendants, calling them "those anarchist bastards" in private and made it clear that they must be guilty because of their national origin. Many in rural America supported the executions, they believed that cities were full of foreigners determined to overthrow the existing America way of life. The Sacco and Vanzetti case is an example of how racial prejudice can cause justice to suffer. <br> <br>In response to the call for further restrictions on immigration, Congress passed two laws. Firstly the Emergency Immigration Act in 1921, which restricted new arrivals to 3% of the foreign born of a nationality. In 1924 the Johnson-Reed Act stiffened these terms, limiting the number of people from any nationality to 2% of the total number of that national origin living in the USA in 1890. This law also set a permanent limitation of 150,000 people a year coming into the USA. This new act, which came into
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