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Loyalty and LibertyAmerican Countersubversion from World War I to the McCarthy Era$
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Alex Goodall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038037

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038037.001.0001

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Divided Loyalties

Divided Loyalties

Countersubversion in the 1920s

(p.87) 4 Divided Loyalties
Loyalty and Liberty

Alex Goodall

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on how the Palmer Raids of the winter of 1919–20 were the most draconian single instance of federal repression in the United States' peacetime history. Nothing in the McCarthy era can compare to the mass arrests and beatings, arbitrary incarcerations, and summary deportations that took place in dozens of cities across the nation. Capping off a year of industrial crisis, foreign insecurity, and political conflict, they helped solidify the divisions of the war years, institutionalizing them in an underground communist movement on one side and new patriotic organizations on the other. Given the power of the repressive politics that arised between 1917 and 1920, it is a surprising and problematic fact that the national Republican administrations of the 1920s saw no new countersubversive policies developed.

Keywords:   Palmer Raids, federal repression, peacetime history, McCarthy era, mass arrests, arbitrary incarcerations, foreign insecurity, communist movement, countersubversive policies

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