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Spider WebThe Birth of American Anticommunism$
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Nick Fischer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040023

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040023.001.0001

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Here Come the Bolsheviks!

Here Come the Bolsheviks!

The Russian Revolution and the Red Scare

(p.51) Chapter 3 Here Come the Bolsheviks!
Spider Web

Nick Fischer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia contributed to the rise of the Red Scare. On November 7, 1917, revolutionaries from the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party seized power in Petrograd and proclaimed the world's first socialist government. The Bolsheviks endorsed violent, class-based insurrection and policies of land and resource nationalization. News of the Bolshevik uprising intensified the wartime atmosphere in the United States, in which fear of treachery was rampant. This chapter first considers American intervention in Russia during the period 1917–1920 before discussing the emergence of the Red Scare in 1919–1920 and of anticommunism in the labor movement. It also looks at the strikes, bombings, and deportations in 1919 that offset whatever prestige the American Federation of Labor (AFL) accrued during the First World War. Finally, it describes the end of the Red Scare following US attorney general A. Mitchell Palmer's fall and the release of the National Popular Government League report.

Keywords:   anticommunism, Bolshevik Revolution, Russia, Red Scare, labor movement, strikes, deportations, American Federation of Labor, A. Mitchell Palmer, National Popular Government League

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