The Advent of Normalcy.
For the two decades that preceded the 1920s, the American people had witnessed progressive domestic reform legislation. Millions of them, in varying capacities, had participated in a foreign war to "make the world safe for democracy." By late 1919 public sentiment in the United States favored a return to more tranquil times. The massive Republican electoral triumph in 1920 resulted in Warren G. Harding's ascent to the presidency and comfortable majorities for his party in both houses of Congress. In essence "normalcy" meant a conservative status quo in which few bold initiatives of any sort were attempted. President Harding and his Congressional supporters began filling the federal judiciary with appointees who held an equally conservative perspective in the area of jurisprudence.
The "Great Red Scare."
During World War I many resident aliens, citizens of German descent, and antiwar activists were subjected to various forms of official persecution. In fact, the basic civil liberties of all Americans were restricted during the war years. After the conclusion of the fighting in November 1918 this trend was not reversed because there was widespread concern about the activities of radical political leftists. Many observers came to believe that a violent upheaval resembling the Russian Revolution of November 1917 could...
(The entire section is 1140 words.)
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