What were the reasons why 1919 was called a year of a “savage peace?” If asked to name one of the most troubling years in American history few would select 1919. Many think that after World...
What were the reasons why 1919 was called a year of a “savage peace?”
If asked to name one of the most troubling years in American history few would select 1919. Many think that after World War I, the “war to end all wars,” the United States was a peaceful and prosperous place because the hostilities ended. This was far from the truth.
This year could be called a year of "savage peace" because there were all sorts of upheavals going on that foreshadowed trouble in years to come and/or which were simply problems at the time.
This was a year of major labor strife. There was a police strike in Boston, a steelworkers strike in Pennsylvania and a general strike in Seattle. These kinds of labor disputes showed that the labor peace that had existed in WWI would not last. It also foreshadowed to some extent labor problems that would come later.
This was a year of racial strife. There were race riots in a number of cities, in cluding Washington D.C. and Chicago. The one in Chicago saw 38 people killed. This was a forerunner to things like the race riots of the '60s.
This was a year of the Red Scare. A bomb attack on the Attorney General of the US led to the "Palmer Raids" against suspected radicals. This would foreshadow the McCarthy years of the '50s.
Finally, this was the year in which the Senate was preparing to reject US involvement in the League of Nations. This helped lead to WWII.
In all of these ways, 1919 can be seen as a year of "savage peace" that foreshadowed problems to come.