Socialism, Bolshevism, and the Red Scare

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Why did Sacco and Vanzetti go to Mexico? Explain their reasons for doing so.

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The famed Italian anarchists who were electrocuted for murder in 1927, Ferdinando Nicolo Sacco (1891-1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888-1927) both traveled to Mexico in 1917 in part to avoid being drafted. This action was used against them in their trial to show cowardice and a lack of patriotism. However, it is believed that they also left to avoid

... their critics, (and) to escape detection and arrest for militant and sedition activities in the United States.

A later history of Italian anarchism concluded that many of the men who fleed to Mexico did so because

... remaining in the United States, they would be forcibly restrained from leaving for Europe, where the revolution that had burst out in Russia that February promised to spread all over the continent.

The two men met just before leaving the country, and they both changed their names to avoid detection once in Mexico. Vanzetti left Mexico in September 1917 and travelled the Midwest before returning to Massachusetts. Sacco stayed in Mexico for "a few months" before heading back to his adopted state.

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