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Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 6 years ago

What was Edgar Hoover's role in the Palmer Raids?

1 Answer

  • Mercy
    Lv 7
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Attorney General Palmer recruited J. Edgar Hoover as his special assistant and appointed him chief of the GID. By the fall of 1919 Hoover reported that radicals posed a real threat to the U.S. government. He advised drastic action be taken against a possible revolution. Under intense pressure from Congress and the public, Palmer clamped down on political dissent and agreed to deport many alien (foreign) radicals. Because the peace treaty had not yet been signed, Palmer decided that he could make use of extraordinary wartime powers under the Sedition Act of 1918 and the Espionage Act of 1917.

    These acts made it a crime to interfere with military forces or promote the success of enemies of the United States. Palmer and Hoover orchestrated a series of well-publicized raids against any socialist supporter deemed capable of carrying out terrorist acts.

    The "Palmer Raids" were conducted in over thirty cities nationwide with the arrests made by members of the Justice Department along with local police. The raids came without warning and focused on aliens rather than citizens whenever possible. Thousands of suspected radicals were arrested, most without proper arrest warrants and held without trial for up to four months. After investigation of each case by the Labor Department, the majority of those held were released.

    In December 1919 only 248 of those arrested were actually deported. They were placed on a ship called the Buford bound for the Soviet Union. The public lost interest by the spring of 1920 as further terrorist attacks failed to materialize. By the fall when a bomb exploded on Wall Street, most American's considered the attack to be an assault by a deranged individual rather than a socialist conspiracy.

    Read more: J. Edgar Hoover - The Palmer Raids - Radicals, Threat, Political, and Public - JRank Articles

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