Is political violence in American streets new?

There seems to be some fear that political violence in America has reached new heights and is a harbinger of a greater conflict to come. Are political battles in the streets like we witnessed in Berkeley, California a new phenomenon? Have we entered a new phase in America?

Not even close. From about the 1890s though the 1930s political and labor violence in the streets of America was far worse than it is today and took the form of intimindation riots, murder and hundreds of deaths.

Buildings were burned, police were killed, the Army was often deployed.

To get a feel for this violence, here is an overview of violence in the streets in the 1930s.

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6 Responses to Is political violence in American streets new?

  1. C. L. says:

    It may not be new, but having had it in the past does not make it okay now. I’d like to think we as a country had grown away from that, and I think we did until Obama came along and set back racial relations 50 years. From there, it branched out into other social justice venues.

    Loretta Lynch’s recent video just makes it that much easier to believe that his administration encouraged unrest to the point of violence.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I wasn’t excusing the violence by any means. I just wanted to point out that America has faced running battles in the streets before and survived it. Riots and mob violence did not destroy the republic before and it was much worse and more widespread. I am confident the tamer rights of today will not destroy the republic either.

      • C. L. says:

        I didn’t mean to imply you were attempting to minimize what is going on. Sorry about that. I hope past history holds true and that we’ll be okay this time around, too.

        I think every generation has their “moment” when they think their “something bad” is worse than before, and I think that’s just because when you are living through the bad thing, it’s more real to you.

      • Pumpkin19 says:

        You’re right; this is certainly nothing new. However, I would argue that the widespread acceptance(even encouragement) by law enforcement officials and the media IS something new. As you pointed out in your post, the Army was deployed to put down the riots of that era. Today rioters are praised as “social justice warriors” for beating supporters of the POTUS and cops are labeled as “racists” for trying to stop them.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          There was quite a bit of sympathy in certain circles for labor in those days. They had the implicit support of POTUS FDR.

          On the other hand, I am guessing the police in, say, Fort Worth Texas or Montgomery Alabama wouldn’t be inclined to lend tacit support to rioters.

          • miforest says:

            nobody is talking about fort worth or montgomery . the police are in fact assisting rioter in many locations by standing by and watching the violence and then refusing to take complaints from victims.
            In the 60s there were riots then. The police and national guard quelled them with as much force as they could use without outright assaults on protesters.

            the big difference this time is there is no core american beliefs that have wide support to counter the organized funded rioters.