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The early years of the 20th century were marked by massive immigration, poor working conditions, and public unrest.  Violence punctuated the early struggle for workers’ rights: strikes were often repressed with brutality, radicalizing many workers.  Bombs and guns became the tools of protest.  When the home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer was bombed by an anarchist and plots for more bombings were revealed, both the public and the government clamored for tighter law enforcement and more restrictive legislation for immigrants, resulting in the roundups, deportations, and public outrage.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories
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