Chicago Race Riots Essay

1314 WordsSep 12, 20126 Pages
Following the end of World War I, American society was going through a tumultuous phase. Veterans returned stateside to a vastly different American society than they had left a few years prior. The first Great Migration had also drastically altered the demographic constituency in many of the Northern industrial cities such as Chicago, Detroit and New York. The increased number of minorities, most of whom were African American moved into areas previously occupied by immigrants and lower class White Americans. Various radicalist movements and international issues had left a bad taste in the mouths of many Americans. Additionally, the removal of government controls on factories placed a great deal of strain on the relationship between employers, who desired to maintain control of their businesses, and unions, who feared they would lose recognition and influence without government aid. The great deal of tension and strain which resulted from labor unrest, the change in the demographic of the city and the resulting racial tension all played integral roles in the Chicago Race Riots of 1919. The turn of the century and the onset of World War I presented the perfect opportunity for Africans Americans living in the South to relocate in search of prosperity and opportunity. The Great Migration brought African Americans in droves to the industrial cities to join the workforce. Chicago was one of the choice destinations for African Americans looking to establish themselves in the North. From 1910 to 1920, the number of Black Residents increased 148% from 44,103 residents to a staggering 109,458 residents. This in turn led to an increase in the number of Africans Americans being born up North. Illinois alone saw a 23% increase in the number of African American births from 1910 to 1920. The Census also saw a spike in Chicago’s African American population in the various

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