From Ohio History Central
In 1919, the Communist Party of the United States of America was established. This party calls for the world's people to unite together to extend democracy, to eliminate racism and sexism, and to secure justice for all people. The Communist Party seeks to convert the United States government to a political and economic system based on socialism. Socialism is a governmental and economic system that emphasizes government ownership of all farms, factories, and other businesses. Under this system, the federal government would meet the basic needs of all people, although some people would have more political and economic power than others. Once a socialist system is in place, the Communist Party believes that the American government will naturally evolve into a communist one. A communist system would consist of a classless society, where everyone, no matter their gender or race, would work together for their common benefit. Under communism, everyone would be equal and own all property jointly.
As World War I was ending, a fear-driven, anti-communist movement known as the First Red Scare began to spread across the United States of America. In 1917, Russia had undergone the Bolshevik Revolution. The Bolsheviks established a communist government that withdrew Russian troops from the war effort. Americans believed that Russia had let down its allies, including the United States, by pulling out of the war. In addition, communism was, in theory, an expansionist ideology, spread through revolution. It suggested that the working class would overthrow the middle class.