Bartolemeo Vanzetti A victim of prejudice that spurred a revolution

A Relationship Of Sympathy

Vanzetti was always disgusted by the treatment of immigrants. This lead him to become a left wing anarchist. It was at meetings for this anarchist movement that Vanzetti met Sacco. Sacco was an Italian immigrant, and would be involved with Vanzetti for the rest of his life.

On The Side Of Peace

One big connection Vanzetti and Sacco had was their shared opposition for the World War going on at the time. They attended multiple protests to show their hatred for it. When the time came to be drafted they fled to Mexico. Soon after the war was over they came back to Mexico.

The Beginning Of The End

On May 5, 1920, Vanzetti and Stacco were called in by the police to be interviewed. Two men were murdered while carrying the payroll for a business. Both were shot and the $15,000 they had on them was stolen. After interviewing multiple Italian immigrants, Sacco and Vanzetti were charged.

A Sound Defense

Neither had a criminal record, but it was argued they were using the money for their anarchist campaign. Vanzetti had a valid alibi, claiming he was selling fish in Plymouth the day of the murder, with evidence proving it was true. All claims of defense from other people were ignored, saying that the defenders were immigrants so it didn't count.

A Biased Battle

On top of the murder charges, Vanzetti was found of unpatriotic behavior for his choice to flee during World War I. It had become clear to the majority that the judge had a clear prejudice against anarchist. On July 14, 1921, Vanzetti and Sacco were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to death.

A Quote From Vanzetti

"The jury were hating us because we were against the war, and the jury don't know that it makes any difference between a man that is against the war because he believes that the war is unjust, because he hate no country, because he is a cosmopolitan, and a man that is against the war because he is in favor of the other country that fights against the country in which he is, and therefore a spy, an enemy, and he commits any crime in the country in which he is in behalf of the other country in order to serve the other country. We are not men of that kind. Nobody can say that we are German spies or spies of any kind... I never committed a crime in my life - I have never stolen and I have never killed and I have never spilt blood, and I have fought against crime, and I have fought and I have sacrificed myself even to eliminate the crimes that the law and the church legitimate and sanctify."

Accepting When It's Over

While in prison Vanzetti educated himself on poets and prophets of his faith. He had grown more calm and philosophical, reaching an almost serene state of enlightenment. He was proud of his execution, saying it gave him a purpose and made people recognize him, and that his death helped lead the fight for tolerance for immigrants. In 1925 a gang member known for similar murders confessed to the crime Vanzetti was arrested for, but they ignored his claims.

The Impact He Left

He died for a crime he didn't commit, but his life wasn't in vain. The case against Vanzetti was the first to not only inform America, but the entire world about the distinct prejudice against immigrants. While he didn't lead it, Vanzetti started the movement to treat immigrants equally. While Vanzetti wasn't the only one arrested for that crime, his calm demeanor made more people recognize his words and help further his cause of indiscrimination.

More Information

http://spartacus-educational.com/USAvanzetti.htm

By Hayden Weeks

Created By
Hayden Weeks
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