America's Response To The Expansion Of Communism

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After the Great Depression, Americans were looking for a solution to never have such a devastation again. Some Americans decided to support Soviet led communism. In 1938, The House of Un-American Activity Committee was created in response to this new threat, communism. Its purpose was to investigate allegations of perceived traitors with communist links. The Central Intelligence Agency as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation saw communism as counterintuitive to American ideals. (House of Un-American Committee) Therefore, the expansion of communism was seen as an unacceptable threat to American power and interest. In 1949, the House of Un-American Activity Committee became a permanent congressional committee. (Oodman) Furthermore, the invention of the atomic bomb by the Soviet Union in 1949 only further fueled America’s fear of communist imperialism.
As the first chairman of the House, Martin Dies, established the rules of engagement for the federal government’s investigation of communist activities in America. If the HUAC had
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They also believed that movies and television shows were attempting to get Americans to support communism by using propaganda. Screenwriters, musicians, actors, directors, and other entertainment professionals were subpoenaed by the HUAC because of their suspected political beliefs or associations. If they rejected answering questions in investigations by “pleading the Fifth”, they were blacklisted. When someone in Hollywood was blacklisted they were denied employment and banned from work. Nobody wanted to employ anyone who was suspected of being affiliated with the communist party. Movie studios became careful about who they hired in fear of having their reputation ruined by association with communist. (HUAC) Many famous people in Hollywood were suspected including Charlie Chaplin, Langston Hughes, Shirley Temple, and Lucille Ball.

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