Tensions were very high between the Soviet Union and America at the end of WWII, and would only continue to escalate. America and the USSR rarely agreed and during WWII they were only able to work together because of the common enemy of Germany. At this point in time the USSR was communist and expanding their hold on land around them. At the Yalta conference in 1945, America and Great Britain agreed to give the Soviet Union control over Poland and Ukraine, and in return the Soviets agreed to use free elections in those countries. The Soviets went back on their word and ruled with communism. As well, the Soviets believed the Americans were not giving enough land to their nation. Tensions between the countries reached a boiling point and the …show more content…
In The Washington Post a political cartoon titled “Well, I Got That In, All Right” was printed to talk about the current downfall of the American budget (document F). The cartoon depicts a shed titled “Budget” with a giant missile called “missile programs” shoved inside. All of the other programs like “civilian services” and “ school construction” have no room inside the shed so they are falling away. The cartoon symbolizes the fact that people were so afraid of not being well defensed in their army that they were ignoring every other problem and need. While the missile programs continued to grow, other important programs were suffering. The everyday American citizen who would see this cartoon in the paper would finally think about the serious issue of neglected programs like welfare and schools, which they would not have been concerned about before because of the overwhelming amount of fear about war and defense. As the cold war went on, the rest of the country was in danger of suffering and the fear of another depression had started to …show more content…
John Foster Dulles said “If world communism captures any American State, however small, a new and perilous front is established which will increase the danger to the entire free world”(document B). John Foster Dulles was the secretary of state during the Cold War and the political official were of most importance during this time. They were who everyone would look to for guidance and aid. However, in Dulles statement he was just spreading fear and paranoia about communism. He was feeding the fire of fear towards communism. To him it was so important that not even a single state falter for a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Furthermore, People were so afraid communism would spread to America that no one trusted each other, because anyone could be a spy. One of the most controversial moments was when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were discovered to be spies for the communist nation. The Rosenbergs had been feeding the USSR information about nuclear weapons and radar, sonar, and jet propulsion. The discovery of these two spies set America into a frenzy of mistrust. Anyone could be a spy and the threat of communism was all anyone would talk of think about. Although communism was such a major problem in the U.S. at the time, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration did not help to end the fear, rather fuel
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This fear includes communism not only within our nation but internationally as well. As secretary of state, John Foster Dulles stated that if communism captures any American state it will “increase the danger to the entire free world” (Document B). Moreover, Dulles feared Latin America particularly due to their close proximity and the idea that if one state becomes communist then the rest will follow, otherwise known as the domino theory. However, a note to keep in mind about Dulles is that he favored the policy of massive retaliation, a nuclear strategy supporting the idea that if the United States was attacked, we would retaliate with an even greater force which only intensified the fear. In addition, not only were we afraid of what the Soviets would do to those states around them, but a striking fear became present through the possibility of spies within the United States.
After the Soviet union tested their first atomic bombs, many Americans suspected that spies had aided the Soviets. This led to Julius and Ethel rosenberg to be accused of being spies working for the Soviets; they were found guilty of treason and executed. These developments were based mainly off of the anti-communist attitudes that were spreading rapidly during the time, demonstrating how the fears of many led to wrongful
He said that at least 205 members of the State Department were members of the communist party. This was after it was released to the public that a couple named Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were secretly communist spies who were staying in the U.S., stealing nuclear weapon secrets. With McCarthy’s remarks such as “They [a communist spy] could even be your neighbor!’ scarring the American public’s mind, many were on edge.
Everyone was scared of being accused as shown with the look of terror on the women in the right corner. Most of daily life was disrupted blacklists were formed against those accused of communism even if the accusation was false. This was not the land of opportunity that America once
During the cold war many Americans feared that their neighbors and peers were Soviet Communists just because they acted or had other views that according to some were ‘un american’. In McCarthy’s speeches he repeatedly talks about how he has the names of convicted Communists in the senate and how they should be kicked out. “I further stated that I have in my possession the names of 57 Communists who are in the State Department at present. A State Department spokesman promptly denied this, claiming that there is not a single Communist in the Department.” (McCarthy 6)
The American people feared the spread of communism and nuclear war in the aftermath of the Second World War, while President Eisenhower addressed these fears by having strong domestic and foreign policies. The fear of communism carved a deep sense of mistrust in American people. They believed anything that was said and blindly followed people who were in political power without any basis of evidence. The fear of communism created a sense of “hysteria” (Document A) within the general public and even in people in government.
President Dwight Eisenhower gave a press conference in March 1954 talking about the hysteria that was happening and how it was affecting America. He talks about the fears that were being caused because of this hysteria, and how these fears had an impact on the human mind. People soon started accusing each other of being communist, it started to get brought up in schools around America, and because of the hysteria that was happening many people were more frightened and did everything they could to not look guilty because everyone was watching. The hysteria also led to McCarthyism spreading and people started a campaign against alleged communists. This campaign people made unfair accusations about people in America who they believed were secretly communists.
Due to these factors, by 1950, American citizens were filled with fear of being accused of disloyalty. “One commentator described Washington, D.C., as a city rife with ‘spying, suspicion, [and] defamation by rumor’” (934). The nation became so distrustful that, in some areas, people with certain professions had to take loyalty oaths. The rights of those accused of communism were taken away; for example, they were not allowed to fish or to have a driver’s license. Due to the consequences of being accused, American citizens became extremely paranoid.
Response to Senator McCarthy’s “Enemies From Within Speech” With anti-communism being the dominant political issue during the Cold War, hysteria and paranoia spread throughout the minds of Americans. The “Enemies From Within Speech” delivered at Wheeling, West Virginia in 1950 by Senator Joseph McCarthy focused on worsening that national fear. Senator McCarthy used ethos, metaphor, and hyperbole to create the notion of disloyalty within the federal government. In order to persuade the American public in a convincing way, Senator McCarthy appeals to their ethics.
Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin believed communism was the most daunting threat to the American government at the time. Moreover, most Americans had only heard of communism, but were generally unaware of the topic until McCarthy preached his opinions. After his speech to the Republican National Convention in 1952, American citizens suddenly felt a responsibility to rid the country of communists. Although the thought of communism did not pose a danger to the average American, McCarthy’s rampant speeches made unknowing citizens feel a sense of urgency toward the topic. One reason Americans heard little of communism is because the government did not want them to know.
Reflection of this conflict was apparent in the American ethos, in which Americans feared that if “world communism captur[ed] any American state…a new and perilous front…will increase the danger to the entire free world and require even greater sacrifices from the American people” (Document B). As illustrated by Eisenhower, “the hysteria” of communism propagating into American society and threatening the American way of life was a very prevalent fear at the forefront of the Cold War (Document A). McCarthyism, a system established by Senator Joseph McCarthy in which he made unsubstantiated accusations of subversion or treason to America, acted as the culmination of this hysteria, directly reflecting the sentiments driving the American people. Eisenhower did not engage in any domestic policies to quell these “multiplicity of fears” (Document A). Instead he compounded them with legislation such as the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways…connect[ing] 209 of the 247 cities having a population of 50,00 more and [serving as] the country’s principal…defense” (Document D).
Herman claims that the basic facts dispute the notion that McCarthyism was caused by bigoted viewpoints within the United States. He argues that fears of the ‘Red Menace’ increased as the power of international communism gained prominence, and as the public became increasingly aware of Soviet spy operations in the United States. According to Herman, the American public believed that the Soviets posed the biggest threat ever faced by Western civilization, even greater than Nazis Germany that had recently been defeated. After World War II, the geopolitical landscape was radically changed by new alliances that seemed to threaten the security of freedom Americas had fought for. The emergence of McCarthyism stemmed from legitimate fear of the Soviet
Some historians believe the Cold War was inevitable because of the hostilities from both America and the Soviet Union after World War II. America believed that the USSR was an expansionist country trying to spread an evil, communistic idea throughout the world. Although the countries never directly fought against each other, as they only fought in proxy wars, there was still extreme conflict. The United States responded to the Soviets actions in Germany, Europe, and their national actions. These responses were justifiable, or so many Americans at the time believed.
Adding on to the tensions prior to nuclear warfare the U.S is afraid of communism spreading to the country. In the speech Joseph McCarthy made in 1950 regarding communism already being in America. In the speech it is made clear that he thinks communism is already inside our government. “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but rather because of enemies from within” Just from this line alone it reflects the panic and the realism of the issue at the time. This panic and anxiety of communism in our own government was spread throughout America.