The Red Scare Analysis During the rise of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union had been brought into an alliance due to both of their desires to defeat Nazi, Germany. Although the Soviet Union’s aggressive, antidemocratic policy towards Europe created tensions even before World War II had ended. That being said, they tolerated each other as much as they could but weren’t exactly friends. The United States government was initially hostile to the Soviet leaders for their decision to take Russia out of World War I and was opposed to a state ideologically based on communism. The main conflict between them was their inability to agree about communism.
During this time period, not long after the end of World War II, the USSR (Soviet Union) was on the rise, which led to the Cold War. The Cold War led to increased tension between the United States, and the Soviet Union due to competition and heavy conflict of interest. The involvement of the Soviet Union led to the dramatic fear of communism among the public after witnessing the horrific environment within the USSR. This helped develop McCarthyism, the idea of investigating, and accusing someone in power of being associated with communism. Joe McCarthy himself, the founder of his very ideal also gained much popularity within this time period due to many Americans fearing the rise of communist leaders and communism itself. He maintained support throughout all this time because there was no one that would go against him or his ideals. McCarthy was easily able to gain
McCarthyism turned Americans against each other after WWII by claiming that Communists had infiltrated many areas of American life and government. In fact, “According to a local newspaper McCarthy dropped a bombshell: ‘The State Department is infested with Communists,” (para 3). In other words, this is the beginning of McCarthy turning Americans against each other. Paranoia started to spread through America which all this strongly affected Americans everyday life. McCarthyism was a result of American fear of communism in the 1950s. According to the article A Decade of Fear by Sam Roberts it states, “As his fame and power grew, so did his anti-Communist fervor. He accused government officials and politicians who opposed him,” (para 11). Sam
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.
In the 1940 's and 1950 's, an anti-Communist movement swept the United States of America. Fueled by the anti-Communist actions of Congress, particularly a Senator from Wisconsin by the name of Joseph McCarthy, the movement escalated and many people lost their jobs as a result of various blacklists. Congressional hearings, both in front of HUAC and McCarthy Senate committee were a study in organized persecution. The actions taken during the "Red Scare" were eventually given the general name McCarthyism. McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.
The Palmer Raids were led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On November 17, 1919, the FBI raided the Russian Workers Union and arrested 200 people. A few weeks later, they reraided the same place and found a secret room that was hiding a bomb factory. The biggest raid happened on January 20, 1920. 30 cities were raided by government officials and thousands of immigrants were arrested.
On August 6, 1945, the first of two atomic bombs was dropped on Japan, sparking the start of what is now known as the Cold War. Two large military powers, the Soviet communists and the United States of America, pitted their wits and defense against each other, using any means necessary to find cracks in the others’ defenses. Three days later, the second atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, which shook the world with its deafening death toll. The world immediately took up arms in the following years, sparking some of the most controversial years in history. Suspicion turned brothers against sisters, neighbors against neighbors, and caused many lives to be ruined. These years are often referred to as the “McCarthy era”, named after a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin who blamed many of his colleagues of Communist subversion. In many cases, defendants were pitted against their own friends, whose only evidence were their words. Cultural and racial bias ran rampant, and often those accused of a crime against the country, such as espionage or conspiracy of espionage, were not given fair trials. In one such case, a husband
In the Red Scare, there were a lot of corrupt leaders who would use fear in order to gain power, one of them being McCarthy. Joseph McCarthy was indeed corrupted by power since he had accused two-hundred and five innocent people of being either communists or connected to communism. In the article, McCarthyism the author explains, “McCarthy used hearsay and intimidation to establish himself as a powerful and feared figure in American politics. He leveled charges of disloyalty at celebrities, intellectuals, and anyone who disagreed with his political views…” (“Red Scare”).
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.
The Red Scare quickly spread across the States as American people feared that communism would take over their country one day. The era had significant impacts on American society during the early stage of the Cold War. Shortly after the beginning of the Red Scare, a phenomenon which is known as McCarthyism appeared and shaped American politics. The anti-communist movement reached its peak in February 1950, when Senator Joseph McCarthy capitalised the fear by claiming he had a list of more than 200 communists working inside the American government.
The Cold War escalated and shaped the 1950s societies. The Cold War has isolated and demonized communists in Americans’ eyes. J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI stated in a speech in 1947 that “Communism, in reality, is not a political party. It is a way of life-an evil and malignant way of life” (Document B). Brigadier General Frank T. Hines was also very vocal about his anti-communist sentiments.
Sam Robert in the article, A Decade of Fear, argues that Americans turned against each other because of McCarthyism. Robert supports his claim by explaining, contrasting, and demonstrating the effects that McCarthyism had on humanity. The author’s purpose is to persuade in order to convince the reader that McCarthyism sparked betrayal and fear among Americans. The author writes in a tone for his educated audience. I strongly agree with Robert’s claim.
Senator Joseph McCarthy was a merciless politician who would be censured by the Senate in 1954 for his false accusations. However, his political journey throughout the country had a significant impact on the American public. Americans let fear override their conscious and allowed a bully to insert panic into their minds. McCarthy’s crusade was powerful and convinced the naive public during a time of war to question their own government without sufficient
This is also clearly not true, as it has been proven that McCarthy accused others to gain political power. For example, McCarthy’s downfall was caused when he clashed with the army. Roberts claims that “McCarthy and his chief counsel, Roy M. Cohn, were accused of improperly using their influence to get preferential assignments for… David Schine, who had been drafted into the military.” (3). To sum this up, those who supported McCarthy had few rebuttals in regards to the turmoil he created in America.
McCarthyism falsely accused people of supporting communism and being unloyal to America(Document D). These claims had no proper evidence which justified the said assertions. Individuals who were accused of being a communist or a spy, even if the facts were not accurate, were looked down upon and occasionally prosecuted. Accused people no longer supported the war, for it led to the government punishing the innocent(Document G). Not only was the government believed to be unreliable, but trust between people was a large issue during the Cold War.