A Decade Of Fear Summary

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Sam Roberts in the article A Decade of Fear argues that McCarthyism turned Americans against each other. Roberts supports his claim by illustrating fear, describing betrayal, and comparing it to other United States internal conflicts. The author’s purpose is to point out a vulnerable period of American history in order to demonstrate that Americans felt prey to McCarthy’s negative propaganda. The author writes in a cynical tone for an educated audience. I strongly agree with Robert’s claim. McCarthyism caused Americans to turn on each other due to fear, unawareness, and propaganda. Clearly due to McCarthyism, fear evoked betrayal among Americans in the 1950’s. One reason McCarthyism sparked paranoia is due to the rapid rate of communism spreading…show more content…
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. For example, McCarthy’s speech sparked an anger in Americans for being lied to for so long, causing them to draw their own conclusions. After all, Miller describes similar occurrence in his play. In The Crucible, the townspeople are oblivious to what is causing a disturbance in their village. Consequently, they decide it must be witches becas they themselves are unaware of any other possibility. One woman, Mrs. Putnam provides, “I’d nott call it sick; the Devil’s touch is heavier than sick” (Miller). Similar to themes in The Crucible, Americans did not understand the magnitude of the issue and felt they had to become overly enthusiastic about it. As a result, an outbreak of Americans turning on one another during the McCarthy

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