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
People were terrified of communism spreading to the United States, so when accusations started floating around everyone would believe them. McCarthy accused people of communist behavior, although many were falsely accused, no one knew better than to think they were guilty because of how scared they were of communism spreading. This resembles how certain characters were accused of witchcraft in The Crucible. The Red Scare caused nationwide hysteria just how the Salem Witch Trials caused hysteria to the people of Salem.
McCarthy was the United States senator at the time, and was also the person most associated with the anticommunist crusade. McCarthy made it to where many Americans were afraid to even question him. “He leveled charges of disloyalty at celebrities, intellectuals and anyone who disagreed with his political views, costing many of his victims their reputations and jobs. McCarthy’s reign of terror continued until his colleagues formally denounced his tactics in 1954.” (The Red Menace) McCarthy used the McCarthyism method.
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.
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).
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.
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.
During the Cold War, hysteria in the U.S. ensued over the perceived threat of Communism. This mass hysteria became known as ‘The Red Scare’ due to Communist’s loyalty to the red flag. These fears were not totally unfounded, as the USSR had been spying inside America for a long time. The Red Scare became influential to world history by causing leaders to pass acts that would not have been passed otherwise that reduced the Communist Party to a shadow of its past self..
After being censured by the United States Senate in 1954, Joseph Raymond McCarthy died in 1957. Admittedly Senator McCarthy led a very successful political career as Senator and chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Sadly he left a trail of damaged individual reputations and a red stain in the history books known as McCarthyism. McCarthyism today is the term used to refer to the time when the nation faced persecution and is a reference to any mistreatment of any group. But even though a small percentage of American citizen lost jobs and two people lost their lives, the damaged reputations of thousands even millions of people who were labeled communist was the actual terrible legacy left behind.
In the early 1950s McCarthy, as aforementioned, would publicly speak in the state of Virginia asserting a list of of over 200 names of
Firstly, the Red Scare was a time where the United States was extremely divided, both socially and politically, and citizens were terrified about communists spreading their ideas of communism (Foster 2). This pandamonium stemmed from ideas of McCarthyism, strong anti-communist values (Goodman 1). McCarthyism, to some, was believed to resemble totalitarianism due to “the demagoguery, smear campaigns, informers, purges of the civil service and education system; the blacklisting of writers, artists, and entertainers; and incidents of book-burning” (Goodman 1) that both had in common (Goodman 1). To combat the spread of communism and to calm the overall panic people had at the time, the government created the House Committee of Un-American Activities
McCarthyism resulted in Americans turning against each other because of fear of communist takeover, overbearing political power, and protecting their reputation. Clearly, Americans feared the idea of a communist takeover. One reason Americans were filled with anxiety about communist infiltration was because, “... in 1949 when Communists led by Mao Zedong took
In the 1950s Senator Joseph McCarthy created pandemonium by trying to expose communists and other threats of disloyalty to the government. Joseph McCarthy was a Wisconsin senator whose name was given to the 1950s time period: McCarthyism. Until 1954, McCarthy was a feared and powerful man in politics and caused anyone who had opposing political views to lose their jobs and reputations. The mass fear McCarthy created in the United States became known as the Red Scare and quickly led to a sense of distrust across the country. Joseph McCarthy, the youngest member of the senate, frightened the United States by creating paranoia by falsely accusing U.S. citizens of being communists.
McCarthy ran for the senate again in 1946 in which he used the slogan "Congress needs a Tail Gunner" and even though he was running against the favored incumbent, Robert M. La Follette Jr. who Patrick Maney called “McCarthy’s first victim”, McCarthy prevailed the winner and became the youngest member of the Senate. During his first term of being a Republican Senator he managed to keep a low profile and worked mostly on house legislation, it wasn’t till the 1950s that McCarthy became a household
Sparked by an increase in communist sympathies during the Great Depression due to upset over the failure of the democratic system to assist its people in difficult times, American fear of communism reached its high point during the 1940s and 1950s. Fear of communist subversion, often called the Red Scare, reached all areas of society and resulted in paranoia throughout the United States, exemplified through both actions and events. The McCarthy hearings, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, capitalized on the overwhelming hysteria encapsulating the United States when McCarthy claimed he had the names of communists in the government. Built on a series of lies and exaggerations, McCarthy proceeded to interrogate innocent government officials and