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The Red Scare During The Cold War

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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.. The Red Scare began after World War 2 had ended. The threat of a Cold War with the Soviet Union was looming over the United States. To ensure that the United States would have support in this Cold War, the Truman Administration took a strongly anti-communist stance on the home…show more content…
The government passed the Smith Act, an act that allowed anyone who had “intentions to overthrow the government” (Thomas L. Telford, 2009), which gave the government authority to arrest Communists. The McCarran Act, also known as the Internal Security Act, was also passed. This act required organizations and their members to register as ‘communist-action’, ‘communist-front’, or ‘communist-infiltrated’. By 1952, the federal crusade against Communism had caused seven leaders of the Washington State party to be arrested and accused of plotting the overthrow of the government. Although they all presented ample proof that they had never openly advocated a coup, six of the seven were convicted and sent to jail. This was just one example of how unfair these trials could…show more content…
The discontinuation of The New World, a Seattle-based, communist supported paper, suggests that the party was having some issues with finance and lack of members and supporters. So, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that by the mid 1950’s, the Communist Party was a shadow of its former glory. Constantly under attack from the FBI, state agencies, and privately controller anti-communist groups, the Communist Party spent most of its time, money, and effort on legal defense. Though it once had a large web of affiliated organizations, the majority of that was gone, demolished by the threat of being blacklisted by the government. The affiliated organizations had all either disbanded or cut all ties to the Communist Party, leaving the party with largely no support. Though it seemed things could not get worse for the Party, they then did when the Soviet Union invaded Hungary. Premier Khrushchev confessed to all the crimes and purges and otherwise inhuman occurrences that took place beneath his predecessor, Joseph Stalin. This was a major blow to the morale of the remaining Communist Party members. Many, who had weathered the storm of the Red Scare, left the Party, convinced that everything that they had believed in and worked towards had been betrayed and forsaken. Those who remained were a tiny group, waiting desperately for a new chance, a shot at redemption. In conclusion, the Red Scare was an
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