Internal political developments (red scare)

  • Created by: jaaaz_v
  • Created on: 28-05-15 17:56
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  • Internal Political Developments
    • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
      • FBI
      • Had a strongly anti-communist director- J Edgar Hoover
      • Federal Employee Loyalty Programwas set up in 1947 by Hoover
        • Allowed him to investigate government employees to see if they were current or former members of communist parties
        • Around 3 million were investigated
        • 212 members of staff were identified as "security risks"/communist sympathisers
          • Were forced out of their jobs
    • House Un-American Activities Committee
      • HUAC
      • Had the right to investigate anyone suspected of doing anything "un-American"
        • Communists basically
      • FBI gained evidence of prominent Hollywood writers, producers, directors etc. being part of the communist party
        • HUAC called on them to be questioned by the committee
        • Those questioned were known as the Hollywood 10
        • Refused to answer any questions
          • Said the HUAC didn't have the right to ask them questions
        • Each jailed for one year for contempt in court
        • Hollywood studios blacklisted the 10
      • Was not illegal to be a communist in a free democratic country like the USA
    • The Hiss Case
      • A man called Whittaker Chambers faced the HUAC
        • He admitted to having been a comunist
      • Chambers claimed that Alger Hiss had been a member of the communist group
        • Hiss was a high ranking member of the US state department
        • Accused Chambers of lying and the case was dissmissed
      • Richard Nixon carried on investigating
        • Found evidence that Hiss knew Chambers
        • Found debatable evidence that he passed info to the USSR during the war
      • Alger Hiss spent 5 years in prison and was convicted of purjury
        • Still not known if he was guilty or not
    • The Rosenbergs
      • Soviet union developed their atomic bomb much sooner than expected
        • USA were sure it would have taken them four more years
      • Government strongly felt that spies had shared their atomic secrets
      • There were suspicions against Julius Rosenburg and his wife Ethel
        • Denied all charges aginst them on their first trial
        • Still found guilty and sentenced to death
          • Executed in 1953
      • The evidence against the Rosenbergs was flimsy
        • Historians today believe that the couple were guilty
        • Now know of coded telegrams between the Rosenbergs and Soviet agents
        • Sentenced to death with uncertain evidence
    • The McCarran Act
      • Hiss and Rosenberg cases lead to the Internal Security Act
        • Known as the McCarran Act- it was pushed by Senator McCarran
      • President opposed to the act
        • Thought it would make a mockery of the USA's bill of rights
        • Congress voted 80% in favour
      • All communist groups had to be registered
        • Including finger printing members
          • No communist could carry a US passport
            • Detention camps were set up for emergency situations


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