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THE USA 1945 ­ 1970
Key Topic 1: McCarthyism and the Red
Topic 1: Impact of the cold war
Why was there a fear of Communism in the USA?
Fear of communism from The Bolshevik Revolution - 1917
In OCTOBER 1917 the Bolshevik party seized power in
Russia and overthrew the provisional government
After this civil war, opponents were defeated and the
Bolsheviks (led by LENIN) began to set up a COMMUNIST
state in Russia
Shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution, ANTI COMMUNISM
Communist views by Lenin were despised by US citizens
Communist views were against CAPITALISM ­ which was
the US system
USA resisted any attempt of the spread of communism
The `RED SCARE' (1919 and 1920) was the fear of the
spread of communism to the USA by immigrants from
Eastern Europe
The red scare of 1919 and 1920 in the USA was whipped up
by press officials
President Wilsons ATTORNEY GENERAL (chief legal officer
of US gov) A Mitchell Palmer, tried to clear out people he
thought were communists
Some Russian immigrants were sent back to their country,
thousands arrested and by 1920 it felt the spread of
The hatred and fear of communism did not disappear
US did not recognize the USSR until 1933. They thought the
USSR wanted to destroy capitalism

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This seemed evident when the USSR invaded Poland in
1939 and went to war against Finland later that year
Fear of communism from Second World War
The USA and USSR were allies in 1941, after USA entered
Second World War.…read more

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Toward end of WW2, Soviet troops had liberated countries
in East Europe from Nazi occupation
But STALIN left his troops there instead of withdrawing
them after the war
1947 ­ COMINFORM was set up to bring all European
communist parties more firmly under Soviet control
By 1949, Hungary, Romania etc had become one party
communist states controlled by USSR
USA were convinced Stalin's aim was to expand communism
throughout Europe
BUT stalin saw these contries in Eastern Europe as a buffer
for USSR against possible…read more

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Fear of communism from Korean War
Until 1949 US fears of Communism had been confined to
BUT success of China communism showed that communism
war a worldwide threat
Truman wanted to HALT this
Invasion of South Korea by communist North Korea
(supported by USSR) seemed to confirm fears of Stalin
trying to spread communism
This caused a wave of ANTI COMMUNIST HYSTERIA in USA
Topic 2: The development of the Red Scare
Why did events in the USA 1945- 1950 increase fear of
communism?…read more

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Later in 1947, HUAC (the house un American activities
committee) began to look into communist infiltration in the
film industry
There was a fear that films were being used to put over a
communist message
10 writers and directors had to testify before HUAC and
were asked if they had ever been members of the
communist party
They refused to answer pleading the FIFTH AMENDMENT.…read more

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The government claimed they were intending to give atomic
secrets to USSR so they were found guilty and sentenced to
death in 1953
Evidence was flimsy
The McCarren Internal Security Act
In September 1950, at height of Hiss case, Congress passed
the McCarran Internal Security Act.…read more

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McCarthy won massive support in the USA and his activities
contributed to the Republicans' victory in 1952
Nixon built on hysteria created by McCarthy, to win votes
McCarthy continued his work of hunting communists and in
late 1952 his researches investigated libraries to see
whether they contained books written by communists.…read more

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In March 1954 the popular television broadcaster and
journalist Ed Murrow made a documentary which exposed
McCarthy was a bully and had no substance in his claims
McCarthy's fall
In December 1954, McCarthy was publicly reprimanded by the
Senate for:
Contempt of a senate elections sub committee
Abuse of certain senators
Insults to the senate during the very hearings that
condemned him
The vote was in favor of censuring him
McCarthy lost chairmanship of the Committee and this signaled
the end of his power.…read more

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Few advances in civil rights during WW2 (1941 ­ 1945)
Segregation existed in armed forces.…read more

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Fair Employment Practices
Commission (FEPC) to prevent discrimination at work
Number of black Americans in service increased as a result
Black Americans continued to face discrimination
Earned half of what white workers earned
Racial tension
Riots broke out in 47 cities due to racial tension. Worst was
in Detroit in 1943
Work of NAACP and CORE
NAACP ­ National Association for the Advancement of
Coloured People
Founded in 1909 by a group of black intellectuals
Multi racial organization and had W.E.…read more


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