McCarthyism and anti-Communism

Reading P.341-355 in History od the Americas

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Pre-Red Scare

Pattern of anti-immigration sentiments

Fear of subversion

Beginning of the Red Scare:

developments in the US Congress that began in 1947 set the stage for Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist witch-hunts

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HUAC (1938)

House of Unamerican Activities Committee

Counteract potential subversives with the US

1947-intensified their actions

Nixon taking a leading role while a Congressman

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HUAC attack on Hollywood

Attack producers, directors, writer and actors - imbedding soviet propoganda in their films

Called to either admit or submit others names

100 of employees were blacklisted - unable to work in Hollywood

Hollywood Ten - all imprisoned

Elia Kazan (director) named several members of the Hollywood Communist communtiy - bitterness remained up to 1999

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HUAC attack on Alger Hiss

He was a mid-level staffer in the State Department

1948, Whitaker Chambers accused him of providing classified documents in 1930's intended for Moscow

Nixon was fairly involved with this case - Democrats viewed him as unprincipled

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HUAC and Truman

Under the Smith Act members of the American Communist Party were prosicuted - more than 200 jailed

1947 - Federal Loyalty Program - investigating employees of federal governemnt to guarantee loyalty

12th March speech that established the Truman Doctorine - the flight against communism was an important part of both foreign and domestic policy

over 4 years 200 employees were fired and 2000 quit - communist rumours could seriously threaten someones status

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Historiagraphy - Truman and Communism

Alan Brinkley (historian)

Truman wanted to counter Republican attacks and to build support for his foreign policy this is why he created the Federal Loyalty Program

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VENONA - decipher of Soviet communications

Revealed a Bristish spy for SU in the Manhattan Project (Karl Fuchs)

This lead to a trail:

Ethel and Juliun Rosenberg - innocent however executed for espionage in 1953

David Greengrass - lied about his sister (Ethel) to save his wife

The fact that US citizens were handing over atomic secrets to the SU increased hysteria about the power of Communism and Communist infiltration

AND...Moa's victory over Nationalists in China (1949)

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Joseph McCarthy quotes

February 1950

'I have a list of 205...a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who are still working and shaping the policy in the State Department'

This sparked a more aggressive hunt for subversives.

'The entire Democratic Party is responsible for '20 years of treason' as through weakness it has encouraged Communist subversion'

North Korea invading South Korea supported this claim

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Political views of McCarthy

Many remained silent - out of fear

General Eisenhower remained silent when McCarthy attacked General George C. Marshall

Democrats strongly opposed but did little/nothing

Those who stood against McCarthy would be accused of Communist leanings

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Flaws with McCarthy

Accusations were inconsistent

Numbers of communists changed from 205-57-81

Changed his charges from Communist to loyalty rick

He would never divulge names in committee meetings - once named professor Owen Lattinmore as a 'top Russian spy' with little evidence, this accusation failed and he named no more people directly

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Movements against McCarthy (including historiograp

Truman said that McCarthy was 'the greatest asset the Kremlin had' and that his accusations were untrue

Several Domocratic Senators stood against him

Few news papers opposed him - McCarthy had good relationships with select reporters. Haynes Johnson wrote - some tried 'admirably to hold himaccountable for his falsehoods' however their voice was too small. Johnson believes that this is one way McCarthy could do so much damage - by silencing the press

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McCarthy's downfall

1954, April-June

McCarthy attacked army officials in a televised event

He was rude, abusive and evasive

Sentator Stuart Symington said 'the American people had a look at you for 6 weeks. you are not fooling anyone.'

September - investigations into McCarthy commenced - his investigations were 'vulgar', 'reprehensible' and 'inexcusable'

December - Senate voted 67-22 condemning him of abusing power

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