USA: A DIVIDED UNION 1945-1970 GCSE *UNIT 1*

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***The Red Scare and McCarthyism:

Why were Americans scared of communism?

  • The idea opposed the capiltalist governemnt in the US which promoted freedom and the ability to help yourself and make profit from hard work. Whereas they felt that this contrasted the communist way of life where everything belonged to the state and all money is distributed evenly so everybody is equal.
  • The communist idea threatened large company owners and the upper class as they were scared that a communist governement would take their luxuries away.
  • In the late 40's and early 50's, lots of Eastern European countries were communist (Czechoslovakia, USSR, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Eastern Germany).
  • The 1948 Berlin Crisis in which the USSR controlled area of Germany was cut off from West Germany and pressed to conform to communism.
  • The 1950 Korean War when the North of Korea voted cimmunism and the South voted capitalism and the North invaded the South so war broke out.
  • The development of nuclear weapons in Russia.

How did the 'Red Scare' develop?

  • The Rosenbergs were two atomic scientists that were executed for being suspected spies in 1953, showing to the public that Americans were betraying their country.
  • Alger Hiss worked in the US Sate Department who was accused of espionage and imprisoned in 1948 for perjury, showing the public how high up officials were communist.
  • The House of Un-American Activities Committee investigated anyone suspected of being a communist. In 1947, they found evidence to prove that 10 famous Hollywood figures were communsit (the Hollywood Ten) who were imprisoned…

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