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Foreign Reaction to McCarthyism
Transcript of Foreign Reaction to McCarthyism
In relation to foreign policy & the Cold War on a global scale
McCarthyism: An effort spearheaded by Senator Joseph McCarthy beginning in the 1950's to find Communists and Communist sympathizers in the U.S. This ideal of finding communists arose due to the Cold War
"McCarthyism." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. <http://www.ushistory.org/us/53a.asp>.
"Red Scare." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/red-scare>.
Beisner, Robert L. American Foreign Relations since 1600: A Guide to the Literature. 2nd ed. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2003. Print.
"American Rhetoric: Edward R. Murrow - Response to McCarthy on CBS' See It Now." American Rhetoric: Edward R. Murrow - Response to McCarthy on CBS' See It Now. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/edwardrmurrowtomccarthy.htm>.
"The Cold War Home Front: McCarthyism." The Cold War Home Front: McCarthyism. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. <http://www.authentichistory.com/1946-1960/4-cwhomefront/1-mccarthyism/>.
McCarthy Pushes His Limits
George C. Marshall (Army chief of staff- WWII): Marshall came under attack in the years immediately following the war, when many Americans felt threatened by world events (included a communist victory in China, the explosion of a nuclear bomb, the domination of Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union, and a full-scale war in Korea).
What Did the Foreigners Think?
The British: McCarthy's anticommunist "crusade," as many call it, stimulated anti-Americanism in Great Britain-- especially on the left-- and created doubts about the reliability of the United States as an ally.
Foreign Reactions (cont.)
Korean War: the Korean War engaged U.S. troops in combat against the communist-supported forces of North Korea. The advances of communism around the world convinced many U.S. citizens that there was a real danger of “Reds” taking over their own country. Once again, the reliability of the US comes into question.
What is McCarthyism?
McCarthyism turned out to be the Salem Witch Trials of the 20th century -- many of the "accusations" were unfounded, lives and reputations were ruined, and those who were accused were told that they would receive more lenient treatment if they named friends and associates.
Joseph Welch, special counsel for the U.S. Army, was the first to point out McCarthy's flaws (many avoided doing so in the past to avoid accusations from McCarthy) during hearings on whether communism has infiltrated the U.S. armed forces.
Welch's verbal assault marked the end of McCarthy's power during the anticommunist hysteria of the Red Scare in America.
Because we are focusing on the foreign reactions to McCarthyism in relation to the Cold War, we will not explore the domestic effects in detail. However, if you are interested: http://www.ushistory.org/us/53a.asp
The Chinese: McCarthyism resulted in continual investigations of US foreign service officers who served in China and later were suspected of disloyalty. It is important to note that Mao Zedong erred in assuming near the end of WWII that the US would support the Chinese Communist Party and believing the USSR would fully support China following its intervention in the Korean War. These reactions collectively resulted in countless government workers unemployed, investigated, etc.
Though Soviet reactions were never directly recorded, the knowledge that the Soviet Union had of occurrences within the United States was limited. Americans in Europe also felt the effects of the Red Scare on a personal level, and thousands of alleged communist sympathizers saw their lives disrupted. They were hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs