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Transcript of McCarthyism
I have here in my hand a list of 205 [State Department employees] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department.
Containment and the Domino Effect
Who is Joseph McCarthy
Born November 14, 1908
He attended law school, and afterwards began his career in politics
Republican state senator of Wisconsin (early 1950s)
After a failing first term, McCarthy needed something to get votes for his second term
He began falsely accusing government people of being in the Communist party
Citizens began questioning the government and were terrified to speak out against McCarthy, in fear that they would be accused as well
Caused over 2,000 government employees to be terminated
Downfall began in 1953 when he started to investigate “communist infiltration in the military”
He soon lost his position in politics
HUAC is the House Un-American Activities Committee which was responsible for investigating allegations of Communist activity in America.
From the time that it was created in 1938 until the late 50s HUAC was on a practical witch hunt in America. The Committee subpoenaed thousands of people who were suspected to have Communist ties, during this time. It remained in operation until 1975, but it stopped issuing subpoenas in the early 60s.
Monday, February 17, 1954
Vol XCIII, No. 311
What is Communism?
Created by Karl Marx
Strives to create a perfect world where everyone has food, shelter, and equality
Not possible to complete fully
Wealth is re-distributed to everyone
Everything is owned by the state
The USSR was communist, and the United States had a free market
United States was trying to stop the spread of Communism
Feared Communism would take over the world
The Hollywood 10 were a group of 10 Hollywood writers and actors who were called to testify about Communists that they knew.
They were Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., John Howard Larson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott and Dalton Trumbo.
When these men, each a current or former Communist party member, were called before the committee in 1947, they refused to testify. They went on to denounce the Committee’s tactics. This resulted in the HUAC Committee finding them in contempt of Congress.
They were each sentenced to up to 1 year in federal prison and fined $1,000.
McCarthy Strikes Again
Presidents of The United States During this Time:
Harry S. Truman 1945- 1953
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953-1961
The action of keeping something under control
or within limits. It was a United States foreign policy strategy used in 1947 by President Harry S. Truman on the belief that communist governments will eventually fall if they are stopped from expanding their influence.
The Domino Theory
The theory that a political event in one country will cause similar events in neighboring countries. Starting in the late 1940s, the U.S. government believed that by aiding non-communist countries, they would be helping to contain communism in Europe and the Middle East by preventing other countries to follow their neighboring countries and joining the communist takeovers.
"Enemies Within" Speech
West Virginia, 1950
McCarthy claimed he had a list of 205 names who worked for the U.S. Department of State, who were also members of the communist party
These accusations pushed McCarthy into the spotlight and sparked the “Red Scare” movement
The people began to demand investigations and checks on anyone who was accused of being a part of the communist party
Anyone who was called before the committee who did not testify were blacklisted by everyone, so they could not work. They were also possibly thrown in jail for being found in contempt of Congress.
HUAC targeted almost every group of people in America, and it all boiled down to impractical hysteria which cause essentially a witch hunt.
Those Named by McCarthy
Many that were labeled as communist sympathizers were deemed unable to work, lost their jobs. Others had their passports taken away. If one did not give away the names of other communists, possible jail time could be faced.
After being blacklisted, people could no longer work. For instance, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was sent to prison for one year and forced to continue writing under pseudonyms. Folk singer Pete Seeger, after being blacklisted, could no longer perform on television, sent to prison, and even after his indictment was overturned, he could not perform on television until 1968.
What Happened to McCarthy
McCarthy was destined to be brought down in flames after attempting to accuse so many U.S. government employees of communism support or behavior.
Towards the end of his life, not many allies of his were left.
He was abandoned in sadness and alcoholism after everyone turned against him.
McCarthy went too far as soon as he started convicting important officials as treason by way of communism, turning a majority of elites and the US against him.
What Happened to HUAC
HUAC was renamed as House Committee on Internal Security in 1969.
The organization was officially terminated on January 14, 1975, but has since been reinstated by former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich advocated the creation of a new House Un-American Activities Committee in order to combat Islamic terrorism.
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Http://www.howstuffworks.com/about-author.htm. "How McCarthyism Worked." HowStuffWorks. N.p., 15 Jan. 2008. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.
Andrews, Evan. "7 Famous Victims of the Hollywood Blacklist." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 11 July 2016. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.
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