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How the Red Scare Affected the US’s National Politics

How the Red Scare Affected the US’s National Politics

Melissa Black

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of How the Red Scare Affected the US’s National Politics

How the Red Scare Affected the US’s National Politics Hypothesis The Red Scare, although already an undercurrent in American life, rose during 1949-1950, ultimately diverting national politics throughout the next four years.
In other words, the increased fear and suspicion of the 1949-50 Red Scare changed the course of US national politics.
KEY POINTS Two main events in early Fall of 1949 cause anti-commie feelings/paranoia Soviets explode an A bomb Collapse of Nationalist regime in China

Late August CAUSES PARANOIA •Unjustified, because still don’t have a plane capable to drop them •Also, Soviets are economically weak; no way they can keep up with rapid weapons production of the US October 1 Supports the Domino Theory Anti-communist Foreign Policies join NATO—attack on one is an attack on all 1949 Point Four called on Congress to appropriate funds for American technical
assistance to under-developed nations
Conserv don’t like—uses taxpayers $, might assist potential competitors --PASSED, but made little difference KENNAN RESIGNS Kennan, who preached negotiations with the Soviets, resigned after A-bomb

He was the member of the Department of State most-familiar with Soviet customs, traditions, sentiments,and relations. Wrote "Sources of Soviet Conduct" under pen name Mr. X.

This described
why the Soviet people behaved the ways they did, and their thought processes
behind their actions.

It preached containment through understanding. AS A RESULT, AMERICA.... LashES out at scapegoats, such as SUPPOSED spies, “pinks,” and “commie sympathizers” neighbor doesn't trust neighbor
"Blacklist" in Hollywood AND POLITICALLY... do not support the new Chinese gov’t—see it as part of a worldwide communist conspiracy
•Send military to puppet anti-commie head Vietnam
•This marks a further militarization and globalization of Amer. Foreign policy

Two most important long-range policy consequences of the events of 1949 Truman admin decide to develop H-Bomb •Unnecessary, bc US already had enough atomic power to deter all agressors
•No one could be sure that Soviets wouldn’t go ahead and do it on their own
•Admin say is necessary, even if just for bargaining purposes
•Fear of appeasement, rooted in the lessons of history
National Security Council Doc 68 great increase in defense spending •Paranoia

**Adopts a worst case scenario…if Soviets can’t be infiltrated or intimidated, AND they seek world domination

**US and allies must build up nuclear and conventional forces which combined will be stronger than Soviets (but reality=Sov are poor/weak)
oFull of emotional language “slave society” of commies, blessings of the “free world”
*Grand expectations about American economic and industrial growth promoted globalistic foreign and military policies. All the paranoia is UNJUSTIFIED
•American GNP is four times as great as that of Soviets
•Soviets have large army, but they use it not to invade new area, but keep out dissent in already conquered areas
•US has more nuclear weapons, stronger navy, stronger allies
•Greater economic health
Continued paranoia affects policy—Red scare of “McCarthyism” Smith Act criminal offense for anyone to “teach, advocate, or encourage the
overthrow or destruction of government by force or violence”
Attorney General’s List of groups considered disloyal Gouzenko affair and Amerasia proves that no gov’t officials/Amer.were guilty of espionage

BUT also confirmed that Soviets had indeed spied in the past, so it still continues the paranoia
Results of Red Scare *people jailed

*people lost their jobs *few deported, few charged of espionage BIGGER RESULTS
oBefore, many public figures had been both LIBERAL and ANTICOMMUNIST

without worrying about being labeled as “pink” or

of “disloyalty” or being “soft” or worse of

Constricted public life and speech
oMilitarization of NATO

oNon-recognnition of People’s Republic

oDevelopment of the Super

oSupport for NSC 68

[*turned understandable concerns about Communist intentionsinto demands with toughest kind of responses]
Restricts America’s foreign and public defense policies
Full transcript