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McCarthyism, The Red Scare, and Court Cases in the 1950's

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Nadia Lamé

on 1 May 2015

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Transcript of McCarthyism, The Red Scare, and Court Cases in the 1950's

McCarthyism, the Red Scare, and Court Cases in the 1950's
the red scare was a growing fear of Communism in America that was most prevalent after each of the World Wars.
Being a communist was made illegal on the grounds that the Communist party was a revolutionary movement that promoted rebellion and violence.
The fear that was caused by the formation of the Soviet Union after World War I, and the rise to power of the Soviet Union after World War II caused widespread fear among many people.
Americans were encouraged to keep an eye on their friends and neighbors to ensure they weren't communists or Soviet spies passing secrets to the Communists people.
The Red Scare would serve to divide America by turning its citizens against each other.
The Red Scare
The first Red Scare movement was primarily focused on dealing with the domestic Communists and the possible domestic revolutionary movement.
In 1917, the first major communist overthrew the government which occurred in Russia when the Bolsheviks overthrew the short-term government that had been established after the handing over of Tsar Nicholas II.
This event more than anything else caused concerns that the same thing could happen in the United States.
The First Red Scare
The Second Red Scare began in the years following the end of World War II in 1947 ad ran through 1957.
It rose with the rise of the Soviet Bloc. when much of Eastern Europe fell under the influence of the Soviet Union.
this Red Scare was formally known as "McCarthyhism."
McCarthyism, is used to describe the act of accusing someone of treason or disloyalty without any real evidence.
In general, Americans grew a fear of Communism.
The Second Red Scare
Nadia Lamé, Tori Kennedy, Matt Kirkland
Political Cartoons
Propaganda was used to heighten the Red Scare.
The purpose of this was to make certain or provide commentary on a current event, public personality, etc.
Along with going beyond merely reported facts, cartoonist opinion which were intended to sway the opinions of the readers.
The 3rd "Later Klan's
Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
the third KKK emerged in 1950
they were associated with opposing the "Civil Rights movement" and progress among the other minorities
they bombed the houses of civil rights activists
Aspects of post-war social policy
Pop culture
Sexuality
Education and employment
Space
Gender roles for children

The Post- World War II "Baby Boom"
after the war, the birth rate spiked majorly due to men being discharged from the war
In 1946, 3.4 million babies were born, 3.9 million were born in 1954
Moving to the Suburbs
After World War II, young families to the Suburbs because they thought this was the perfect area to raise a family.
It was also much cheaper to buy a house in the suburbs than to rent an apartment in the city.
Court Cases in the 1950's
Brown v. Board of Education(1952)

in 1951, case was filed against the Topeka Board of Education
Oliver Brown's daughter had to walk 6 blocks to the bus stop that would take her another mile further to the nearest black-only school, even though there was a school just 7 blocks from her home
13 prosecutors involved in the case: Oliver Brown, Darlene Brown, Lena Carper, Sadie Emmanuel, Marguerite Emerson, Shirely Felming, Zeima Henderson, Sirely Hodison, Maude Lawton, & Lucina Todd
Brown v. Board of Education
this case was a combination of 5 previous cases
Brown v. Board of Education
Briggs v. Elliot
Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County
Gebhart v. Belton
Bolling v. Sharpe
All of these cases were part of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
In 1953, Brown v Board was heard twice, paying close attention to the 14th amendment
Decision was unanimous, revoking the Plessy v. Ferguson case from 1896.
Kunz v. New York (1950)
Kunz argued that it was unconstitutional to require Americans to have a permit to be able to speak about religious matters in public
first argued in October of 1950
8 to 1 ruling favored Kunz's proposition in January of 1951
this case expressed that speaking on matters, such as religion, should not be a priveledge to have
prior to this ruling, the case was a direct violation of the first amendment, freedom of speech
Watkins v. United States (1954)
Watkins was convicted of disdain towards Congress because he did not provide answers during a hearing
the hearing called for him to know the names of all of the communists he knew
he said he would answer questions about himself, but not others
Watkins was not given a fair trial. He was not told if he was being constitutional or not for refusing to answer
the 5th amendment revoked his conviction of the case
Court Cases and the Search for Meaning
in all three of these cases, we see Americans fighting for what they believe/stand for.
in brown v board, Oliver Brown wanted to prove that he had a voice and could take action for what he felt
in Kunz v. New York, Kunz found his life's meaning by taking a stand for religious folk that just wanted to express themselves
McCarthyism
Joseph McCarthy
- Born on November 14, 1908 in Wisconsin
- Attended the University of Wisconsin for his B.A.
- Also attended Marquette University for his law degree
- Worked as a lawyer in Wisconsin and then as a circuit judge
(censured in 1941 for lost evidence in a price fixing case)
- In 1942 McCarthy was commissioned to the Marine Corp.
- Served as an Officer and as a Second Lieutenant
- Over 2 1/2 years earned nickname “Tail-Gunner Joe”
- Campaigned and lost while running for Senate while on duty
Senate Race
-After retiring from marine corp. ran again and won in 1946
- Won his Senate race against Robert La Follette Jr. - who McCarthy attacked for not enlisting for the war and “war profiteering”
- Ironically, McCarthy might have won due to support from a communist lead group(CIO) because La Follette Jr. was considered a strict anti-communist.
- While in Senate, McCarthy was controversial. He was well-liked in by some and hated by others. In a poll done shortly after his accusation of the army McCarthy was voted “The Worst U.S. Senator"
McCarthyism
- Wheelings Speech catapulted McCarthy into the public eye when he made accusations of communists inside the state department
- This 1st accusation was of 205 members still working for government.
McCartyhism
Tyding's Hearings were a set of hearings based on McCarthy’s accusations of the state dept. He used rhetoric but no substantial evidence in his defense. The senate voted on this three times but was divided among Democrats and Republicans.
McCarthy and the Media
- McCarthy was involved in many different cases and hearing whether as the defendant or as the prosecutor. Most of these hearings were because of his accusations. One of the most famous was the Army-McCarthy hearings that were televised on ABC for its duration.
- The publicity of the hearing followed by more unfavorable newspaper articles, McCarty’s power and popularity started to decline.
- This decline in popularity was seen in Gallup poles where is approval rating fell from 50% to 34% and his disapproval rating rose from 29% to 45% in 1954.
- See it Now a television show hosted by journalist Edward R. Murrow was also critical of McCarthy is 1954. In the same year as the hearings, See it Now aired two episodes criticizing McCarthy in back to back weeks.
- The combination of all the negative media surrounding McCarthy led to the beginning of his decline during the mid and late 1950s.
-McCarthy was possibly a victim of slandering. The episodes that Murrow aired showed McCarthy picking his nose, sweating and overall - looking unappealing. Some have accused Murrow’s journalism of McCarthy to be similar to McCarthyism.
Edward R. Murrow
- Born on April 25 1908 in North Carolina
- Became famous for his journalism during World War II. He was noted for honesty and integrity while reporting.
- He was prominent in the censuring of senator Joseph McCarthy with his reports. His television show See it Now was one of the key media outlets that brought down McCarthy’s power and popularity.
HUAC -The House UnAmerican Activities Committee
- Was a committee originally established to look for Nazi’s during the WWII era. Is more notable for its action during the Red Scare.
- One of the most famous cases it did involved the Hollywood Ten. After deliberating the committee found certain members of Hollywood guilty of contempt of Congress and they were blacklisted.

- Charlie Chaplin, Orson Wells, Lucille Ball, Langston Hughes, Artie Shaw, Dalton Trumbo and Lee J. Cobb among dozen others were the actors, directors, writers and musicians who had their careers tarnished by this decision.
HUAC

- McCarthy was involved in many different cases and hearing whether as the defendant or as the prosecutor. Most of these hearings were because of his accusations. One of the most famous was the Army-McCarthy hearings that were televised on ABC for its duration.
- The publicity of the hearing followed by more unfavorable newspaper articles, McCarty’s power and popularity started to decline.
- See it Now a television show hosted by journalist Edward R. Murrow was also critical of McCarthy in 1954. In the same year as the hearings, See it Now aired two episodes criticizing McCarthy in back to back weeks.
- The combination of all the negative media surrounding McCarthy led to the beginning of his decline during the mid and late 1950s.
-McCarthy was possibly a victim of slandering. The episodes that Murrow aired showed McCarthy picking his nose, sweating and overall - looking unappealing. Some have accused Murrow’s journalism of McCarthy to be similar to McCarthyism.
- McCarthy, however, used the term as a positive. He was quoted as saying in a speech, “McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled up.”(1952)
- He also published a book called McCarthyism: The Fight For America

McCarthy and the Media

- Born on April 25 1908 in North Carolina
- Became famous for his journalism during World War II. He was noted for honesty and integrity while reporting.
- He was prominent in the censuring of senator Joseph McCarthy with his reports. His television show See it Now was one of the key media outlets that brought down McCarthy’s power and popularity.
Edward R. Murrow

- was a campaign to recall Senator Joseph McCarthy. Started by Leroy Gore a newspaper editor from Sauk County, Wisconsin.
- accused McCarthy of subverting President Eisenhower's authority, disrespecting General Ralph Wise Zwicker and ignoring the plight of Wisconsin dairy farmers faced with price-slashing surplus.
- The recall movement gained the most movement during the hearings and the Murrow episodes. With help from newspapers distributing ballots, they needed 404,00 signatures in 60 days. While the exact number is not known because all of the petition forms were not collected, they were said to have collected around 385,000.
Watkins Committee
- While many senators disapproved of McCarthy before 1954, it was this year when formal disapproval was attempted.
- a list of 46 charges were added to the censure and it was decided that a special committee - headed by Arthur Vivian Watkins - was to evaluate and come up with a final decision on McCarthy and his methods.
- after deliberation, the committee decided that McCarthy be censured on 2 of the 46 charges. The senate voted and charged him with the censure on a vote of 67-22.
- While it is known as the Censure of McCarthy the Senate actually used the word “condemn” in the formal wording of the resolution that was voted on.
America's Search For Meaning
- McCarthy had a stronghold on the American people in the early 1950’s due to the mass hysteria and fear of the Soviet Union and Communist spies and attacks on the United States. Much of America’s actions were influenced by the government at this time.
- McCarthy was also detrimental to the social progress of America with things like the Lavender Scare that accompanied the Red Scare. The Lavender Scare was an open persecution and discrimination against homosexuals in the government. McCarthy believed their sexual status made them targets for Soviet spies because they already had something to hide and could be blackmailed.
- Also the absolute power that the government had during this time made it difficult to find and express one’s own search for meaning in America at this time. Many people were being accused as communists for expressing themselves and being denied work. Famously, a group of actors, writers, painters and other celebrities were blacklisted for continuing to express a view that was different than that of “Big Brother.” These celebrities were known as the Hollywood Ten and while the most famous blacklisted group of the time, they were not the only one’s persecuted for their views.
The Fall of McCarthy
- Following the Army-McCarthy hearings and the episodes berating McCarthy aired on See it Now, his popularity was in avalanche like decline. He was formally censured by the Senate and the only merit he had left with the government or American people was lost. McCarthy was allowed to remain a Senator but he had none of the power that he experienced earlier in the decade.
- McCarthy died in 1957 at the young age of 48. People close to him say that he was a different man after the censure. Fred J. Cook said McCarthy was like, “a pale ghost of his former self.” Alcoholism was a contributing factor to his death as he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and many anecdotes of others describe him as a heavy drinker.
America's Change in the Search for Meaning
- While McCarthy’s death was not celebrated. I believe that it did liberate America to move on from cold war tensions and alleviate the fear the nation was feeling. Journalists like Edward R. Murrow, Leroy Gore and others were prominent in America’s return to critical thinking and making decisions for themselves. They did not allow McCarthy’s immense power to scare them or deter them from trying to bring him down.
- Many factors affect how a society views the world and views their meaning in it. While the Red Scare and McCarthyism were not a philosophical view that changed thinking, it was a political and legal movement that changed the way people thought.
- “Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge and he who encourages them, who those not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.” (James Allen) A society captivated by fear cannot grow. Their primary concern is what is scaring them, not abstract and expansive thinking.
McCarthy Reconsidered
- While McCarthy was censured, considered one of the worst senators ever by many and considered by most to have abused his power; his spot in history has recently been reevaluated.
- In recent years, research shows that the Communists that McCarthy accused of being in the state department actually existed. While most do not accept his methods as acceptable, they do know acknowledge that McCarthy was not completely making up his accusations.

"Joe Must Go"
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