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Transcript of McCarthyism
McCarthyism: is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.
One of the key targets for McCarthy was the liberal entertainment industry, in which Arthur Miller worked. Those that were accused were blacklisted, potentially destroying many people's careers. Arthur Miller was one of 320 artists who were blacklisted, which led to the end of many promising careers. Notable figures such as famed director Elia Kazan were caught in this, leading to great paranoia in Hollywood and the skewing of mainstream entertainment towards the nationalistic sentiment of McCarthy's policies.
Miller wrote The Crucible as a metaphor for the Hysteria that engulfed the US during the Second Red Scare. He compares the panic in America in the 1950s, to the panic in Salem in the 1690s.
Direct links between The Crucible and Mccarthyism
The Crucible: Hysteria around the fear of Witches in the religious community of Salem
Young girls make claims of witches in Salem without substantial proof
Those who were accused of witchcraft were assumed guilty and expected to give up other suspected witches.
Means of McCarthyism
Potential communists were subjected to hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); and the FBI conducted various anti-communist activities under Director J. Edgar Hoover, himself a notorious figure in the American Government for his paranoia and nationalistic aims.
Joseph McCarthy was a US Senator. His fear of Communism grew when it was claimed that communist spies had infiltrated the US government. McCarthy led the 'fight' against communism, and claimed to have the names of 57 State Department communists.
The Second Red Scare
It began after the Second World War, as the dread of communism swept across the United States, as Americans feared the the Soviet Union planned to spred communism across the world.
This coincided with events of the 1940s, including The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, The Iron Curtain (1945–1991) around Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapon.
The term originates from Republican US Senator Joseph McCarthy fear of communism, during the 'Second Red Scare of the 1950s - 1950 to 1956.
• Thousands of federal government workers came under suspicion of being loyal to the communists, and many of these people lost their jobs.
• Accused communists were asked to turn themselves or give the names of other ‘undercover’ communists to escape punishment. Those that refused to comply were sent to jail. The constant blaming led to hysteria in the United States, just like the witch trials caused in Salem.
• McCarthy also investigated the voice of America (radio) and the US army, trying desperately to root out the undercover communists.
McCarthyism and Arthur Miller
McCarthyism: Hysteria around the fear of communism invading the United States
J. McCarthy makes claims of communist in the US without substantial proof
Those who were accused were assumed guilty and expected to give up other suspected communists.