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Cold War Fears

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by

Jason Bhatta

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Cold War Fears

Cold War Fears
Cold War
Fears

The Cold War increased American's fears of communist
subversion
, or sabotage
Congressional Investigations
Congress set aup investigation committees in both houses
McCarthyism
From 1950-1954, the hunt for Communist was led by Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin
American Spies Revealed
Stories of spies gripped the country and in 1948 Whittaker Chambers, a magazine editor, told the HUAC he spied for the Soviets in 1930's
The public worried that communists or "
Reds
" had penetrated all levels of American society
This was known as the
Red Scare
and led to a massive hunt to uncover Communists
President Truman ordered investigations of loyalty of all federal employees
Little to no evidence was found of
espionage
, or spy activities, was found but many jobs were still lost
In 1947 the
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
held hearings on suspected Communist influence in the entertainment industry
The "
Hollywood Ten
" were screenwriters and directors who went to jail for refusing to answer questions about their political beliefs
Film companies created
blacklists
of individuals whose loyalty was suspect
1950 Congress passed the
McCarran Act
, which required all Communist groups to register with the government and submit lists of members
President Truman vetoed this act on basis of "in a free country, we punish men for crimes they commit...but never for opinions they hold"
Congress overrode the President's veto
He accused a government official named Alger Hiss of giving him secret documents to pass on to the Soviets and showed these documents to help his case
Hiss could not be prosecuted for spying because of the time that had passed but he was imprisoned on the account of
perjury,
or lying to the court
The papers are known as the "pumpkin papers" because they were found in a hollowed out pumpkin in Whittakers family farm
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a New York couple who were Communist Party members, were sentenced to death on spying charges in association with the Atomic Bomb
Many believe they were innocent and caught up in the Red Scare but they were eventually executed in June 1953
He claimed a vast communist network existed within the government and called government officials to defend themselves before his committee
His unfounded charges ruined the careers of many innocent of Americans but at the time millions of Americans believed him
Because he had the popular opinions even high ranking officials hesitated to oppose him
In 1954 he claimed communism took grasp of the military and in T.V. aired hearings he went after respected Army officials
Joseph Welch, an attorney for the army finally stood up to McCarthy and changed the public's view on his practices
Many Americans now viewed McCarthy as a bully and Congress also turned against him by voting to
censure
, or formally criticize, him for "conduct unbecoming of a senator"
Full transcript