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The Second Red Scare - Essay Example

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[Name] [Professor] [Class/Course] [Date] The Second Red Scare The term Red Scare stands for two different eras of strong Anti-Communism in the United States, namely the First Red Scare (1919 to 1921), and the Second Red Scare (1947 to 1957). The First Red Scare, as often referred to by historians, was a time when the American political society expressed so much disrespect and resentment toward the democratic socialist group…
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The Second Red Scare
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Download file to see previous pages After the downfall of Hitler, emerged common terror and opposition that led to the Cold War. The Second Red Scare occurred after the World War II. Hostility mounted as the US government arrested, deported and investigated citizens suspected of being Un-American. Under President Truman’s administration, anyone suspected of membership to the CPUSA was guilty of treason. Suspects were fired from their jobs. However, losing jobs was less of a blow than being socially banished and blacklisted (“The "Second" Red Scare: Fear and Loathing in High Places, 1947-1954”) People from the movie industry — actors, directors, writers, and studio executives — were subpoenaed by the US Congress’s House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). News and entertainment media people, including those in the television and radio shows were likewise summoned. Soon after, the media began its own Communist manhunt. Every assembly gathered and published the names of media people believed to be un-American in their political principles. There was an air of panic and distrust everywhere. What inflamed more public unease in America was when the Soviet Union had effectively launched its first atomic bomb in 1949.  The US then realized that the country was faced with threats of nuclear warfare. The government immediately commenced the investigation of the probability of the US atomic secrets leaked to the Russians by American Communists. High-status court proceedings concluded the conviction and execution of the Rosenbergs in 1953 (“The "Second" Red Scare: Fear and Loathing in High Places, 1947-1954”). Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, under the Espionage Act, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union from 1944 to 1950. The Rosenbergs had been fundamentally involved in a Communist undercover agent circle that leaked US national defense secrets, particularly drawings/sketches of high-explosive lens patterns and the US atomic bomb, to the Soviet Union (Parrish). Senator McCarthy, McCarthyism and the Witch Hunt The fifties era was enveloped with concern over treachery and the "Communist menace." In the middle of this menace was the Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy served his first term as an infamous backbench partisan (Unger). To guarantee his political victory in the upcoming election, he took advantage of the country’s panic against Communism. On his most famous speech on February 9, 1950, he made his impact by naming 205 people in the State Department who were allegedly recognized affiliates of the American Communist Party. In his speech, he proclaimed, “I have here in my hand a list of 205, a list of names that were made known to the secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department” (McCarthy). This caused national alarm and called for immediate investigations of the subversive activists. McCarthy became the chairman of the Government Committee on Operations of the Senate, all the more extending his power to examine the nonconformists. For two years, he persistently questioned several government departments, the media people, the clergy, and other prominent sections of the US society. The national terror stemming from the witch-hunts and communist threats became branded as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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