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Essay about Red Scare: The Fear Of Communism

The fear of Communism has long lived in the hearts of Americans, proud of their democratic domain. This fear came about after World War One, and came to be known as the Red Scare. Right wing government officials used this paranoia in order to prosecute thousands of left wing activists. This ordeal reemerged after World War Two had ended, the Second Red Scare had started. A leading politician of the prosecution of many leftist during the Second Red Scare was senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy fed off of the paranoia that struck America, and accused many of his enemies, mainly consisting of emocrats, of being communist or communist sympathizers.

He destroyed many government officials careers, along with other politicians, actors, and writers, earning him the nick name of “Low-Blow Joe. ” Joseph McCarthy was a man who knew no boundaries, who used the fear of the American public to benefit himself. Joseph McCarthy was a politician who used the Second Red Scare in order to eliminate his enemies. The Second Red Scare started in 1946, following World War Two. It began in the small town of Fulton Missouri, at Westminster College Winston Churchill delivered a speech, warning the American people about the spread of communism n Europe.

After World War Two ended, the Soviet Union took over many territories in Eastern Europe, and forced them to become a Palmer 2 communist state controlled by the Soviets. AS Churchill states in his speech, “. this is certainly not the Liberated Europe we fought to build up. Nor is it one hitch contains the essentials of permanent peace. ” This speech became famously known throughout America as the Sinews of Peace, or otherwise known as the Iron Curtain Speech (“Sinews of Peace (Iron Curtain Speech)”). This speech was only the beginning of America’s hysterical fear of communism.

According to “Second Red Scare – Ohio History Central,” the Red Scare continued on until 1957. The United States set up many “defenses” protecting themselves from communism. One example of this is Truman’s Executive Order 9835. This required all federal employees to be analyzed on whether or not they were truthfully faithful to the United States and required them to make an oath of loyalty to America. One man made an even more powerful impact upon the government than the president did. A man who gripped America’s fear of communism and used it to get rid of his political enemies. This man was named Joseph McCarthy.

McCarthy’s political career started in 1939, where he was elected a Wisconsin district judge, becoming the youngest in Wisconsin history. His career was put to a halt after Pearl Harbor, however, and McCarthy quickly joined the navy. (“Joseph McCarthy, American Hero. Truth about McCarthyism, Red Scare, Communism, and Good Night and Good Luck”). After coming back from the war, McCarthy ran for senate. He had trouble at first, failing to receive many popular endorsements. One popular endorsement McCarthy failed to win was that of Tom Coleman, which would have given him an advantage during the election. Giblin 45). McCarthy’s luck turned around, after discussing his foreign policy. His policy was similar to Churchill’s Sinews of Peace speech. McCarthy used the fear of communism in order to persuade Palmer 3 Americans to vote for him, along with the instability of a democratic government (Giblin 47). After awhile, McCarthy gained popularity amongst the people of Wisconsin, and eventually became senator in 1946. A key to his victory of the election was criticizing his opponent Robert La Follette Jr for not enlisting during World War Two, and promoting his war time bravery (“Joseph R McCarthy”).

Even at the very beginning of his olitical career, he was criticizing others in order to gain political influence! After a very unimpressive first term as senator, McCarthy decided to resort to corruption in order to keep his position. Thus was the start of Joseph’s rain of terror, known as McCarthyism. In order to keep the position of senator, McCarthy’s colleague Edmund Walsh recommended that McCarthy should rid the government of communist spies and supporters (“The Cold War Museum”). Edmund was very anti-communism, and knew the publicity McCarthy could have from ridding the government of communist would benefit him greatly.

By February 1950, McCarthy announce in Wheeling, West Virginia that he had composed a list of 205 members of the State Department were alleged communist (“Joseph R McCarthy”). Joseph had claimed that the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, knew about these communist but didn’t take any action towards prosecuting them. Joseph got this list from the previous secretary of state, James Byrnes, who had written it due to a background check of 4,000 federal employees (Giblin 81). The American public responded in shock. They demanded investigations of these 205 members, and sought for their beloved America to stay free of communism.

These 205 members were all analyzed, and none of them turned out to be suspicious of communist activities. In an official memo from D. Ladd on March 8, 1950, he writes that out of 70 people that had been analyzed, only two cases were suspicious, and the two cases were still under analysis (“Sen. Joseph (Joe) McCarthy Part 17 of 56. “). This didn’t stop “Low-Blow Joe” though. In 1953, during his second term, McCarthy was appointed the head of the Committee on Government Operations (“Joseph R McCarthy”). This allowed McCarthy to allow even more investigations, and for these investigations to be more immersive.

It was during this period of time that McCarthy spread his accusations to not only government officials, but to citizens! According to “The Cold War,” he accused many, such as Owen Lattimore, Drew Pearson, and even Charlie Chaplin! A former editor of the Daily Worker, Louis Budenz, helped make McCarthy’s accusations publicized. A majority of the people he accused of being communist weren’t communist, but rather had some other flaw. For example, in a official memo to the FBI director on March 8, 1950, Guy Hottel talks of how chairman Tydings was homo-sexual and accused of being associated with the communist party.

During further nvestigations, they found that the evidence presented against Tydings was tampered with! Of course, McCarthy denied all of this (“Sen. Joseph (Joe) McCarthy Part 17 of 56. “). Throughout his time as the chairman of the Committee on Government Operations, McCarthy gave many speeches directed towards government employees and citizens alike. Over 2,000 government employees lost their jobs at the hands of McCarthy (“Joseph R McCarthy”). McCarthy was in his prime, claiming, “I can investigate anybody! ” His popularity skyrocketed, but it was soon to meet its demise.

McCarthy started to divert his attention away from finding ommunism within the government to finding communism within the army. This proved to be a great mistake. President Dwight Eisenhower had the army fire back the accusations of being communist, calling McCarthy an abuser to congressional power. Televised broadcasts of McCarthy’s wrong doings became popular around he nation, and McCarthy started losing his ground (“The Cold War Museum”). The Army-McCarthy cases were broadcasted, and when McCarthy thrashed a young army lawyer, the chief counsel of the army asked “have you no sense of decency, sir? After the trials were finished, McCarthy had ost his power (“Joseph R McCarthy”).

Joseph McCarthy used the paranoia of America to gain his political power. From the beginning of his position of the senate, he targeted his enemies to eliminate competition. He ridded of many politicians and civilians, ruining people’s lives forever. McCarthy used any propaganda necessary to be powerful. America’s fear of communism was taken advantage of, leaving the term McCarthyism engraved in the heads of Americans forever. Joseph McCarthy was not a force to be reckon with. Joseph McCarthy used the Second Red Scare in order to eliminate his enemies.

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