McCarthyism

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A History 12 lesson on the anti-communist sentiment promoted by the HUAC and McCarthy in the USA at the start of the Cold War

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  • Mud Sticks: people who are not involved (communists) would not feel the need to question the Committee’s dealings. Neither Eisenhower of Kenney would openly condemn McCarthy.
  • McCarthyism

    1. 1. Better dead, than RED. McCarthyism: A Study Through the Cartoons of Herb Block
    2. 2. As relations between the United States and the Soviet Union deteriorated, the Russians imposed communist control over much of Eastern Europe, and China was on the verge of going communist. People worried that communists might try to subvert schools, labor unions, and other institutions. Government agencies and private groups began to look for evidence of subversive activity. In this climate of fear and suspicion, the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which Herb Block had opposed since its inception in the 1930s, became active. And in 1950, a young senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, seeking political gain, began a well-publicized campaign using smear tactics, bullying and innuendo to identify and purge communists and "fellow travelers" in government. Herb Block recognized the danger to civil liberties posed by such activities and warned of them in his work. He coined the phrase "McCarthyism" in his cartoon for March 29, 1950, naming the era just weeks after Senator McCarthy's spectacular pronouncement that he had in his hand a list of communists in the State Department. His accusations became headline news, vaulting him into the national political spotlight. For four years McCarthy attacked communism, while in his cartoons Herb Block relentlessly attacked his heavy-handed tactics. In June 1954, McCarthy was censured and in December condemned by the Senate.
    3. 3. Telegram from McCarthy to Truman - re: the “Wheeling” speech.
    4. 4. This was the first time the term “McCarthyism was used in print.
    5. 5. This play, about the Salem Witch Trials, was published in the 1950s. It is a suitable metaphor for the McCarthy era.
    6. 6. The HUAC: House Un-American Activity Committee Mud Sticks
    7. 7. Blacklisting ended many people’s careers.
    8. 8. There was a huge increase in the size of the FBI after the Second World War. Many say that if the term McCarthyism hadn’t been applied, Hooverism would have been. J. Edgar Hoover, FBI
    9. 9. End: December, 2006

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