Essential Question:What helped trigger a second Red Scareduring the middle of the 20th Century?
The Growing Fear of Communism Soviet Atomic Weapons• In September 1949, President Truman announced that the Soviet Union had detonated an atomic bomb.• This was a shock to the nation.• Truman began to strengthen the nation’s military against a possible Soviet nuclear threat. “Joe One,” the first Soviet atomic test 29 Aug 1949.
The Growing Fear of Communism Communist China• Communists in China had gained nearly full control of the country.• The Nationalist government of Chiang Kai- shek fled to Taiwan.• China was in the hands of the Communist Party under the leadership of Mao Zedong.• Americans worried that China increased the Communist threat to the United States.
Fighting Communism at Home The Smith Act The McCarran Act• Truman charged • This act required several leaders of the Communist Communist Party in organizations to the United States register with the under this act. government.• The act made it a • It established a crime to call for the special board to overthrow of the U.S. investigate government. Communist involvement.• The leaders were convicted and their • Made it illegal to plan convictions were a totalitarian upheld in Dennis v. dictatorship. United States. • Prevented Communists from A 1947 comic warning of the supposed entering the United dangers of a Communist takeover. States.
Fighting Communism at Home Spy Cases• Alger Hiss — convicted of being a spy for the Soviets.• Klaus Fuchs —a Manhattan Project scientist who gave atomic bomb information to the Soviets.• Ethel and Julius Rosenberg — convicted of passing secrets to the Soviets and executed. Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers HUAC hearing, 3 Aug 1948.
President Truman and Loyalty• Truman investigated all federal employees to ensure the loyalty of government officials.• The investigations turned up little evidence of disloyalty.• This investigation made clear that Truman was serious about fighting communism. President Harry S Truman
Joseph McCarthy and the Second Red Scare• Joseph McCarthy was a senator who claimed that there were 205 known Communists working for the U.S. Department of State.• Truman dismissed him as a “ballyhoo artist.”• A political cartoonist dubbed McCarthy’s tactic of spreading fear and making baseless charges McCarthyism. Herbert Block coined the term “McCarthyism” in this cartoon in the 29 March 1950 Washington Post.
Joseph McCarthy and the Second Red Scare• McCarthy’s claims were rarely backed up with any evidence, but this didn’t stop him from gaining a reputation as being the nation’s top Communist fighter.• McCarthy succeeded when he made a special effort to defeat Maryland senator Millard Tydings.• McCarthyism spread beyond the Senate into other branches of government, into universities, into labor Herbert Block cartoon in the 7 May 1954 Washington Post. unions, and into private businesses.
Investigating Hollywood• The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) explored the possible Communist influence in the American film industry.• The Hollywood Ten refused to answer HUAC questions about their beliefs or those of their colleagues.• Many others in Hollywood did testify, for if they didn’t their names were placed on a blacklist. “Hearing on Communism in Hollywood – Washington, DC” 23 Oct. 1947.
McCarthy’s Fall • McCarthy continued his campaign from the Senate but became increasingly wild in his accusations. • In 1952 he began to go after fellow Republicans.Longines Chronoscope, CBS-TV. 25 June 1952.
McCarthy’s FallIn 1954 McCarthy attacked the U.S. Army, claiming that it was protecting Communists. Army-McCarthy Hearings – Washington, DC. 9 June 1954
McCarthy’s Fall• The public came to view McCarthy’s tactics as unfair.• The fear of communism remained, but Senator McCarthy and McCarthyism faded away. David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow “Good Night, and Good Luck.” 2006.