The Red Scare Effect

1522 Words 7 Pages
It was a dark time in American history. World War II had just ended, and America was on the winning side. There should have been a great, lasting celebration of this victory, but instead the country was torn apart by fear. This fear, the fear of Communists in the U.S. became known as the Red Scare. The name was derived from the fact that Communists were often referred to as “Reds” for their supposed allegiance to the red Soviet flag (“Red Scare”). The Red Scare affected America by pushing industries to destroy careers under suspicion, creating a committee that threw aside constitutional rights, and influencing politicians and political views in extreme ways. One of the most significant effects of the Red Scare was it destroyed careers and …show more content…
Usually, people cooperated, giving the answers the HUAC wanted out of a large fear that if they said the wrong thing, they would get blacklisted (put on a list of those accused of supporting Communism). Usually those blacklisted would be fired from the jobs they held, could not get re-hired anywhere, and were abandoned by friends and family. No one wanted to be associated with those on the blacklist, in fear they too would be accused of being a Communist or Communist supporter. Although this list was not limited to the media industry, most of its names came out of this industry. The media industry, and mostly those in the movie business, had primarily “leftist views.” Leftists, who may or may not support “Communism,” tended to have the same line of thinking and similar views. The amount of people with these views in one industry made the HUAC nervous. The HUAC also targeted the film industry because they feared that subversive propaganda could be brought to the general public through communists high up in the industry (“Hollywood Ten”). This idea was also fueled by the fact that unlike today, …show more content…
One of the political tyrants that came out this time was U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin. McCarthy used the hearsay, fear, and intimidation of the Red Scare to establish himself as a powerful and feared figure in American politics, until his colleagues finally denounced his horrible tactics used that ultimately ruined the lives of those with opposition toward him ("Red Scare"). McCarthy was, in that time, considered an overnight sensation, a national figure that preyed on postwar fears about “the Communist menace” and with the fear it carried bent others to his will; power that ultimately challenged institutions such as the U.S. Army and the Eisenhower presidency itself. He finally destroyed himself by his overreaching and incoherent performance in the Army-McCarthy hearings which swept the nation in 1954. Today in politics, to say someone uses McCarthyism or is a McCarthyist is one of the dirtiest, ugliest insults you could use (“McCarthyism”). Coined off of Joseph and, as the author of the online article “McCarthyism and the Red Scare” stated, has “become synonymous with reckless opportunism, cruel and baseless accusation, and bullying coercion.” The Red Scare also had quite a sway over the presidential election of 1952. On August 27, 1952, the New York Times front page featured an article that accused that Secretary of State, Dean Acheson,

Related Documents