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10th American History Unit IV- A Champion of Democracy

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1 10th American History Unit IV- A Champion of Democracy
Chapter 15 – Section 3 The Second Red Scare

2 The Second Red Scare The Main Idea
The start of the Cold War and events at home helped trigger a second Red Scare in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Reading Focus Why was the fear of communism growing in the late 1940s? What methods and actions did the government use to fight the spread of communism at home? Who was Senator Joseph McCarthy, and what was his role in the second Red Scare?



5 The Growing Fear of Communism
Soviet Atomic Weapons In September 1949 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. 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.

6 Atomic Cannon; 1st Films of Firing New Atom Weapon (00:54)


8 Communism in China - October 1, 1949 (02:27)

9 Communism in the United States
The House Un-American Activities Committee investigated the full range of radical groups in the United States, including Fascists and Communists. Truman created a plan to investigate all federal employees. Those found to be disloyal to the United States were barred from federal employment. The Smith Act made it a crime to call for the overthrow of the U.S. government or belong to an organization that did so. The McCarran Act limited the rights of Communist organizations. Several spy cases in the late 1940s fueled fears of communism.


11 Smith Act 1940, passed by the U.S. Congress as the Alien Registration Act of 1940. The act, which made it an offense to advocate or belong to a group that advocated the violent overthrow of the government, was the basis of later prosecutions of members of the Communist and Socialist Workers parties. In 1957 the U.S. Supreme Court restricted the application of the Smith Act to instances of active participation in, or verbal encouragement of, specific insurrectionary activities.

12 McCarran Act The Internal Security Act (also known as the Subversive Activities Control Act, McCarran Act or ISA) of 1950 is a United States federal law that required the registration of Communist organizations with the Attorney General in the United States and established the Subversive Activities Control Board to investigate persons thought to be engaged in "un-American" activities. Members of these groups could not become citizens. Citizen-members could be denaturalized in five years.

13 The McCarren Act and the Efforts of Senator Joseph McCarthy (02:02)

14 Fighting Communism at Home
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. Investigating Communism 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. Truman and Loyalty

15 House Un-American Activities Committee
House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC or HCUA) (1938–1975) was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is often referred to as the House Un-American Activities Committee. In 1947 the HUAC began an investigation into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry. In September 1947, the HUAC interviewed 41 people who were working in Hollywood. These people attended voluntarily and became known as "friendly witnesses". During their interviews they named several people who they accused of holding left-wing views. Those identified as communists or socialists were now ordered to testify before the HUAC. If these people refused to name names, they were added to a blacklist that had been drawn up by the Hollywood film studios. Over 320 people were placed on this list that stopped them from working in the entertainment industry.

16 Hollywood 10 The first blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. They along with a number of actors and actress who pleaded the 5th Amendment were blacklisted thus ending their careers for the decade or more

17 Truman Loyalty Oaths Faced with concerns over the mounting evidence of Soviet subversive penetration and infiltration into the United States government by American citizens who held oaths of allegiance to a foreign power during war time. On March 21, 1947, President Harry S Truman instituted a Loyalty Program, requiring loyalty oaths and background investigations on persons deemed suspect to holding party membership in organizations that advocated violent and anti-democratic programs. The U.S Supreme Court has both upheld the use of loyalty oaths and overturned lower court decisions upholding loyalty oaths.

18 Growing Fear of Communism
Why was the fear of communism growing in the late 1940’s? Identify- What event caused President Truman to decide to strengthen the nation’s military? Recall – Why did China’s Nationalist leaders flee to Taiwan? Summarize – How did Mao Zedong’s Communists end up taking control of China?

19 Fighting Communism at Home
The Smith Act Truman charged several leaders of the Communist Party in the United States under this act. The act made it a crime to call for the overthrow of the U.S. government. The leaders were convicted and their convictions were upheld in Dennis v. United States. The McCarran Act This act required Communist organizations to register with the government. It established a special board to investigate Communist involvement. Made it illegal to plan a totalitarian dictatorship Prevented Communists from entering the United States 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

20 Dennis v. United States (1951), was a United States Supreme Court case involving Eugene Dennis, general secretary of the Communist Party, USA and dealing with citizens' rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Court ruled against the plaintiff, a leader of the Communist Party in the United States, convicted for teaching, conspiring and organizing for the willful overthrow and destruction of the United States government by force and violence, under provisions of the Smith Act .

21 Alger Hiss Hiss served as Roosevelt's adviser at the Yalta Conference in 1945. After working briefly as secretary-general of the United Nations, in 1949 Hiss became president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In August 1948 Whittaker Chambers appeared before the House of Un-American Activities Committee and during his testimony claimed that Hiss had been spying for the Soviet Union. In a federal grand jury investigation of the case, Hiss denied Chambers's accusations. However, as a result of this investigation, Hiss was charged with perjury. His first trial in 1949 ended in a hung jury but the following year, a second jury found Hiss guilty and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. Hiss was released from prison in He spent the rest of his life trying to clear his name. In the 1970s Hiss unsuccessfully sued the U.S. government under the Freedom of Information Act in an attempt to gain access to FBI and State Department files about the case. Publicity surrounding the case fed the early political career of Richard Nixon, helping him move from the House of Representatives to the Senate in 1950 and to the Vice Presidency of the United States in 1952

22 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
In 1942, Julius and Ethel became full members in the American Communist Party. 1943, the Rosenbergs dropped out of the Communist Party to pursue Julius's espionage activities. 1945, Julius was fired from his job with the Signal Corps when his past membership in the Communist Party came to light. June 17, 1950, Julius Rosenberg was arrested on suspicion of espionage after having been named by Sgt. David Greenglass, Ethel's younger brother and a former machinist at Los Alamos, who also confessed to passing secret information to the USSR through a courier, Harry Gold. Because he cooperated with the investigation Greenglass escaped with a 15 year sentence. August 11, 1950, Ethel was arrested. March 29, The Rosenbergs might have saved themselves if they had confessed and turned in other Communist spies but they refused and were executed under Section 2 of the Espionage Act.

23 The Federal Loyalty Program: Communism, Alger Hiss, and the Rosenbergs (01:55)

24 Fighting the Spread of Communism at Home
What methods and actions did the government use to fight the spread of communism at home? Recall - What was the original purpose of the House Un-American Activities Committee? Explain – Why did Truman create a plane to investigate federal employees to determine their loyalty? Make Judgments – Do you think that people should be fired, blacklisted, or otherwise punished for their political beliefs? Explain your answer.

25 Fighting the Spread of Communism at Home
Explain – Why did Truman veto the McCarran Act? Make Generalizations – How did a series of spy cases fuel the fear of communism?

26 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. 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 unions, and into private businesses.

27 McCarthyism McCarthyism is the term describing a period of intense anti-Communist suspicion in the United States that lasted roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. The term derives from U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, a Republican of Wisconsin. The period of McCarthyism is also referred to as the Second Red Scare, and coincided with a period of increased fears of Communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents .

28 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. In 1954 he attacked the U.S. Army, claiming that it was protecting Communists. The public came to view McCarthy’s tactics as unfair. The fear of communism remained, but Senator McCarthy and McCarthyism faded away.

29 The End of Senator Joseph McCarthy's Political Power (02:55)

30 Senator Margaret Chase Smith
“Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all to frequently those who…ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism: The right to criticize. The right to hold unpopular beliefs. The right to protest. The right of independent thought…Freedom of speech…has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.”

31 Senator Joseph McCarthy
Who was Senator Joseph McCarthy, and what was his role in the second Red Scare? Recall - What evidence did McCarthy produce to support his claims? Summarize – What events led Americans to believe McCarthy’s charge? Analyze – How did television help Joseph McCarthy?

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