Presentation on theme: "The Second Red Scare in the United States Fear and Loathing in the States 1945-1955."— Presentation transcript:
The Second Red Scare in the United States Fear and Loathing in the States 1945-1955
Essential Questions Discuss the impact of the Cold War on society and culture in the United States. Describe the rise of McCarthyism and its effect on domestic and foreign policy in the United States. Assess the impact of McCarthyism and anti- communism on the politics and policies of the two major political parties in the U.S.
And so it begins… Unlike the first Red Scare in the 1920’s, in the 1950’s, communism was not an imagined enemy, it had concrete shape in the form of the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin. U.S. faced several setbacks in the early days of the Cold War: The Korean deadlock Red China The development of the atomic bomb by the Soviets The American public and government officials looked for a reason why communism was gaining ground in the Cold War. For some, the answer was communist conspiracy within the United States. State and local governments, the judiciary, schools and universities, labor unions – all sought to rid themselves of real or imagined subversives. Fear gave way to paranoia led to extraordinary actions taken by the government. (witch hunts) Political motivations Timeline
Truman, Exec Order 9835… Truman's Executive Order 9835 (1947) established the Federal Employee Loyalty Program - FBI would conduct background checks on 2 million existing federal employees plus all new applicants “Derogatory information" was reviewed by government Loyalty Boards - Employee could be fired if "reasonable doubt" of loyalty was established by 6 categories: crimes, violent overthrow, breach of official duty or disclosure of confidential information, or membership in or association with any subversive organization No appeal beyond loyalty boards, no permission to confront a "confidential informant" 5000 voluntary resignations resulted from investigations before hearings conducted for great variety of reasons - only 378 employees were dismissed or denied employment by boards and none of these were spies.
Truman, Exec Order 9835… Truman had to work with a Republican controlled Congress 9835 and Loyalty Boards answer Republican criticism that Democrats were soft on communism Also put the process in the hands of the executive branch to avoid a witch hunt by Congress Under the order 5000 federal employees resigned, only 300 were dismissed as security risks, no one was jailed as a spy.
House Un-American Activities Committee Originally assembled in the US House to investigate Nazi activities in the US during WWII, under Republican control HUAC will begin hunting for communist sympathizers in 1947 Committee members where notorious for asking leading questions and badgering witnesses “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”
HUAC vs. Hollywood The movie industry was the first Cold War target of HUAC, accused of imbedding films with communist propaganda. Writers and producers were called to testify before HUAC Hollywood Ten refused to testify: – Fined – sentenced to prison for contempt of Congress, – blacklisted from working in the film industry in Hollywood until the 1960's when the ban was lifted. Many cooperated with HUAC for ideological reasons (Gary Cooper) others to avoid scrutiny (Elia Kazan) Ronald Reagan, then president of the Screen Actors Guild, launches his political career after HUAC testimony
HUAC vs. Hollywood Walt Disney testified that communists had infiltrated Disney’s animation staff as evidence by the artist’s attempt to unionize and go on strike. Actor Gary Cooper “I have turned down quite a few scripts because I thought they were tinged with communistic ideas.”
Algier Hiss Case HUAC investigates US government officials in 1948 Based only on the testimony of Whitaker Chambers, HUAC launches an investigation that Algier Hiss, a state department official, was a spy for the Soviet Union. Hiss was never proven to be a spy but was convicted of perjury for lying about his membership in the Communist Party. Politics of the Red Scare: – Nixon uses his role in HUAC to strengthen his anti-communist credibility and increase name recognition to run for higher office – Democrats get pegged with “pinko” label for having communist sympathizers in their ranks
McCarran Act Internal Security Act (1950) McCarran – Passed over Truman’s veto – Required all communist organizations in the US register with attorney general – Full government access to the documents of any organization deemed suspect, ex labor unions FBI and J. Edgar Hoover zealous enforcers of the act – Questionable wiretaps of suspects, including civil rights activists, and labor union officials – FBI plays a major role in providing HUAC and McCarthy with information. – FBI agent William Sullivan, later admitted, "We were the ones who made the McCarthy hearings possible. We fed McCarthy all the material he was using." – Red Channels
Rosenberg Trial US UK collaboration on VENONA leads to Klaus Fuchs a British spy guilty of passing US atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union Fuchs > (Harry Gold > David Greenglass > Ruth Greenglass) = Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Rosenbergs declare their innocence of espionage Convicted 1951, executed by the US government 1953. Only people to be executed for espionage in the US during the Cold War 1996, Greenglass recants his testimony of his sister Ethel, but maintained Julius was a spy.
McCarthyism Sen. Joseph MacCarthy (R. WI) Feb. 9 th 1950. Wheeling Speech, Republican Women’s Club Wheeling West Virginia McCarthy declares~ – I have in my hand a list of 205 names made known to the Sec. of State of members of the Communist Party still working and shaping policy in the State Department. The McCarthy Hearings lasted 4 years – Inconsistent claims, – No evidence – Bullying tactics (violation of 5 th 6 th Amend.) David Schine, Roy Cohn and the FBI Truman stood up (sort of), Eisenhower shut up
McCarthyism Among those accused: – Owen Lattimore- college professor – Adlai Stevenson – Illinois governor, democratic party presidential candidate – Dean Acheson – U.S. Secretary of State – George Marshall – The Democratic Party Truman publicly refuted McCarthy as well as journalists Edward Murrow, and Herb Block McCarthy had wide popular support, until….
McCarthyism The most courgeous man in the Senate was a woman, Margaret Chase Smith (R, Maine) Known as “the conscience of the Senate”, first to condemn the witch hunts after just one year in office. "The nation sorely needs a Republican victory," she declared, "but I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen of--fear, ignorance, bigotry, and smear." Truman publicly refuted McCarthy as well as journalists Edward Murrow, and Herb Block McCarthy had wide popular support, until….
McCarthy vs. U.S. Army 1954 Army-McCarthy Hearings – Who provoked whom? – David Schine drafted, Cohn tries to use his position with McCarthy to secure non-combat position for Schine – McCarthy claimed the Army made the charge in response to his subcommittee investigation of officers in the US Army Hearings were televised – Public saw McCarthy for what he was, public approval plummeted – December Senate voted 67-22 to condemn McCarthy for abuse of power, removed as subcommittee chair. McCarthy died in 1957 from effects of acute alcoholism The politics of McCarthyism – Congressional Republicans found McCarthy useful in smearing political opponents and painting Democrats as Red (or at least Pink) – Democrats could not attack McCarthy for fear of confirming Republican claims (Catch 22)
McCarthy vs. U.S. Army 1954 Army-McCarthy Hearings – Who provoked whom? – David Schine drafted, Cohn tries to use his position with McCarthy to secure non-combat position for Schine – McCarthy claimed the Army made the charge in response to his subcommittee investigation of officers in the US ArmyP – Televied hearings and public saw McCarthy for what he was, public approval plummeted Senate Reaction – December Senate voted 67-22 to condemn McCarthy for “conduct unbecoming a member of the Senate”, removed as subcommittee chair. McCarthy died in 1957 from effects of acute alcoholism The politics of McCarthyism – Congressional Republicans found McCarthy useful in smearing political opponents and painting Democrats as Red (or at least Pink) – Democrats could not attack McCarthy for fear of confirming Republican claims (Catch 22)
SocioCultural Impact Culture was permeated with anti-Communism – Genuine fear among many that our way of life was threatened. – Fear of losing our democratic principles OR our consumer/material values? Film – HUAC had the industry running scared. Turned out films that condemned communism (My Son John) also condemned nonconformity (The Wild Bunch) – Significant allegorical work High Noon and The Crucible – SciFi films The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the Day the Earth Stood Still Television – Growing influence, decline in newspaper readership – CBS birth of TV News, Murrow See it Now took on McCarthy – Westerns and game shows = us vs. them, materialism
SocioCultural Impact Education – “Under God” added to the pledge in 1954 – Compulsory classroom patriotism – National Defense Education Act (1958) – Indoctrination Literature – Nuclear holocaust literature – Nevil Shute- On the Beach – Roger Zelazney- Damnation Alley – Peter George- Red Alert Academia – C Wright Mills – The Power Elite – John Kenneth Galbraith – The Affluent Society
Thank goodness that’s over Oh well, Never mind.