Presentation on theme: "The Cold War at Home. Fear of Communist Influence With the Great Depression – tens of thousands of Americans joined the Communist Party. After FDR ’ s."— Presentation transcript:
Fear of Communist Influence With the Great Depression – tens of thousands of Americans joined the Communist Party. After FDR ’ s Works Projects and WWII – most quit the Party.
Fear of Communist Influence Fears of conspiracy. China fell to the Communists in 1949. Were the Communists going to try to overthrow the American government? The Second Red Scare
Loyalty Review Board Truman created the Loyalty Review Board in 1947 To investigate federal employees and fire those found to be disloyal to the U.S. government Background checks on all federal workers done by FBI Anyone with “ questionable ” activities were accused of disloyalty
Loyalty Review Board Those accused were sent in front of the Loyalty Review Board. Violated rights of privacy and freedom to associate. Considered guilty until proven innocent. 212 fired, 2900 resigned
The HUAC House Un-American Activities Committee Congressional committee to find Communists.
HUAC investigates Hollywood A number of actors had been Communists in the 1930s. The US govt. had encouraged films that were pro-Soviet during WWII. Now they were out for the actors / writers / directors of “ un- American ” films and shows.
The Hollywood Ten 10 who refused to testify Celebrities accused of having “ radical ” politics. Witnesses against the actors / directors / writers used flimsy evidence and rumors. Sent to prison
The Hollywood Ten http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJz V6-wJ3SQ
The Blacklist Anyone with associations with the Hollywood Ten were afraid of being called Communist. Backed off on films dealing with racism and anti-Semitism.
Spy Cases: Alger Hiss Former State Department official A former Communist spy accused Hiss of spying for the Soviet Union Claimed innocence Convicted of perjury and imprisoned
The Rosenbergs Ethel and Julius Rosenberg American Communists Accused of passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets Executed 1953 Only civilians in the 20 th century executed for espionage. http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=Q93MkBSbo HI
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg Chief witness against them: Ethel’s brother who had worked on the atomic bomb project in New Mexico Soviet files released in 1997 confirmed Julius’ involvement; but no evidence that Ethel was involved
The McCarran Act The McCarran Internal Security Act: made it illegal to plan any action that might lead to the establishment of a totalitarian dictatorship in the U.S. Truman vetoed it Congress overrode his
The McCarthy Era “ I hold in my hand a list of 205 people who were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who, nevertheless, are still working and shaping policy at the State Department. ” Senator Joe McCarthy (1950)
Senator Joseph McCarthy 1950- Wisconsin senator in trouble for his upcoming re- election. Needed an issue to get votes/popularity
McCarthyism Used innuendo and wild accusations against increasingly “ big ” targets. The Army Former General Marshall and then Secretary of State Journalist Edward R. Murrow President Eisenhower!
McCarthyism Hundreds were accused. Lost jobs, lost families, ruined reputations. NO CHARGES WERE EVER FILED AGAINST ANYONE!
McCarthy ’ s Fall 1954 – censured by the Senate. Lost credibility and respect. No power. Died of alcoholism in 1957.
Rights of Americanism The Right to criticize The Right to hold unpopular beliefs The Right to protest The Right of independent thought. Declaration of Conscience: Margaret Chase Smith