What were the roots of McCarthyism?

8 August 2016

In the late 1940s and early 1950s Americans were scared of a second red scare and that communism would influence their country (Tindal & Shi). Americans had seen what communism had done to Russia and how it was a factor of the Korean War and did not want to go down that road too. To calm Americans down an organization was formed called the House Un-American Activities Community. The organization was formed to protect communism influence on American by investigating communist acts that were alleged by people.

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Despite the organizations effort to calm Americans down, Americans still feared the possibility of Communism and becoming a nation similar to Russia (Tindall & Shi). Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin became one of the most ruthless exploiters of communism. He accused a large amount of people of communist acts, mostly government works in which he claimed were Soviet spies and communist sympathizers. He was very paranoid and often accused people on the regular of communist behavior when none existed.

All of these allegations causes a stir in the America society. All of this fear led Congress to pass McCarran International Security Act making it unlawful “to combine, conspire, or agree with any other person to perform any act which would substantially contribute to…the establishment of totalitarian dictatorship. This time was known as the McCarthyism. President Truman’s Fair Deal was designed after his victory and was his way of trying to make all things equal for all Americans.

He requested there to be action on raising the bar for minimum wage, free health care and, civil rights legislation so that all Americans would be guaranteed rights. Most of Truman’s Fair Deal proposals were enlargements of the New Deal already in place (Tindall & Shi). Although Truman received a wide range of Democratic support he still had conservatives who opposed of the Civil rights legislation like John McMilan who stated that he believed Truman would “get what he wanted but he doesn’t understand why he has to ruin the world because he was reelected.

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