• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why was there a fear of communism in America in the 1950s

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why was there a fear of communism in America in the 1950s? The U.S. and the USSR emerged from World War II as the two sole superpowers in the world. The two quickly became enemies and rivals, battling in politics, technology, and military power. The arms race, in which each nation developed an arsenal of nuclear weapons that could destroy the other numerous times over, was a defining fact and metaphor of the conflict. Neither side wanted to face destruction, however, which is what made the Cold War cold: though crisis after crisis loomed, the two sides avoided direct conflict. Policies of containing communism influenced virtually all U.S. foreign policy decisions. The United States, being a democracy, was at odds with the communist ideals of China and the Soviet Union. The fear of Communism was very powerful in the United States. In Congress there was a series of highly publicized inquiries into pro-Communist activity. Both superpowers rushed to establish spheres of influence in Europe. ...read more.

Middle

This became known as "The Red Scare". Politicians could see an opportunity in winning voted by condemning communism. A by product of The Red Scare was McCarthyism. Senator McCarthy was a ruthless and ambitious man. He rose to power after claiming to have a list of 200 communist that had infiltrated the government. The claims turned out to "be a fraud and a hoax", however he accused anybody who attacked his policies as being a communist and was well known for turning his committee into a weapon to increase his personal power and terrify others. In 1954 he turned his attacks on the army. By this time, his claims seemed ridiculous and he was publicly humiliated by the army lawyer. As a result McCarthy lost all his public credibility and died three years later, in 1957. France, Britain, and the United States gradually united their three zones of occupation within Germany and in 1948 announced their intention to create a West German Republic. ...read more.

Conclusion

The battle for nuclear dominance was characteristic of the Cold War, in which few battles were ever waged face to face. In September 1949, the USSR detonated its first atomic bomb. This development, combined with the establishment of a communist regime in China, inspired a new and fiercer anticommunism in the U.S. government, expressed in its decision to more than triple the defense budget and to mount a furious campaign to develop a hydrogen bomb. The drive for the hydrogen bomb succeeded in the November 1952 detonation of an H-bomb in the Marshall Islands. But the American advantage was short-lived. In July 1953, the Russians detonated their own H-bomb. In addition to this, a by-product of the Cold War was the Korean War. When Communist North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950, President Truman sent the American military into action. The Korean War ended three bloody years later in a truce that left the border between North and South Korea intact, the infamous 38th parallel. The U.S. suffered 157,530 casualties and South Korea sustained over 1.3 million casualties. Estimated Communist casualties were 2 million. ?? ?? ?? ?? 07/02/2007 Yusuf Sherwani ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why was the fear of communism so strong in the years of 1945 to ...

    In 1949 the communist Chinese took over power in China and as a classic example of the domino effect North Korea became a communist country and threatened pro-American South Korea, and eventually invaded causing the Korean war and confirmed American fears.

  2. The role of Saddam Hussain in serving the aims of America in the Middle ...

    America acquired total dominance over these countries and she had the final say over these countries in terms of political, economic and military decisions and she has also dominated all the Gulf oil starting from Iran and ending by the United Arab Emirates, passing by Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi, Bahrain and Qatar.

  1. Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?

    The situation quickly deteriorated and on the 23rd of October the Hungarian troops, who had been dispatched to end the riots, joined the civilians in revolution. Soviet troops were called in and the Hungarian communist party lost the little support which they had.

  2. The Collapse of Communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe

    Solidarity, for instance, was largely dependent on printing equipment smuggled in from the U.S, using it to put out regular bulletins coordinating strikes, presenting political advice, and informing members of trade union meetings. The same equipment was also used to publish forbidden books and essays for Solidarity's extensive underground education system.

  1. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    of England, where they had been imprisoned for debt or for more serious crimes. The colony of Georgia was granted in 1732 to reformers, led by James OGLETHORPE, who envisioned it as an asylum for English debtors, as well as a buffer against Spanish Florida.

  2. History of the United States

    Many southerners feared, too, that the new nation would be dominated by New Englanders, whose criticism of southern slavery and living styles offended them. Before assenting to the funding proposal, the southerners had obtained agreement that the national capital (after 10 years in Philadelphia)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work