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A discussion of the key features, opposition and consequences of McCarthyism

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A discussion of the key features, opposition and consequences of McCarthyism McCarthyism key features McCarthyism was rudimentally instigated on the 9th February 1950, when Senator Joseph McCarthy articulated a speech to the Republican Women's Club of Wheeling, West Virginia, which averred he possessed a list of 205 names who were known communists, yet worked for the State department. This speech was extolled by many as they they categorically wished to culminate the recent communist threats, such as the subjugation of the Kuomintang by the Chinese Communist Party and the Korean War. McCarthy subsequently obtained distinguished espousal from the press, which depicted him as a crusader amid his influence. His sway also incited the passing of major pieces of legislation; in 1950 the McCarran internal security act was passed, which required Communist organisations to register with the Attorney General. ...read more.


A litigation, known as the Army-McCarthy Hearings, was promulgated live on television, where he was seen as having a truculent and intimidating temperament, in contrast to the army's attorney Joseph Welch who was polite and obliquely humiliated him. His nature was confirmed by an episode of "See it now", where he denounced the administrations of the Democratic FDR and Harry Truman and also severely berated an Army General, which accentuated his offensive comportment As well as this, his loss in support was due to the gradual revelation of his allegations being half-truths or wholly erroneous. During the televised Army-McCarthy Hearings, he did not provide any real evidence and asserted it was in his briefcase, and made it strongly appear as if he was simply fuelling the hysteria. Moreover, he accused high-profile individuals such as George Marshall of treason and Reed Harris of helping communists by curtailing some broadcasts to Israel, even though he was a civil servant in the State Department for many years. ...read more.


However, McCarthyism spurred fears towards different ideologies, namely left-wing and liberal and the Communist Control Act was a prime example of the fear. This piece of legislation, which was signed into law by President Eisenhower on 24th August 1954, outlawed the communist party of the United States (CPUSA). It also amended the Subversive Activities Control Act, which prohibited communists from running for public office and reinforced the apprehension of dissimilar principles. This however, cultivated a more long-term effect. The USA reputation for justice and freedom was severely damaged, due to the general fear of communism and their rebuff of a different form of ideology. As aforementioned, their legislation against the development of communism substantiated their intolerance towards left-wing and liberal policies. As well as this, many states in the USA demanded an 'Oath of Loyalty' against communism from their employees until the 1960s. At length, it portrayed the extent of anti-communism in the USA. ...read more.

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