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Communism

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Introduction

In what ways did the fear of communism in the USA develop in the years 1945-54? The fear of communism in the USA developed in 1945-1954. This was due to the attitudes the USA had to communism inside and outside their country. The USA and the USSR fought together against Germany and Japan in World War two, but n 1945, these two great countries known as superpowers, became rivals and then enemies. This division became knows as the Cold War, a war conducted in the main without fighting. The USA and USSR fought by making threats and by strengthening their armed forces. Both countries built up an enormous stockpile of nuclear weapons. The USSR became completely shut off from the rest of the world by Soviet troops. The cold War dominated world politics for many years. The USA had an anti-communism attitude; they would try anything to try and get rid of the communist party. In 1950 Joseph McCarthy claimed he had a lost of 205 members of the Communist Party who worked for the State Department. ...read more.

Middle

In 1945, the USA, France and Britain took control of West Germany and the USSR controlled East Germany. The capital, Berlin, inside East Germany, was also divided, and in 1948, the Soviets closed all access to West Berlin and tried to drive the western powers out of Berlin to take over completely. The Western powers brought in essential supplies by air until the Russians lifted the blockage in May 1949. In September 1947, 43 witnesses were subpoenaed to appear for hearings in Washington before the House Committee on un-American Activities (HUAC), which was investigating "communist" rebellion in Hollywood. Nineteen of the witnesses, mostly scriptwriters, were expected to be "unfriendly." The hearings opened in October. A group of eight screenwriters and two directors refused to answer questions regarding their possible Communist association. Those ten, known as the "Hollywood Ten," went to jail for their refusal to answer the committee's questions about their personal political beliefs. After their jail terms they were mostly blacklisted by Hollywood studios. Alger Hiss was a US diplomat, and civil servant; he was a former state department official. ...read more.

Conclusion

He began a witch-hunt against Communists. McCarthy claimed to have the names of 205 known Communists who were working for the American government. It seemed that McCarthy was lying, but no-one challenged him. McCarthy was the Chairman of the Special Senate Committee investigating Communism in the USA. He verbally abused witnesses, so he could find out the name of their fellow communists. However, McCarthy took it a step too far and accused president Eisenhower and the US army of having Communist sympathies. This upset many loyal republicans. However, McCarthy's influence did not disappear, McCarran's Internal Security Act was set up in 1950 and in 1954 the Communist Control Act came into place which banned the Communist party all together. The legacy of McCarthy shows is how easy it was to whip up to cause hysteria in the public opinion. McCarthy's allegations had no evidence but still, his accusations were what the people of America were afraid of. They did not question his word, showing how incredibly fearful the US was of communism. The fears that Russian communism was taking over the entire world were pervasive during the Truman years. A common saying was 'Better Dead than Red' but could American's oppose Communism so much that they would prefer to be dead? ...read more.

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