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Visit Website Did you know? Edgar Hoover was quick to equate any kind of protest with communist subversion, including the civil rights demonstrations led by Martin Luther King Jr. Hoover labeled King a communist and covertly worked to intimidate and discredit the civil rights leader.
Visit Website Such ideas were not totally unfounded. As apprehension about Soviet influence grew as the Cold War heated up, U.
On March 21,President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Orderalso known as the Loyalty Order, which mandated that all federal employees be analyzed to determine whether they were sufficiently loyal to the government.
Yet it was only one of many questionable activities that occurred during the period of anticommunist hysteria known as the Red Scare. Probing Red Influence One of the pioneering efforts to investigate communist activities took place in the U.
Under pressure from the negative publicity aimed at their studios, movie executives created blacklists that barred suspected radicals from employment; similar lists were also established in other industries.
Another congressional investigator, U. McCarthy of Wisconsinbecame the person most closely associated with the anticommunist crusade—and with its excesses.
McCarthy used hearsay and intimidation to establish himself as a powerful and feared figure in American politics. He leveled charges of disloyalty at celebrities, intellectuals and anyone who disagreed with his political views, costing many of his victims their reputations and jobs.
The FBI and its longtime director, J. Edgar Hooveraided many of the legislative investigations of communist activities.
An ardent anticommunist, Hoover had been a key player in an earlier, though less pervasive, Red Scare in the years following World War I The information obtained by the FBI proved essential in high-profile legal cases, including the conviction of 12 prominent leaders of the American Communist Party on charges that they had advocated the overthrow of the government.
Hysteria and Growing Conservatism Public concerns about communism were heightened by international events. Inthe Soviet Union successfully tested a nuclear bomb and communist forces led by Mao Zedong took control of China.
The following year saw the start of the Korean Warwhich engaged U. The advances of communism around the world convinced many U. Figures such as McCarthy and Hoover fanned the flames of fear by wildly exaggerating that possibility.
As the Red Scare intensified, its political climate turned increasingly conservative. Elected officials from both major parties sought to portray themselves as staunch anticommunists, and few people dared to criticize the questionable tactics used to persecute suspected radicals.
Membership in leftist groups dropped as it became clear that such associations could lead to serious consequences, and dissenting voices from the left side of the political spectrum fell silent on a range of important issues.
In judicial affairs, for example, support for free speech and other civil liberties eroded significantly. This trend was symbolized by the U. Supreme Court ruling in Dennis v.
United States, which said that the free-speech rights of accused Communists could be restricted because their actions presented a clear and present danger to the government.
Americans also felt the effects of the Red Scare on a personal level, and thousands of alleged communist sympathizers saw their lives disrupted. They were hounded by law enforcement, alienated from friends and family and fired from their jobs. While a small number of the accused may have been aspiring revolutionaries, most others were the victims of false allegations or had done nothing more than exercise their democratic right to join a political party.
Though the climate of fear and repression began to ease in the late s, the Red Scare has continued to influence political debate in the decades since and is often cited as an example of how unfounded fears can compromise civil liberties. Start your free trial today.The Red Scare in the America may be famed for its Jazz Age and prohibition during the ’s, and for its economic strength before the Wall Street Crash, but a darker side existed.
The KKK dominated the South and those who did not fit in found that they were facing the full force of the law. War was not the sole factor, but exaggerated the fear of Radicalism within the USA. More fundamental to the causes of the Red Scare were the attitudes and fears of the Nativists (supported by US government), the socio-economic conditions in America and the trepidation surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution and its potential to spread to the USA.
Great Red Scare: Phenomenon of National Hysteria immediately following WWI. The fear and paranoia of being labeled a communist made every Red Scare. After the First World War people were full of fear over the fact that communists were among us. Some Americans believed the Communists and anarchists, who were opposed to the.
As the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States intensified in the late s and early s, hysteria over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the . The First Red Scare, which occurred immediately after World War I, revolved around a perceived threat from the American labor movement, anarchist revolution and political radicalism.
The Second Red Scare, which occurred immediately after World War II, was preoccupied with national or foreign communists infiltrating or subverting U.S.
society or the federal government.
First significant engagement of American troops in World War I. American forces assisted the French in repelling a German offensive that brought German forces within miles of Paris.
Argonne Forest On September 26, an American force of over 1 million soldiers .