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Webquest Group 4:

McCarthyism
Chloe Jones-Livingstone, Shane Behn
What was McCarthyism, or The Second Red Scare?

McCarthyism was a name given to a period in


American History. This was the time when Senator
Joseph McCarthy did investigations and hearings to
expose supposed communist infiltration in part of
the US government. This took place during the
1950’s.
Who was the target of this movement?

The target of this movement was


mostly the Russian party.
Who was Joseph McCarthy?

Joseph McCarthy was a Republican senator from Wisconsin. He


lived there from 1947 to 1957. He and his wife made aggressive
accusations against suspected Communists in the U.S. government.
He played a major role in the anti-communist movement. He served
as a US senator from 1947 till his death in 1957.
Why do you think McCarthy began persecuting Communists?

McCarthy’s accusations began during the Cold War. The


Cold War was a battle fought between the United States and the
Soviet Union. Although there was no combat fighting during this
war, the two countries were competing for supremacy with
weapon and satellite technology. The Cold War was a time of
secrecy as the two countries tried to surpass the technology of
their opponent. It was during this time that McCarthy began to
make accusations about communists, with the Soviet Union being
a communist country. McCarthy wanted to find excuses to charge
the communist competitors with espionage.
Why were Americans afraid of Communists?

Americans were afraid of communists


finding out their plans to overrule the Soviet
Union. If the communists found out
America’s plans, America was in risk of
losing the war. Losing the war meant that
there was a likelihood of communism taking
over the United States. Communism taking
over the government was the central fear
among Americans.
Joseph McCarthy was elected into the senate in 1946, and spent his term working against communists. In 1950
McCarthy gave a speech in West Virginia in which he shared a list of 205 people from the State Department who he suspected
were communists. Throughout his term, he continued to call out government officials whom he suspected were working with
the Soviet Union. This became known as “Red-baiting.” Although none of his suspects turned out to actually be guilty, over
2,000 government employees lost their jobs during the Red-Scare. The majority of the government disagreed with
McCarthyism, including the president: Dwight Eisenhower. Citizens and government officials overlooked their discomfort with
McCarthy, until he began to call out members of the armed services. “Army-McCarthy” hearings were broadcasted on national
television, in which McCarthy intimidated witness and gave evasive responses. McCarthy lost his allies, and government
power.

What eventually became of joseph


McCarthy?
How was the persecution of McCarthyism carried out?

McCarthy band his wife were accused of being Communists, or Communist


sympathizers.
What happened to people who were Blacklisted by the HUAC?

The people that were blacklisted could no longer continue working for their employers and
could never return to their careers.
HUAC
HUAC or the House Un-American Activities Committee was a
political attack group that used subpoena powers to drag
people out into the spotlight and to grilling them on their
political opinions and dragging them through the mud. If you
denied their subpoena you were arrested and jailed, if you
plead the fifth you were fired and blacklisted same if you
denied. If you cooperate you were tarnished and it stayed with
you for a long time.
Question
Do you think some type of McCarthyism is still prevalent in
today’s world?
Sources
“Second Red Scare.” Second Red Scare - Ohio History Central,
www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Second_Red_Scare.

History.com Staff. “Joseph McCarthy.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009,


www.history.com/topics/cold-war/joseph-mccarthy.

https://www.biography.com/people/joseph-mccarthy-9390801

Primary History.com Staff. “Joseph McCarthy.” History.com, A&E

Source:
Television Networks, 2009,
www.history.com/topics/cold-war/joseph-mccarthy.