The Fear Of Communism In The United States: Joseph Mc Carthy Era

1704 words - 7 pages

America has endured many difficult times throughout history. One such time is known as the McCarthy era. During the early 1950's, "witch hunts" occurred of suspected communists. One only needed to be suspected of communism to be accused. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, in order to gain political power, capitalized on the fear of communism in the United States in the early 1950's by falsely accusing innocent citizens of political corruption, thus creating a lasting impact on the government, entertainment industry, and history of America.
Joseph Raymond McCarthy was born on a farm in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, on November 15, 1908. His parents, Timothy McCarthy and Bridget Tierney, were devout Roman Catholics. The Catholic faith places great emphasis on love, kindness, and charity; ideals that would soon be forgotten by a power-hungry Joseph. As the fifth child of nine children, expectations for Joseph were high. Sibling rivalries instilled in him a great desire to be the center of attention that would carry through his adult life. No one would expect such a historical impact from such simple roots.
Joseph attended the Underhill School, a one-room schoolhouse, where he completed eighth grade at age 14. He left scholarly life and invested in his own chicken farm. Years later, when disease wiped out his flock, McCarthy began work as a grocery store clerk. He quickly became manager; he decided to go back to school. Joseph completed the four year curriculum at Little Wolf High School in just nine months. Accepted because of his good grades, Marquette University began his career in law. Joseph graduated as president of his class in 1935 and started his own law firm in Waupaca. Later, he joined a law firm.
Before Joseph was even born, the stage was already being set for America empower him. In the 1839, Carl Marx and Friedrich Engels begin to come up with a new type of government. This government philosophy states that the government owns everything; therefore, no one is in need of anything. Although perfect on paper, communism is in fact a political nightmare. Most countries following this "Communist Manifesto" decline to military leadership. Communism was, and still somewhat is, the dominant form of government in Asia.
Rising military threats caught America's attention, and soon the major powers of the world entered a Cold War. Nuclear threats from Russia and China frightened the people of the United States. This fear was known as the "red scare." There were fears of nuclear holocaust based on the knowledge that the Soviet Union exploded its first A-bomb in 1959 (ushistory.org). Another factor of the "red scare" was the space race. Early in the race, Russia was ahead. Citizens feared they were also ahead in military prowess. China had also made nuclear threats. After communism seized control in that country, relations with the United States became very tense. The "red scare" made people wonder about communistic influence in their home...

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