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Exit Project Essay

1451 words - 6 pages

Thousands of people were arrested and taken away from families in the 1960s. This was all because of something most of them did not do. Joseph McCarthy accused people of being communists without using solid evidence to prove it. In result of this, many people lost jobs, friends, some even had their whole life ruined because of it. If a parent got accused, their child lost friends, parents telling their children to stay away from them. This was the norm in the 1950s-everyone was afraid of the “reds”, or communists. The cold war had a large affect on this, because it is when America became afraid of communists or Russians. McCarthyism affected everyone in America Most citizens were afraid of the reds, some were former or current reds, some were accused and persecuted for being an assumed red. It’s clear that McCarthyism played a big role in the development of America.
McCarthyism became a household term, not only associated with the red scare. It is now a term used for any accusation without any evidence. This time period was not the first time people were accused of being a communist, however it did become a very big deal in the U.S. and happened most during that time. The idea of McCarthyism was developed even before McCarthy, he just made the idea popular. It’s origins are from many things. Every time the U.S. skirmishes with Russia, the idea increased. Also, according to "The Cold War Home Front: McCarthyism.", Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal was supposedly linked to communism. The idea came from a lot of places, McCarthy being the main one.
McCarthy was not exactly the picture-perfect senator. In fact, most considered him “one of the least qualified, most corrupt politicians of his time” McCarthyism was first used by him as a way to get votes for his second term as senator. McCarthy had a list of 205 “communists” The list made all of America scared of communists living among them that he got his second term. McCarthy’s reelection was when McCarthyism became popular. However, McCarthy was not the only one accusing people. One other person who was a big contributor to accusations and McCarthyism was Elizabeth Bentley. Bentley defected from the communist party in the U.S. in 1945. In 1948, she accused over 80 citizens of being communists. Although there was no evidence behind it, most of the accusations were correct. This accusation caught the media’s attention and ended up having a large effect on the realisticness McCarthyism. The more people accused, the scarier it was for America.
Americans feared Soviets-so much it took over lives. Some has lost their careers because they were accused. For example, in 1950, 151 actors, writers, directors, producers, musicians, journalists, and other people involved with entertainment were accused of being reds with no evidence. The list was called the Hollywood blacklist. This list ended careers and took them off television or radio possibly forever. Some of the most famous entertainers in America could...

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