Mc Carthyism Essay

1331 words - 5 pages

Everything in life occurs in cycles and history is no different. The United States has had many cycles in its young history, but one of the most notable cycles began with World War II. It was a stressful time that came with a victorious conclusion, with an Allied Victory. However, the cycle continued and the victory was overshadowed by a dark era in our history. This was the era called "McCarthyism." McCarthyism began when Senator Joseph McCarthy used his reckless talk and questionable methods to seek out possible communists and people suspected of unpatriotic acts. This era is defined by Senator McCarthy's rise to power and his investigation into the lives of thousands of American citizens. His investigations had a profound effect on the nation as a whole, as well as effects on the senator himself, which led to his eventual downfall.There were many different reasons that drove Senator Joe McCarthy's obsession for banishing communism in the United States. One of these reasons was the fear of communism in the United States, the sort of political ideas that were defeated in World War II. According to reports there were many people in the United States suspected to be communists or in support of communist ideas. Another reason that drove Joe McCarthy was his pursuit to be a national figure. His soaring ego drove him to be famous and powerful. The last reason influenced who and what McCarthy would go after. McCarthy went to great lengths in pursuit of his goal such as his investigations into the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry, actors, producers, writers, the government, communist books, and the United States Army.The House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) had been investigating the Hollywood Motion Picture Industry and the rest of the entertainment industry beginning in 1938. Prior to McCarthy's reign and leadership in the anti-communism witch-hunts, the HUAC were leaders in eliminating suspected communist people and activities. They held hearings and questioned suspected communists. They forced people to give more names and those names would go on a blacklist. If they failed to do this they became blacklisted themselves. McCarthy joined them in their effort as he saw this as a great opportunity to pursue his goal of becoming a national figure and cease communism in the United States.He first came into the public's eye when he delivered a speech on February 9th, 1950. On this day he delivered a Lincoln Day address to local Republicans in Wheeling, West Virginia. In this speech McCarthy mentioned that he had a list of 205 people known to be members of the American Communist Party. This number was later reduced to 57. This speech promoted the fear of communism in the United States which became the prime reason that led to Joseph McCarthy's rise to power.The American public was very scared of internal subversion for a couple of reasons; one of them being the war going badly in Korea and the other because of the communist advances in Eastern...

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