The Red Scare: Truman's Cold War

1200 words - 5 pages

The Red Scare was a point in history where America’s politics and society changed. The Red Scare is most commonly referred to as Truman’s Cold War. It mainly took place from 1945 to 1965, yet its influence can still be seen today.
America’s politics drastically changed. After World War II, America pointed all its anger and frustration away from Germany and towards its former ally, Russia. America’s foreign policy was the exact opposite of Russia’s. Nothing proposed in the Senate as a peace plan at the one end of the military budget to the other could be enacted unless it could be demonstrated that the Russians would not like it.
On March 25, 1947, Truman passed Executive Order 9835 that launched the Federal Employees Loyalty program. Loyal oaths were given to all federal employees. These oaths were not the only thing that affected federal employees. It got much worse when Eisenhower was elected into office. He said that he thought Truman was being too soft, and passed Executive Order 10450 that mandated that any employees would be immediately suspended for any behavior, activities, or associations which tend to show that the individual is not reliable or trust worthy. Once this Executive Order passed, Eisenhower decided that the order was too lenient and added on to the order. He added that exercising an article of the Bill of Rights as a reason for automatic dismissal. So, any employee that stood before the congressional committee that pleaded the Fifth Amendment, the right not to incriminate him or herself, would be fired.
In 1946, Joseph McCarthy was elected to the senate. Before he became a well known public figure, he was tutored by Richard Nixon. Nixon said that he tried to teach McCarthy to show restrain in most political aspects. McCarthy was almost invisible until a historical day in February of 1950. On this day, McCarthy saw how the hunt for communism had taken on a life of its own and seized the opportunity that presented itself. It was in Wheeling, West Virginia that he finally seized this opportunity. McCarthy said that he had a list of 205 names that belonged to the Communist Party that were known to the Secretary of the State and who are still working and shaping the policies at the State Department. McCarthy is very widely known as man who fed on the ambitions of America and held two presidents hostage. Eisenhower is widely known for not liking McCarthy, but Eisenhower never stood up to him because of the fear that he would lose half of his supporter for doing so. McCarthy finally lost his control when he accused the United States Army of holding communists. Army Counsel Joseph N. Welch stood up to him on live television and said that the senator had done enough and had no sense of decency. McCarthy’s career was over. In the weeks following that, the newspapers came up with the term McCarthyism as a way to describe Joseph McCarthy’s type of politics. McCarthyism is defined as political attitude characterized chiefly by...

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