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The Fear Of Communism In The Years Of 1945 To 1954

1081 words - 4 pages

The Fear of Communism in the Years of 1945 to 1954

After world war two there was a steady build up of tension between the
United States of America and the Soviet Union, which grew to such a
level that the hostility grew to just short of military action. This
period, known as the cold war was a large factor in causing the
paranoia over communism in the USA. The Soviet Union was a communist
country and historically America had always opposed communism. It was
also clear that the USA- USSR alliance of World War Two was just to
serve a specific purpose. This bond was broken after the war, due to
the countries’ perceived differences and the apparent rivalry between

The main American fear was the actual spread of communism and the fear
that a domino affect would occur; after one country having turned
communist, there would be a knock on effect and more would follow
suit. In March 1947 the Truman doctrine declared that America was
going to be extensively involved in world affairs, primarily to stop
the spread of communism. A few months later the Marshall plan was set
up aiming to aid war torn countries, however it’s other significant
aim was to stop the spread of communism. The United States followed
the policy of containment whereby it remained ‘friendly’ in order to
track the movements of other countries and halt the spread of
communism. In 1949 the communist Chinese took over power in China and
as a classic example of the domino effect North Korea became a
communist country and threatened pro-American South Korea, and
eventually invaded causing the Korean war and confirmed American

In August 1949, the Soviet Union developed and tested its first atomic
bomb, which was four years earlier than American scientists, had
anticipated. As America had spies in the Soviet Union, it was a
natural assumption that there were soviet spies in America who had
passed on crucial nuclear information, and an investigation was
launched. Several people including Klaus Fuchs and the Rosenburgs
were tried for passing on information to the Soviet Union and were
sentenced to death in 1953. This series of events began the Arms race
between the Soviet Union and the USA, which would continue until the
late 1980s with each side trying to out do the other. Although it
started as an arms race it eventually became an economic war.

Against this background certain people and events helped to stir
suspicion and set up what became known as the ‘red’ scare. The House
Un-American Activities Committee was set up in 1930 but made headlines
when it investigated ten famous screenwriters on suspicion of
sympathising with communists. The ten...

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