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Cold War Museum. Additional Links Back to the 1950s On November 14, 1908, Joseph McCarthy was born into a Roman Catholic family as the fifth of nine children in Appleton, Wisconsin. Although McCarthy dropped out of grade school at the age fourteen, he returned to diligently finish his studies in 1928, permitting him to attend Marquette University. Once accepted, he began his journey to become what many historians consider to be one of the least qualified, most corrupt politicians of his time. After receiving his law diploma at Marquette University, McCarthy dabbled in unsuccessful law practices, and indulged in gambling along the way for extra financing. Despite being a Democrat early in his political years, he quickly switched into the Republican Party after being overlooked as a candidate in the Democratic Party for district attorney.

To stimulate his political career, McCarthy quit his job as circuit court judge and joined the Marines during World War II. Sources: “Joseph McCarthy.” 2008. Back to Top. What was the Cold War? The Cold War is the name given to the relationship that developed primarily between the USA and the USSR after World War Two. The Cold War was to dominate international affairs for decades and many major crises occurred - the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Hungary and the Berlin Wall being just some.

For many, the growth in weapons of mass destruction was the most worrying issue. A clash of very different beliefs and ideology - capitalism versus communism - each held with almost religious conviction, formed the basis of an international power struggle with both sides vying for dominance, exploiting every opportunity for expansion anywhere in the world. Note that USSR in 1945 was Russia post-1917 and included all the various countries that now exist individually (Ukraine, Georgia etc) but after the war they were part of this huge country up until the collapse of the Soviet Union (the other name for the USSR).

So this was the scene after the war ended in 1945. MLA Citation/Reference. Cold War Museum. The Cold War. "Blacklists and Other Economic Sanctions" From: Ellen Schrecker, THE AGE OF MCCARTHYISM: A BRIEF HISTORY WITH DOCUMENTS. (Boston: St. Martin's Press, 1994) Even at the height of the McCarthyist furor in the early 1950s, the anti-Communist crusade was relatively mild. Many prosecutions faltered on appeal and only a few foreign-born radicals were actually deported. Only Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were put to death; and of the roughly 150 people who went to prison, most were released within a year or two. Certainly compared to the horrors of Stalin's Russia, McCarthyism was not a drastic form of political repression.

But it was an effective one. The punishments were primarily economic. It is hard to come up with accurate statistics for the number of politically motivated dismissals during the McCarthy period, for both the employers and the people they fired tried to conceal what was happening--the former to protect themselves against charges of violating civil liberties, the latter to obtain future jobs.

McCarthyTimeline. McCarthyism. U.S. anti-Communist literature of the 1950s, specifically addressing the entertainment industry During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies.

The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Some conservatives regard the term as inappropriate and deprecate what they say are myths created about McCarthy.[6][7][8][9] Origins[edit] Institutions[edit] Executive Branch[edit] J.

How McCarthyism Worked" Mass hysteria has reared its ugly head for as long as humans have existed. Adolf Hitler worked enough people into a frenzy to justify the murder of millions of Jews. Jesus Christ, known by all as peaceful, if controversial, was brutally nailed to a cross because a few high-ranking officials felt threatened by him. Although one would hope that people would learn a lesson or two from the mistakes of the past, it seems that history, as the old cliché goes, is forever doomed to repeat itself. Enter Senator Joseph McCarthy. While he may not have caused genocide or murdered a prophet, he was able to whip up hysteria in America in the early 1950s. McCarthy's issue of choice? Communism, in simple terms, is an economic system designed to equally benefit everyone in the society. By the '50s, communism wasn't exactly a new worry for the United States. By the time McCarthy won a Senate seat in 1946, World War II was over and the Cold War was beginning.

McCarthyism PBS. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s America was overwhelmed with concerns about the threat of communism growing in Eastern Europe and China. Capitalizing on those concerns, a young Senator named Joseph McCarthy made a public accusation that more than two hundred “card-carrying” communists had infiltrated the United States government. Though eventually his accusations were proven to be untrue, and he was censured by the Senate for unbecoming conduct, his zealous campaigning ushered in one of the most repressive times in 20th-century American politics. While the House Un-American Activities Committee had been formed in 1938 as an anti-Communist organ, McCarthy’s accusations heightened the political tensions of the times. Known as McCarthyism, the paranoid hunt for infiltrators was notoriously difficult on writers and entertainers, many of whom were labeled communist sympathizers and were unable to continue working. McCarthyism. The Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was originally established in 1937 under the chairmanship of Martin Dies.

The main objective of the HUAC was the investigation of un-American and subversive activities. Soon after his appointment Dies received a telegram from the Ku Klux Klan : "Every true American, and that includes every Klansman, is behind you and your committee in its effort to turn the country back to the honest, freedom-loving, God-fearing American to whom it belongs. " The HUCA originally investigated both left-wing and right wing political groups. Some called for the leaders of the Ku Klux Klan to be interrogated by the HUAC. Eventually Ernest Adamson, the HUAC's chief counsel, announced that: "The committee has decided that it lacks sufficient data on which to base a probe. " Martin Dies soon came under attack from those who saw the HUCA as a method of blocking progressive policies being advocated by Franklin D.

Reagan at Brandenburg Gate - "tear down this wall"