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The McCarthy Era. The Hunt for Communists. Who was Joseph McCarthy?. Most famous anti-Communist Activist Ineffective 1 st three years in Senate Needed winning issue in 1950 to win Decided to sound alarm about Communists in the Government. Tactics. Made one unsupported claim after another

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the mccarthy era

The McCarthy Era

The Hunt for Communists

who was joseph mccarthy
Who was Joseph McCarthy?
  • Most famous anti-Communist Activist
  • Ineffective 1st three years in Senate
  • Needed winning issue in 1950 to win
    • Decided to sound alarm about Communists in the Government
  • Made one unsupported claim after another
  • Various times claimed to have names of 51, 87, and 205 Communists in State Dept.
  • Claimed Democrats guilty of “20 years of treason” for allowing communist infiltration.
  • Only made claims in Senate so could not be sued for Slander
  • Republicans allowed him to go on b/c hoped it would help win them a Republican presidency
mccarthy s downfall
McCarthy’s Downfall
  • 1954, made accusations against the US army
  • RESULT: Nationally televised Senate Investigation
  • His bullying of witnesses alienated the audience = cost of public support
  • Senate condemned him for improper conduct
  • He died 3 years later, suffering from effects of alcoholism
causes and effects of mccarthyism

SU establish communist regimes in E. Europe after WW2

SU develops A-Bomb quicker than expected

Korean War ends in stalemate

Republicans gain by accusing Truman/ Democrats of being soft on Communism


Millions of Americans forced to take loyalty oaths, undergo loyalty investigations

Activism in Labor Unions goes into decline

People are hesitant to speak out on public issues for fear they will be charged as Communists

Anti-Communism continues to drive US foreign policy.

Causes and Effects of McCarthyism