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The McCarthy Hearings (1953 – 1954). By: Denise Chen Jack Privitello Armen Spendjian AM. Lit – 11-3. Background. Years Involved : 1950 – 1955 Hearings Lasted : 36 Days & Televised for 188 hours

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the mccarthy hearings 1953 1954

The McCarthy Hearings(1953 – 1954)

By: Denise Chen

Jack Privitello

Armen Spendjian

AM. Lit – 11-3



Years Involved : 1950 – 1955

Hearings Lasted : 36 Days & Televised for 188 hours

“The Famous Fifties” – time of BOOM in the arts, technology, medicine, population, culture, etc.

WHAT : Joseph McCarthy accused people in the government, authority, politics, and military of being Communists.

- At Least 201 people were charged

who joseph r mccarthy

WHO: Joseph R. McCarthy

Senator of Wisconsin for 2 years (unknown to others)

Giant Impact on American foreign policy

Known as a cheap politician of vulgar

At one time, had more power than President – needed him to make laws (important for where we are now)

After his accusations of the authority began, the public interest in him skyrocketed

reasons evidence

Reasons / Evidence

McCarthy found out that some government officials were rising against him

He began to dislike them (showed hatred)

McCarthy felt he needed to maximize his power

He wanted to either fool others or he actually believed that the people were communists

NO EVIDENCE – only that he and the secretary of state knew the names of the communists and had a list

results outcome

Results / Outcome

Scared the Americans because it was people of authority who were Communists – created an era of Paranoia

McCarthy was never arrested for false accusations

Many people in the arts and literature (Hollywood 10) were blacklisted & they lost jobs cause of accusations

President Eisenhower denounced his senatorial position

McCarthy continued to accuse others but eventually became “a voice making no sound in the wilderness”

“THE RED SCARE” - McCarthyism



“McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled” – McCarthy said as he entered the hearings with his hairy arms bare to the biceps

Coined by Herbert Block, cartoonist in Washington Post

First Meaning : a synonym for hatefulness, illiberal, anti-intellectual, reactionary, mudslinging, etc

Recent Meaning : an evil to a large number of Americans and a positive good to a smaller number

- Persecution of individuals backed up with little evidence and with use of personal attacks upon the people in harsh manners



Similar to The Salem Witch Trials because the accusations started off with hatred or dislike of a certain person/group

Similar to The Salem Witch Trials because there was little or no evidence to prove the accusations

Similar to The Crucible Plot because it shows how Americans are like savages and can be corrupt

Similar to the government because it shows that some people need unnecessary power to feel superior to others

Similar to government : Injustice and Imprecision in the government

open ended question


Is it possible for McCarthy’s accusations to be proven without evidence? What does this show about the government then, and now? What does this show about Americans then, and now?