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The Cold War at Home. 26.3 and 26.4. Fear of Communism!. During WWII, ~ 80,000 Communist Party members in America – significant number of people Loyalty Review Board – investigated the loyalties of federal employees

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The cold war at home

The Cold War at Home

26.3 and 26.4

Fear of communism
Fear of Communism!

  • During WWII, ~ 80,000 Communist Party members in America – significant number of people

  • Loyalty Review Board – investigated the loyalties of federal employees

    • Investigated 3.2 million employees – 212 dismissed as security risks, 2,900 resigned

  • House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) – investigated other areas of society

    • “Hollywood Ten” – ten movie industry people who refused to testify – jailed for refusal

    • Hollywood blacklists ~500 actors, writers, producers, directors for having Communist ties

  • McCarran Act – Congress passes (over Truman’s veto) law that made it illegal to plan any action that might lead to totalitarian dictatorship


  • Alger Hiss – former Communist spy accused Hiss of passing him government documents

    • Statute of limitations up on espionage charges, but Hiss WAS convicted of perjury (lying about passing documents)

    • 1990’s Soviet cables released by the NSA prove he was guilty

  • Ethel and Julius Rosenberg

    • Implicated in aiding in passing nuclear secrets to Soviets

    • First U.S. civilians executed for espionage


  • Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed to have lists of names of people in the government with Communist ties

    • Never produced said names

    • Never showed any evidence of supposed Communist infiltration

    • Conveniently, only ever made charges in Senate chambers – immunity from prosecution for slander

  • After accusations against U.S. Army brought televised hearings, America turned on McCarthy the bully

    • Condemned by the Senate as well


  • Race between America and Russia to develop H-Bomb (~67 ties as powerful as Hiroshima)

    • USA wins the race, but Soviets follow less than a year later

  • USA and Russia both build up stockpiles of bombs and the airplanes that will deliver them

Warsaw pact and eisenhower doctrine
Warsaw Pact and Eisenhower Doctrine

  • Warsaw Pact – Soviet military alliance with seven Eastern European nations – counterweight to NATO

  • Eisenhower Doctrine

    • Response to Suez War (conflict over control of Suez Canal in Egypt)

    • Eisenhower promises to defend Middle East against any communist aggression

  • Hungary uprising

    • Revolution in Hungary to expel strong Soviet interests is crushed harshly by Russia

    • USA does nothing to help

Space race and u2 incident
Space Race and U2 Incident

  • Nikita Khrushchev – eventually filled vacuum after Stalin’s death – believed that Communism would dominate the world, but felt that economic and scientific competition would determine who was best

  • Space Race – Russia launches Sputnik – first artificial satellite

  • U-2 Incident – American’s flying high-altitude infra-red spying missions over Russia. Final U-2 flight shot down weeks before planned summit between Eisenhower and Khrushchev

    • Pilot is arrested and imprisoned, Eisenhower forced to admit we were spying, but refuses to apologize.

    • Khrushchev cancels summit – more tension