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Anti-communism and McCarthyism

Themes of anti-communism preoccupied the American media from 1947 to 1954. Major topics included the coup in Czechoslovakia, the Korean War, the House Un-American Activities Committee, Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and Joseph McCarthy.

a. The differences between anti-communism and McCarthyism
b. The perspective from which the media covered anti-communism and McCarthyism
c. American foreign policy decisions impacted by anti-communism
d. How Americans' lives changed because of the Red Scare

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a. The differences between anti-communism and McCarthyism

It is not so much a matter of the two terms being different, because McCarthyism is about anti-communism, as it was anti-communism in action e.g. the public accusation of people who embraced Communist ideology (beliefs), fierce interrogations, failings, and accusing people of being a communist publicly. Government agents and the media were involved in this behavior, and these accusations were often without real evidence to substantiate these actions. This is described in the definition below.

McCarthyism was linked to fears of espionage by Communists and the heightened tension from Soviet oppression in Europe. It was anti-communism beliefs based on information from Court cases in Europe suggesting that communism had infiltrated the United Sates government. They also were against communism in general (oppression of people, tyranny, lack of freedom for people, etc.).

McCarthyism promoted an extrema paranoi of a communist and contributed to violence against people who were believed to be communist or people who were thought to be even associated with communists. It also resulted in retaliation and increased violence and bombings. There were aggressive investigations and the red-baiting, blacklisting, jailing and deportation of any person that was suspected of following communist or other left-wing ideology. Communism was in stark contrast with the liberal ideas of capitalism embraced by McCarthy and other liberal politicians at that time in United states, which is about freedom to make choices and free market enterprises. it was seen as a real threat to United States as they knew it.

b. The perspective from which the media covered anti-communism and McCarthyism

The second question is straightforward. Simply put, the media was from the perspective of the government.

The media spread government propaganda about anti-communism ideas through political speeches, interviews, etc. Anti-communism spread through the radio and print material which spread anti-communism into the homes of American citizens, This attitude of anti-communism sparked fear and hatred toward communists and communism nationwide. So anti-communism increased through the media. It was the perspective of the government. Initially the press (Washington Post) and public supported and praised the raids on suspected Communists, but eventually they saw the unfairness tof the raid by Federal agents against Reds and suspected Reds (e.g. high bails were set, not allowed lawyers, etc.)

The government purposely fed the media with anti-communism ideas to promote its agenda, resulting in a nationwide paranoia and fear and hatred of communism and those suspected of having any ties to communism. It was a fear of communists infiltrating America through open immigration policies, and the likes. This promoted policies aimed at ridding America of potential communists through policies like deportation of immigrations, arrests of suspects, and the likes. These were referred to as containment policies. The American foreign containment policies against communists and communist associations also acted to increase the ...

Solution Summary

Tis solution responds to the questions in some detail on anti-communism and McCarthyism.