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The Cold War and McCarthyism

Part of the Cold War was fought in the U.S. In the late 1940s and early 1950s there was growing evidence that the Soviets were gaining influence in the U.S. Led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, several agencies of government began to look inward for "the Red menace" that was responsible for this threat.

Discuss the Cold War and McCarthyism including the following:

The people and agencies involved on both sides of the issue--those following McCarthy's ideals and those opposing McCarthy's ideals.
Of the people and agencies listed below, discuss their importance in this context.
Senator Joseph McCarthy
J. Edgar Hoover
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Alger Hiss
Dwight Eisenhower
Earl Warren
Edward R. Murrow
Department of Justice
The Supreme Court
House Committee on Un-American Activities
Senate Internal Security Subcommittee
Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Briefly discuss the significance of the following events:
Congressional hearing from 1948-1956
Communist Control Act of 1954
What was "Black Listing"?
From the following list, select 2 and explain their involvement with blacklisting:
Arthur Miller
Orson Wells
W.E.B. Du Bois
Robert Oppenheimer
Peter Seeger
Dashiell Hammett
Linus Pauling
What was the purpose of the investigations McCarthy backed?
What were the short-term results of the investigations-did they find what they were looking for?
What were the long-term results of the investigations-were the charges overturned at all?
Do you think civil liberties violated and, if so, how?

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
I can only create a solution that would help you in putting together your own 'version' of a narrative that explores The Cold War, McCarthyism and the personalities, events and agencies involved in what then became known as 'The Red Scare'. To establish the relationship of each personalities and agencies mentioned in your post equates to a very lengthy discussion which could get quite confusing. Therefore I have instead related how they interacted in said notorious period of American History. I have also chosen some personalities to feature with differentiated views and listed (as with your list) some of the 'victims' of the witch hunt that followed. Please take note of the References and online resources. You can use them to further expand this solution for added information. Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions in relation to this solution. Thank you very much for using Brainmass. Good luck with your studies.

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Part 1: Discussing the Cold War

The Start of the Cold War

Amid the welcome of peace and the treaties signed between 1945 to 1946, a slow mistrust grew between the U.S. and the USSR in relation to the ideologies that the nations followed; deeply imbedded within the foundations of their governments, their nations. From small misunderstandings to ultimate war-by-proxy situations whose bloodiest engagement reached beyond Vietnam, American Policies that resulted in the clashes were simple. As the remaining superpowers mid-1940's the U.S. & USSR duked it out; competing with each other by influence debating & arguing in the halls of the U.N., of NATO. In Berlin a wall was erected by the Soviets to keep the 'Democratic Capitalism' on the other side, a simple of the rigid, cold and often vicious treatment the nations bestowed upon each other. The U.S. was intent on following the agreement at the Yalta Conference of building an industrial, self-sustaining region. The allies believed that peace and freedom can be achieved via democratic capitalism as was the trend in the U.S. and much of Allied Europe. The USSR understood peace only in terms of military security and a centrally held economy, communism deeming democratic capitalism unfair. When disagreements stemming from ideologies reached fever peak, talks broke down. The breaking down of Germany into zones controlled by Allied Partners assured that US, UK & French Occupied areas followed the agreement set by the earlier YALTA conference while the Soviet Controlled space has been introduced to the Russian idea of Social Communism.

Key U.S. Policies on the Rise of the Cold War (mid-1940's to the late 50's)

1. The U.S. believed that European nations battered by the War should be rebuilt in the foundations of Industry & Democracy. This does not sit well with the Russians, wary after their huge losses in terms of men & proud of the Socialist notions of 'equality' & a non-social stratified citizenry with power centralized in the hands of one very strong Communist Party.

2. The U.S. believed in containing the influence of Communism within areas already occupied by Russia & believed that 'winning German, (eventually Korean, etc.) hearts & minds is key. Industrialization brings jobs & a stable economy to counteract the effect of the ravages of war. The idea of freedom in a Lockean sense is what America wanted to really introduce in their idea of campaigning for democracy & battling Communism by Containment, by curtailing influence in only very particular grounds. The Russians, as soon as they realised U.S. intent continued their massive campaign working with their Communist allies especially in China/Asia Pacific. This eventually led to 'silent' conflicts in Afghanistan, war by proxy in the Korean Peninsula and of course in Vietnam. Communism from the view of pres. Truman & his Cold War predecessors is exploiting the instability that war brought to Europe. They believe that a post-war communist Europe would be unstable and would cause World Economy to grind and bust. On national Security Grounds the NSA act of 1947 created the CIA, the Department of Defense & the National Security Council, main agencies that would be at the battlefront to help America win what was labelled as the 'Cold War' against the Iron Curtain.

3. The U.S. believed in using alliances & International Organizations to campaign for Democracy. NATO for instance was born in this period. The western-democratic allied occupied German States were rebuilt to self-govern under Allied supervision and by early 1950's were rearmed to protect against threats from the Soviet Declared 'East German Republic'. Elsewhere in the world the U.S. & the USSR when they could not contain their disagreements in debates faced each other in areas like Cuba, and the bloody defense & military Aid that the U.S. provided to the South Koreans surprised the Russians until that division in the 27th parallel. In the UN the Cold War has become so real what with the very serious threat of the Arms Race & the politicking both the U.S. & Russia engaged in to win more allies, to convert fellow nations into their ideologies.

4. The U.S. saw developing nations as easy targets for Communist influence, particularly in Asia. The ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides an in-depth detailed discussion of important concepts, events and personalities during the time of the Cold War at the height of McCarthyism and related inquiries regarding the 'Red Menace' in American politics and society. The solution is in 2 parts - one provides a historical background on the Red Scare and the Cold War, part 2 discusses what the Red Scare was about - who Sen. McCarthy was and his role in the eventual 'witch hunt' within the military and political ranks for what he deemed was a threat. Was he a self-serving fear pandering politician or did he serve a purpose? The solution provides answers to this and expansion on ideas is provided for by the listed references. Part provides an explanation of the roles taken on by a list of people that made it to McCarthy's roster of Americans to investigate. The solution is in the form of an essay following the APA-format. A word version is attached for easy printing.

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