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The red scare and the crucible

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 1958 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The term Red Scare indicates two marked periods of strong and great anti-Communism in the United States of America. The first Red Scare took place from the year 1919 to 1920, and the second Red Scare, occurred between 1947 and 1957. The first Red Scare related to worker or socialist, political and radicalism revolution, while the second Red Scare focused on issues relating to foreign and national communists who infiltrated the society or influenced the federal government.

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The beginning of the first Red Scare was due to the Bolshevik Russian Revolution of 1917 and the greatly patriotic World War I year, as the left-wing political violence, anarchist and social agitation worsen national political and social. Mr. Murray B. Levin a former member of the Communist Party and a political scientist noted that the Red Scare was a national wide rebellion against radical hysteria, which was provoked by a buildup of fear, anxiety and intimidation that Bolshevik revolution was forth coming in America was forth coming. The revolution would give a new look to the home, civility, Church, home, marriage, and the entire American Lifestyle (Burnett).The media and Newspapers translated the political anxiety and fears into xenophobia, solely because an array of radical anarchism were seen to be the answers to poverty. Recent European immigrants were often the advocates and, the World Industrial Workers supported several strikes, organized by labor in 1916 and 1917. The press portrayed the strikes as radical threats to US society and as being instigated by some foreign agents’ provocateurs, and the left wing. The press media misrepresented genuine labor strikes as being Communism establishment plots, crimes against society, and anti-government conspiracies.

Transformations in public views and opinion lead to the loosing of many members by the left-wing organizations like the Industrial Workers of the World, communist and the Communist Party America. Several American states enacted a law known as the criminal syndicalism laws, which outlawed advocating of unrest and violence between the years 1919 and 1920. This was done in an effort to secure and effect social change in the states. The restrictions and regulations in the law included limitation of free speech. Aggressive investigation by police took root after the passing of these laws. Irrespective of ideological gradation, Red Scare failed to distinguish between socialism communism, and social democracy.

The Second Red Scare took place after World War II, and coincided with the increased fear of communist espionage consequent, the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the acknowledgment of intelligence work for the Soviet Union given by several high-ranking American government officials, the Berlin Blockade, and Soviet Eastern Europe. The occurrences of the late 1940s, the court trial of Julius Rosenberg, and Ethel, the Iron Curtain between 1945 to 1991 around Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapon creation surprised the American public (Miller). The influencing popular opinion about America national security, in turn, connected to fear of the ability of the Soviet Union, carrying out an atomic-bombing on its territories, and fear of the United States of America Party of Communist contributed largely to the Red Scare. Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, former CPUSA members and NKVD spies, testified at the House Un-American Activities Committee, that communist sympathizers and Soviet spies had made penetration into the government of the United States and this happened prior to and even after World War II. Out of pride, other United States American citizen spies confessed, to their activities of espionage in instances where the statute of limitations on their prosecution had run. In the year 1949, fear of American traitors and anti communist, was mounted by the winning of the Chinese Civil War by the Chinese Communists against the Western supported Kuomintang, one of the founders of the People’s Republic of China, and later the intervention of the Chinese in the Korean War against American ally nation of South Korea (Eaklor 87).

The Second Red Scare greatly changed and aggravated the temper of U.S society. The society’s later identification as anti-intellectual may be have been seen as a contributed by factors such as escalating popularity of anti-communist espionage like “My Son John” and science fiction movies such as “The Thing from another World” of 1951. Such resources contained themes and stories of the invasion, infiltration, destruction, and subversion, of United States society by non-American sentiments and inhuman individuals. The animosity even lead to a baseball team, originally known as Cincinnati Reds to , temporarily change their  name to Cincinnati Red legs to avoid the loose of money and their career ruining legacy consistent in being ball playing Reds. As an indication of the ability of the American government to curry out intelligence gathering, it released details of the Venona Project for the Soviet Union from 1940 through 1980 in 1995.

In the duration of the McCarthy era, many Americans were accused of being members of the Communists movement or of being communist sympathizers and therefore becoming the objects and subject of aggressive interrogations and questioning by the private industry panels, or government, committees and special agencies. Government employees, individuals in the showbiz and entertainment industry, teachers, union activists and instructors, were the primary targets of such victimization and suspicions (Bowers 19). Despite questionable evidence or inconclusive findings, the suspicions continued to be given credence. There was also a great exaggeration of level of threat presented by a person’s real or supposed leftist interactions or beliefs. A great number of people went through the pain of losing employment, career destruction, and even long-term imprisonment. Most of the punishments issued were because of trial verdicts and convictions based on laws that would be later declared unconstitutional.

The most famous and well-known examples of McCarthyism during the Red Scare are Sen. McCarthy’s own personal trial hearings, speeches, and communists investigations. The Hollywood blacklist, associated with the House Committee on Non-American Activities hearings, and a range of anti-communist behavior of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), are key examples of McCarthyism. The cultural and social widespread phenomenon had an immense effect on all levels of society. Furthermore, it was seen as the source of a great debatable issues and conflict in the United States of America. The Crucible is known to be a tale of the Salem witch-hunts that was practiced during the preceding days before the institution and founding of the United States (Bloom 197). Arthur Miller, a play writer, wrote that story. It is an allegorical presentation of Joseph McCarthy and the hunt for Communists in the 1950’s during the Red Scare. The intention of the play was to depict that McCarthy, as being the witch hunters, and that he was making profits from public hysteria by persecuting innocent people. The soviet archives along with the data of the Venona Project released by the U.S intelligence, later suggested that some of McCarthy’s targets were actually guilty of becoming enemy agents.

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During the Red Scare and the Crucible United States citizens, were in apprehension of communism in the same manner in which people were in witchcraft trepidation in the Salem witch trials. Distinguishing attributes of the two occurrences are can be compared between that of Arthur Miller’s Crucible narrative and the Red Scare occurrences that took place in American history. During the time when the witch trials were conducted in The Crucible, people were forced to either agreeing or confessing to having committed the witchery crime or direct the blame towards another suspect or a different person. Part of the crucible story, records that trouble in The Crucible started when Abigail Williams blamed Tituba for the actions of the girls who used to dance among the trees or woods. She replied that, she made him not to do it, but instead made Betty to do it. The statement given against another person generated the emergence of pandemonium in Salem. Such quotes are perfect example that leaders like Miller presented in his dialog relating to the way people conducted themselves during the duration of the Red Scare. Another example of an instance of how people behaved during the Red Scare is Mary Warren story. She states that John Proctor is worked in the company and together with the devil. Arthur Miller’s vividly illustrated the thought that everyone must agree to confess or face death, and that being against the court meant also being against the church in The Crucible narration.

The achievements by Sen. McCarthy to United States are undeniable to the historians and those who look at history with impartial eye. At a time when agents of the most murderous empire in human history were infiltrating America, McCarthy was the only voice that stood against victimization and tyranny (Senator McCarthy Inc.). He managed to expose hundreds of agents who were determined to destroy Unite States. If Sen. McCarthy never got the nerve to express what he knew, the possibilities that the USSR might still have been in existence today would be true. Senator Joseph McCarthy is on record as having been the first one who indicated that communism had come over to the United States of America and their spies were letting out American’s secret intelligence information. Lies seemed to be the grounds upon which America was governed, from its very commencement of Salem with trial to the Sen. McCarthy occurrences.

A considerable number of people of the Eastern Europeans descent, who once lived under the ruler ship of the Soviet, owe their freedom to Senator McCarthy today. The patriotism of Sen. McCarthy did not fail to come with a price. It cost him his work and finally his life. Having determinate his willingness to protect and defend United States’ freedom, Senator Joseph McCarthy is without a doubt an American patriot and hero. Although he ruined several lives and led to the downfall of many careers, McCarthy is the man who changed the landscape of American politics. His speech proved that America adhered to the tenets of the constitution of freedom of expression and speech. His acts of free speech, hunting for communist proposers and liberals who were thought to be pro-communist led to the downfall of President Harry S.S. Truman and several other Democrats from the Congress and the White House. His actions also led to the fanning of the cold war hatred embers that went on for several years up until the early 90s. McCarthy also changed the atomic bomb focus of the world through the Red Scare. He broke through the ranks of communism, ensured that the formulae for making atomic bombs has not been spread by Communist spies in the U.S. This somehow contributed to the curtailing of the number of countries and people who can make bombs that are of a powerful nature. McCarthy is a man who reduced the communist stance and existence around America and in the Globe!


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