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McCarthyism [1] Introduction The First Red Scare/targets, events, and endings HUAC and the New Deal Truman, The Cold War, and origins of McCarthyism

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Darren Mulloy

HI114 October 12 [IN LECTURE] MCCARTHYISM [1] Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Wheeling, Wet Virginia Speech (9 Feb 1950) • wasn’t recorded • according to accounts, during this speech, MC waves a bit of paper, tells his audience he has a list of communists in his hands that are working for the US states department • comparable to saying I have a list of Al Queda members. • when he enters the congressional record, the number changes from 250, to 57, to 87. One of the hallmarks of MC’s style • the speech generates intense media interest. • democratic admin (Truman) refutes the charge The McCarthy Era (1940’s and 50’s) • Might say that on Feb 9 1950 the MC era began • however, communist accusation predates this speech, and continues after he is gone Other Key Players and Institutions • Harry Truman • J. Edgar Hoover (head of FBI 28-72) • Richard Nixon • FBI • Justice Department HUAC (House Committee on Un-American Activities) • Some Other Names (for MCism) • The Red Scare The American Inquisition • • The Great Fear • PERIOD OF SUSTAINED POLITICAL OPPRESSION (effects private institutions, and government) • the very foundation of America democracy was threatened A) The First Red Scare (1919-20) The Great War (1914-18) (america joins in 1917) The Russian Revolution (1917) (Comintern, 1919) • will the communists impede the American war effort? HI114 • communism of Marx and Lennon is viewed as extremely hostile to american economy, way of life Comintern - to export the russian revolution around the world, for it to be spread • worldwide. seen as a threat to the US Three acts are passed: • Espionage Act 1917 any public statement that costruct the war effort or will aid the enemy, criminal • offense, 20yrs • Immigration act 1917 • anyone in a revolutionary organization may not enter the united states, if you are here and have revolutionary ideas you will be deported. RED ALIENS • sedition act 1918 • any “disloyal opinion” punishable by up to 20 years of prison. demeaning references to the flag or US government itself. evidence of disloyalty. Two targets • IWW (wobblies) Industrial workers of the world • 166 IWW leaders tried wanted to bring down capitalism • • socialist party • socialist leaders Eugene Debs and Victor Berger imprisoned in 1918 Major Unrest in 1919 • Seattle General Strike (Mayor Hanson calls in the troops) • May Day Rioting - in 30 american cities • 36 bombs explode (attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer) • sent to leading businessmen, politicians, attorney general, sent in the mail • no one is caught, no responsibility • inflation, business leaders trying to take down unions The Palmer Raids: • 7 November 1919 - 12 cites, 300 arrested • eg. Union of Russian Workers, Emma Goldman • mostly aimed at ^ • go in, round them up, beat them up, many end up in jail • none guilty of the bombs, only of radical perspectives • DEPORTED • 2 January 1920 - 33 Cities, over 4000 arrested • eg. Communist Party, Communist Labour party • again, many not guilty • detained for ridiculous reasons, looked like a radical, asked what was going on, etc. HI114 • concerns over the merits of this process • palmer wants to deport about 3,500 of these people The End • Louis Post stops the deportations - “illegal prosecutions, symptoms of a popular frenzy” only about 500 are deported • May Day 1920 “quiet” • not really over until now. • Palmer predicted that this day would be even worse than May Day 1919 discredits Palmers position, the frenzy tails off • • McCarthyism didn’t appear out of nowhere, it has a history of it’s own. some of the people involved in the first are involved in the second (ie. HOOVER, worked for Palmer during the first RS) • Anti-Communism, fear of it, etc, is VERY deep rooted. It is “un-American” B) HUAC and the New Deal Congressman Martin Dies and Special Committee on Un-American Activities • would investigate extreme left and right parties, supposed to • only investigated leftist extremism (a simplification) anti-communisms = anti-New Dealism • What Was The New Deal • 1929, stock market crash, America is in the Great Depression by 1933 100,000 businesses have
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