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The Cold War at Home


1947-1955 The Cold War at Home Essential Questions Ch 18 Sec 3 What did the US Government do to investigate the loyalty of US citizens? What areas of society were ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Cold War at Home

The Cold War at Home
  • 1947-1955

Essential Questions Ch 18 Sec 3
  • What did the US Government do to investigate the
    loyalty of US citizens? What areas of society
    were targeted?
  • What happened during the Spy Cases and how did
    they reflect the paranoia of the Red Scare?
  • What was McCarthyism and why was it
    controversial? What led to McCarthys downfall?
  • What other anti- Communist measures were enacted
    during the early 1950s?

Fears of Communist Influence
  • The Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, the fall
    of Red China led many Americans to believe that
    Communism was spreading around the world in the
    late 1940s early 1950s
  • FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover estimated that there
    were 100,000 Americans in the Communist Party
  • Some feared that Communist had infiltrated the
    highest levels of US Government

The US Government Acts
  • The National Security Act of 1947- Established
    the Department of Defense, the National Security
    Administration (NSA) and the CIA
  • Accused of being soft on Communist President
    Truman set up the Federal Employee Loyalty
  • It was to investigate government employees
  • From 1947-1951 3.2 million were investigated, 212
    were fired and 2,900 resigned
  • State and municipal programs were enacted as well
    (6.6 million investigated)
  • US Attorney General drew up a list of 91
    subversive groups

The House Un-American Activities Committee
  • The HUAC was a Congressional Committee that was
    to investigate Communist activity
  • In 1947 it targeted the movie industry
  • 43 friendly witnesses from Hollywood were
    subpoenaed ( Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper and
    Barbara Stanwyck)
  • Some unfriendly witnesses were Orsen Wells, and
    Charlie Chaplin
  • Even Humphrey Bogart and Lucile
  • Ball received bad publicity

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The Hollywood Ten
  • Ten Unfriendly witnesses refused to testify,
    they thought the hearings were unconstitutional,
    they were sentenced to prison by the committee
    (Hollywood Ten)
  • Hollywood executives instituted a blacklist
  • 500 actors, writers,
  • producers and directors
  • had their careers ruined
  • The blacklist remained in
  • effect until 1960

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The McCarran Act
  • To be even tougher on Communist Congress passed
    the McCarran Act
  • Communist organizations must register with the US
  • Illegal to plan a totalitarian dictatorship in
    the US
  • Communists could be interned during national
  • No Communists in Defense Industries
  • Barred Communist Immigrants to the US
  • Communists could be deported

Spy Cases Stun the Nation
  • In 1948 a former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers
    (Time Magazine Editor) named former State
    Department Official Alger Hiss of Spying for the

The Hiss Case
  • Chambers produced micro-film and documents
    allegedly passed to him from Hiss The Pumpkin
    Papers Hiss denied the charges
  • Congressman Nixon pursued the charges which
    increased his popularity
  • The statue of limitations had ran out on the
    espionage charge so Hiss was convicted of perjury
    and sentenced to 5 years in prison, he served 2
    years still claiming his innocence

The Rosenbergs
  • In 1950 Physicist Klaus Fuchs admitted to giving
    the USSR atomic bomb information
  • Two minor activist in the American Communist
    party were implicated in the spy ring, Julius and
    Ethel Rosenberg
  • Ethels brother David Greenglass worked at Los
  • The Rosenbergs claimed they were being Jewish and
    holding radical beliefs
  • They were found guilty of espionage and sentenced
    to death
  • They were electrocuted on June 19th , 1953

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McCarthys Witchhunt
  • Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin first gained
    prominence by giving a speech in WV in which he
    claimed he had a list of 200 Card-carrying
    communist in the State Department

  • With the help of his staff assistant and lawyer
    Roy Cohn McCarthy accused many people of
    disloyality (Sec of State Dean Acheson and
    General George C. Marshall)
  • He accused people without providing evidence, his
    lists and sources were never revealed
  • He targeted not only his egg-sucking phony
    liberals but Blacks (Paul Robeson), Jews,
    Foreign Born and Homosexuals
  • McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover attacked perverted
    or abnormal orientations

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McCarthys Downfall
  • In 1954 McCarthy made accusations against the US
  • During April-June 1954 the Army McCarthy
    Hearings allowed 20 million American to witness
    his bullying and recklessness
  • Army Attorney Joseph B. Welch shot back
  • In December 1954 McCarthy was censured for
    conduct unbecoming a member of the US Senate
    His support was gone
  • In 1957 McCarthy died from alcoholism a broken

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Damage and other Anti- Communist Measures
  • Because of McCarthy many repressive federal and
    state laws remained in effect
  • Basic freedoms such as freedom of speech and
    assembly were eroded
  • Dissent had become dangerous
  • The US Government investigated union leaders,
    librarians, teachers, reporters, entertainers,
    and scientists