The McCarthyism - Gaétan Brossard
Created on March 4, 2022
A very interesting genially about :
That page is the index of the whole genially, you can choose which part you want to see!
We'll first see who is Mr. McCarthy.
Then we'll see the context of the Cold War.
And finally, we'll see an exemple of a modern which hunt.
We'll see what were the consequences of the McCarthyism.
(You just have to click on the number to go to the page! Or you can simply follow the order, by clicking on the arrow on the right!)
Who's Joseph McCarthy ?
Plot twist : he was an politician.
He was born on the 14th of november 1908 in the state of Winconsin, and died on the 2nd of may 1957 because of hepatitis.
He is not really famous for anything else than the McCarthyist period he started in the 50's.
But, if he was kind of unknown until that, he was really hated at the end of that time. But we'll see why a little bit later, don't worry!
He was a senator!
He started his career in the Democratic Party, but after a while he joined the Republican one. He was elected as a senator on the 5th of november 1946, and his career ended on the 2nd of may 1957. He was opposed to the communism, and it really showed around the 50's, as we'll see. Nevertheless, he started to get more attention and power around that period, which might explain why he did what he did.
The Cold War.
THe McCarthyism took place in the context of the Cold War, so it's important to understand what it was.
The Cold War was an ideological conflict.
It was opposing the USA, and their capitalist idea of the world, to the USSR, which was trying to impose a communist vision. There has been no open conflit between the two countries, but they did take part in some other wars, as in Corea, or in Vietnam, where each part did help a different side. For exemple, the USSR was helping the north, while the USA were helping the South of Corea. So they were confronting via economic desicions, or by side conflicts.
And, because the USSR did represent the communism, the American started developing a fear about it.
The senator McCarthy was one of the most anti-communist member of the senate. He got famous after a dicours in which he explained that every american citizen who was a communist should be emprissoned. After that, he started a kind of "Whitch Hunt", and tracked down every person who could be considered as communist (it includes people being against the war, against the nuclear bomb, or anyone that might have been denounced by anyone).
Moreover, a small group of communists, called the "American Communist Party", was spotted, and was accused of spying on the American governement to help the USSR.
And discovering this legitimated the actions of McCarthy, even though they were kind of non-democratic.
The consequences of the McCarthyism.
The McCarthyism created a state of constant fear for the Americans.
They were scared to get denounced by their neighbours, or anyone. Because, that anti-communist policy ruined many lives. Many people were considered communist and were asked to give the authorities the names of others communists, but since many of them were actually not member of communist groups, they couldnt't give names! And when they did not, they were put on a blacklist, and often lost their jobs, and were excluded from the social life because everyone was scared to associate with them in public.
A famous example of this problem comes with the "Hollywood Ten".
They were a list of ten person working in the cinema industry in the 50's, and they were all put on a blacklist because they were accused of being communists. They were brought in front of the HUAC (the House of Unamerican Activities Comittee) to talk about their activities as comunists, and to give the names of their colleagues ; but the majority of them refused to speak, and saw their carrer get ruined.
All that climate of fear was really damaging for the American Democraty.
We could even say, that McCarthy caused more problems to the coutry in a few years than what the American Communist Party would have ever done ; because peolple did stop to trust the governement, while it is a really important part of the mechanism that makes the democracy work.
So today, almost everyone agree that McCarthyism was a mistake, and that they should never let this kind of things happen again.
A modern witch hunt.
Since humanity never learn from its mistakes.
In the modern time, with the empowerment of conservative and populist parties everywhere in the world, more and more "Witch Hunt" are getting started in order to make the citizens together against a same "enemy", which always end up being a social minority.
In the eastern Europe, we can see that in Hungary, the government is tracking down the members of the LGBT comunity, try to demonize them, and to erase them from the cultural landscape.
A very interesting genially about :