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Transcript

Mc Carthyism

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After discovering American communists spying for Russia in American institutions, Harry Truman signs an executive order to screen federal employees to detect and remove communists by testing their loyalty. This marks the start of what is known as the Mc Carthyism era, a period of political repression and persecution of left-wing individuals under the excuse of national security.

Those suspected of being communists were brought to a government's court and questioned about their political views, accused of betrayal, and asked to incriminate friends & colleagues.

Refusing to cooperate was seen as an act of treason and individuals lost their jobs (blacklisted) or were imprisoned.

Criteria for detecting communists were amongst:

  • Modern Art
  • Multiracial social circle
  • Anti-nuclear weapons

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Following Truman's order, FBI director J.Edgar Hoover used his agency's resources to hunt down communists and remove them from positions of influence. The screening method developed started to spread to other public and private employers like Hollywood Studios, Universities, car manufacturers...

At the same time, congress subpoenaed hundreds to testify before the House Un-american Activities Committee to justify some actions labeled as "communistic".

Some charged with treason were sent to jail...

...while others were fired and blacklisted.

Ultimately destroying thousands of lives and careers.

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Joseph McCarthy (republican Wisconsin senator) came up with lists of communists working in the State Department by lying and fabricating evidence. With Richard Nixon, they criticized democrats for being too soft with communists.

While at first the public opinion was mixed, he was able to be vindicated with the start of the Korean War.

Some resistance was made, for example by the Supreme Court led by Earl Warren which opposed this discrimination on human rights grounds.

However, most republicans and democrats, while being aware of the exaggerated measures kept quiet, fearing for their careers.

McCarthyism Timeline

30s-40s

Communist Party

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30s-40s

Communist party


While the communist party in America was relatively small, it played a crucial role in civil rights & labor legislation. However, it was attacked by conservatives, business leaders and liberals for maintaining ties with the Soviet Union.

40s-50s

End 40s

Nationwide hunt

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End 40s

Nationwide hunt


Following Truman's executive order, other public institutions (FBI) and private businesses tested their employees to unearth potential communists.

1953

Downfall

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1953

Downfall


Once appointed chair of the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, his recklessness increased, for example by attempting to investigate the army. This combined with the Supreme Court's efforts and evidence arising against him led to the public turning against him and the Senate censuring him. He died 3 years later.

1947

Truman Order

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1947

Truman Order

The President of the United States signed an executive order to screen federal employees, to make sure no spies were working undercover in the government.

1950

Rise of McCarthy

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1950

Rise of McCarthy


Joseph McCarthy gave a public speech during which he presented a list of 205 potential communists working in the State Department. He will then continue to accuse many more public employees while maintaining public support because of the Korean war.

Modern McCarthyism

Cancel culture initially stems from a noble goal and objective: putting terms to racial discrimination. However, it has long surpassed this starting point and has started taking a more sinister approach.

In opposition to the First Amendment, Cancel culture and wokism are trying to suppress voices that go against one's feelings, ultimately enforcing uniformity of thought.

Nowadays, a simple wrongdoing in one's personal life can get them fired from their job, with companies weakly abiding to new "inclusive" standards.


An infamous example of cancel culture's extremes would be the faith of the stepmother of an Atlanta police officer who shot an Afro-American. She was fired from a job solely because of familial connection.

While racial injustice and inequality have to be fought, cancel culture is being used in order to complete some's political agenda, labeling anyone who disagrees "racists" and close-minded.

Connections with McCarthyism:

- Forcing people to confess or renounce what they said

- Controlling freedom of speech or freedom of thought

- Not accepting any founded opinion that goes against what one currently thinks.