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Specter of Communism

Specter of Communism - The Specter of Communism By Zach...

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The Specter of Communism By: Zach Armijo HIST 1025-040 3-15-08
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During the Cold War era, the possibility of war was very real and scary, but the threat was greatly exaggerated within the United States. Leffler concluded that, although the threats were exaggerated, they were also very understandable at the time. The extent to which the threat was exaggerated was at the fault of Americans themselves. Many saw anti-communism as a source of power to exploit the fears of many Americans and gain support for the push of personal agendas or political gain. There were many causes of tension between the United States and Russia that could have sparked a war, but it was the constant projection of fear that both nations placed on each other that kept the world in a continuous state of panic. Just as the communist rhetoric resonated with the poor of Russia, the anti-Communist rhetoric appealed to the fearful in the United States. Although the Russians imposed a danger to the United States and the rest of the world, the threat was made drastically worse within the United States by its own citizens. America was held in a constant web of fear of the possible domino effect Communism had on the rest of the world. After seeing the events in Czechoslovakia where the Communists took control of the government amidst a parliamentary crisis, and an assassination of an opposition leader in Bulgaria, it was easy to see why so many were afraid of the possibility of future events like the ones in Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. 1 Many within the United States saw these chain of events as points of exploit on the American people. Many took solace in the ideas of anti-Communism for it helped people make sense of a world and time in which they knew little about. Most famous of those that capitalized on the fear of many were none other than America’s very own 1 1 Melvyn P. Leffler, The Specter of Communism (New York: Hill and Wang, 1994), p. 76.
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President Truman, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, and Los Angeles Preacher Billy Graham.
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