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111/20/08History 151McCarthyismWhen World War I ended in 1919, Russia was left amidst in their own civil war. The Bolshevik Party came to power in Russia, and a communist state took over, and the Red Scare began. The fear of communism spread into America, with the aide of various bombings, and bomb threats from anarchists, socialists, and communists. Eventually the scare faded away, and off of people’s minds. When World War II broke out, the Soviet Union became an ally of the United States, and the two nations were united for a common goal of ending the war. Tensions between the President of the United States, Harry Truman and the leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin were rising, and a fear of communism spread throughout the United States again. Soon a cold war broke out, and although there was no actual fighting, the American people feared a nuclear attack from the Soviets. Taking advantage of this fear was Senator Joseph McCarthy, a Republican from Wisconsin. Senator Joseph McCarthy took attacking communism to a new level using unfair allegations and investigative techniques to discriminate against communism.Joseph McCarthy was elected to the United States Senate In 1946. McCarthy first had to defeat the son of “Fighting Bob” La Follette, who had served as a senator for 21 years. He narrowly defeated fellow republican Robert M. La Follette Jr., by running an energetic campaign, and telling crowds La Follette had not enlisted in the army, in the2
nation’s time of need. After defeating La Follette, McCarthy went on to easily defeat the democratic nominee, Howard McMurry. A rumor that communist had infiltrated the United State government had many Americans scared. On February 9, 1950, McCarthy addressed a women’s group in Wheeling, West Virginia for a Lincoln Day speech.He told the crowd, “I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy…” (Corbett pg. 170). The number of cases which McCarthy gave is debated to be either 205 or 57. McCarthy found these cases from the Us Secretary of State Dean Acheson, who claimed to know communists working in the state department. McCarthy was already using false accusations, almost for his own benefit. McCarthy warned the crowd