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Senator Joseph McCarthy

Senator Joseph McCarthy - 1952 As chair of the Government...

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Senator Joseph McCarthy.  The politician whose name became synonymous with the anticommunist crusade of the  early 1950s was Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. He seized upon  communists in the government as the issue that would get him elected to a second term  in 1952. In a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, in February 1950, McCarthy claimed to  have the names of 205 Communists working in the State Department. Despite the fact  that he often changed the number of communists, never identified a single communist in  the State Department, and had no evidence to back up the charges, his popularity grew.  The start of the Korean War and the arrest and trial of the Rosenbergs played into  McCarthy's hands. The fact that all of his targets were Democrats made him acceptable  to the Republican leadership.  McCarthy became more powerful when the Republicans gained control of Congress in 
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Unformatted text preview: 1952. As chair of the Government Operations Committee, he used its Permanent Investigations Subcommittee as a base for his ongoing search for subversives. McCarthy, who had questioned the loyalty of Secretary of Defense George Marshall and Secretary of State Dean Acheson, overstepped his bounds when he took on the U.S. Army after his former assistant, G. David Shine was drafted. The Army-McCarthy hearings were televised nationally between April and June 1954 and did more than anything else to erode his public support. The absurdity of the charge that the Army was “soft” on communism aside, McCarthy came across as a bully and a demagogue. He was censured by the Senate in December 1954 and died a broken man three years later....
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