The Chambers – Hiss Case (1948 – 1950) Whittaker Chambers – admitted former spy for Communists appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee accused Alger Hiss of being a communist spy. Alger Hiss – New Dealer and former State Department official; adviser to FDR at Yalta. He denied passing documents – sued Chambers for libel and lost – its convicted of perjury (not espionage) and served 5 years in prison. D. Rise of McCarthyism Senator Joseph McCarthy- Obscure first-term Republican Senator from Wisconsin. He sought issue to capture attention and insure re-election. Feb. 9, 1950 – speech in
Wheeling, West Virginia – referred to his possession of a “list of Communists in the State Department.” He skillfully exploited the climate of fear. He used the Big Lie Technique, 1950 – 1954. Made charges so extravagant that there had to be some truth in them. “State Department is full of Communists” “Politicians are soft on Communists” “Army contained many subversives” He provided no evidence; used circumstantial approach of guilt- by association. He ruined many lives and careers. He achieved enormous popularity – cowed much of the media. He silenced most politicians. The morale of the State Department is shattered. A climate of suspicion is created. Many careers are ruined. Secretary of State Dean Acheson is accused of being soft on Communism and blamed for the loss of China. 5. Korea A. Situation After World War II. Former Japanese colony is divided at the 38 th parallel. Russian troops organized north of the border and American troops organized south of the border. Unification became a victim of the Cold War. North – Korean Democratic Peoples Republic. South – Republic of Korea under presidency of Singman Rhee. B. War Broke out in June 1950. C. U.S. Reaction Truman determined to protect South Korea. Army and Air Force are ordered to battle. Took the issue to the United Nations Security Council gave UN support to U.S. action Russia’s veto not cast – Soviet delegate boycotting council over another issue. General MacArthur took command of UN forces. Over 90% and of men and materials were American. Quickly began operations. Strengthened McCarthyism. D. The Fighting MacArthur stabilized the southern perimeter. Inchon landing – imaginative strike far behind enemy lines – turned the tide of battle.
By October, MacArthur drove across the 38 th parallel Truman decided to push north 0 China’s border lay ahead. Drive to the Yalu River – State Department is sure that China would not enter the war. MacArthur promised to have the troops “home by Christmas” November 26, 1950 – China entered the war. Massive attacks by “volunteers” MacArthur retreated down the peninsula – able to stabilize around the 38 th parallel.
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