The American Anti Communist Crusade Essay

The American Anti Communist Crusade Essay

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The American anti-communist crusade, which followed the end of World War II, reignited a culture of suspicion and fear of communist ideology throughout US society. It began as a consequence of tensions that arose following the expansion of the Soviet state in the post-war world. It drew to an end in December 1954 as the head of the crusade, Senator Joseph McCarthy, was increasingly portrayed as a hysterical bully and therefore lost credibility. The US and USSR were diametrically opposed in relation to the political structure and underpinning values of each society. For America, the Soviet State threatened everything it represented; freedom of speech, religious freedoms and a democratically elected government. The perceived external threat was complete Soviet expansion as China had already fallen into under a communist regime in 1949 and North Korea had become a warzone in an attempt to spread communism into South Korea as well . Given the significant external threat to the US from the Soviet State, America also focused on the internal communist threat presented by the American Communist Party and its sympathisers which created varying levels of hysteria throughout society as it caused a sense of distrust around who was going to threaten core American values. This Red Scare brought with it the revival of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) to carry out the country’s communist purge. There is controversy as to whether this anti-communist crusade was a justified reaction to the threat that was facing America. In this essay I will argue that it was not justified as even though the external threat that United States was experiencing was very real, the crusade was an over-reaction to the extent of the internal threat...


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Overall, it is fair to assume that although the Communist party posed a threat to American society, the anti-communist witch hunts went much further and accused innocent Americans that did not provoke the oppression that was thrust upon them. The demonisation of Communism allowed Americans to blindly follow the hysteria created by anti-communists without questioning whether their actions were reasonable. To conclude, the American anti-communist crusade was not a justified reaction to the threat faced by the United States as the American communist threat was blown completely out of proportion and affected too many innocent people. Even though the communist threat may have been real, it was not justifiable to start a public hysteria-induced crusade against supposed un-American ideologies that prevented innocent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.

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