McCarthyism: The Manipulation of Fear in America During the Red Scare

608 Words3 Pages
McCarthyism: The Manipulation of Fear in America During the Red Scare

Is war the greatest weapon that political leaders can use? The answer is no because the manipulation of the minds of citizens can be used to enforce almost any demand imaginable. During the Red Scare, Senator Joseph McCarthy used this tactic to exploit the fear of Communists in ordinary United States citizens. The Red Scare was the most influential event on America in the 20th century because it made the U.S. biased against different forms of political ideology, created a judgmental society that had too large of an ego, and paved the way for America to take part in unnecessary foreign affairs.

Joseph McCarthy’s negative influence first manifested itself through his ambition to gain political power. He used his senatorial position to litigate persons who were thought to be part of the Communist Party. Examples this would be the targeting of the Hollywood Ten. These were citizens in the film industry who were cited for contempt of Congress after refusing to answer the questions of McCarthy. The author of The Crucible, Arthur Miller, was even cited for contempt of Congress when he refused to identify writers that attended communist meetings. He went on to explain how the House Un-American Activities Committee, or HUAC, was deceitfully informing citizens that the Soviet way of controlling culture could be successfully exported to America. According to professor and historian Regin Schmidt, when McCarthyism was at its height, only 1% of the public was worried about the internal threat of Communism. This fact shows how manipulative and cynical the government was when fueling the fire of the anti-communist movement.

In a like manner to the subjection of ...

... middle of paper ...

...und the globe. Given these points, one can easily argue that the Red Scare was the most influential event during the 20th century.

Works Cited

"Arthur Miller Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

"Arthur Miller McCarthyism." PBS. PBS, 23 Aug. 2006. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.

Heale, Michael J. McCarthy's Americans: red scare politics in state and nation,

1935-1965. University of Georgia Press, 1998. Google Scholar. Web. 26 Feb. 2014

Miller, Arthur. "Are you now or were you ever." The Guardian/Observer (2000). Google

Scholar. Web. 26 Feb. 2014

Murray, Robert K. Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920. U of Minnesota Press,

1955. Google Scholar. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

Schmidt, Regin. Red scare: FBI and the origins of anticommunism in the United States,

1919-1943. Museum Tusculanum Press, 2000. Google Scholar. Web. 26 Feb. 2014

More about McCarthyism: The Manipulation of Fear in America During the Red Scare

Open Document