The Hollywood Blacklist was a significant event in the Cold War; it affected Hollywood and the victims in many ways. The cold war was a dark time in Hollywood’s history. The growing paranoia of communism and the increasing power of Senator McCarthy resulted in the Hollywood Blacklist. The Hollywood Blacklist occurred when the House on Un-American Activities began targeting Hollywood screenwriters, actor, directors, and musicians suspected of involvement in the American Communist Party. These victims would be blacklisted, “barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy to the American Communist party.” (Wikipedia.org) These individuals would be questioned in court and if they refused to testify or give names of other alleged communist they would be further punished.
Thus, it was concluded that the First Red Scare was cultural in its origins. Attempting desperately to avoid communism takeover, Americans deported “radical aliens”, barred socialists from holding office, and passed laws that made it a crime to speak critically about the government. However, there is much evidence to believe that the First Red Scare, a cultural movement, was not only cultural in origin – but economically. In 1916, the United States government announced their plan to r... ... middle of paper ... ...ign, instigated by employers and their conservative allies in the employers’ associations, patriotic societies, state legislatures and the press. Their basic aim was to break the power of organized labor, institutionalize the open shop in the American industry and halt or even roll back the growing government regulation of the economy.
This directed to a litany of movies that assisted in sparking patriotism, that nevertheless they as well raised suspicion of communist activity in America. These anticommunist attitudes became unmanageable and ended up functioning against Hollywood for the period of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) trials against alleged communists in Hollywood. Whereas some communists were eradicated, many more lives were destroyed rooted in weak proof, unconfirmed alle... ... middle of paper ... ... equipped the Afghan guerrillas to battle the Soviet troops. This War was a prime factor in bankrupting the Soviet Union. In the ‘80s the US President, Ronald Reagan hailed the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" and foresaw that it would be consigned to the ash heap of history.
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.
The Cold War The conflict in ideologies between capitalism and communism resulted in one of the greatest conflicts of the twentieth century. The belief that freedom and democracy would die under communist rule caused the United States to start a conflict that would last for decades. The decisions made by the United States in W.W.II caused tensions to rise between the U. S. and the Soviet Union. Fear of Communism in capitalist nations, caused the United states government to use propaganda to raise Cold War anxieties. Furthermore, the American media influenced the attitudes of Americans, making a hatred of communism spread though the nation.
The rise of the Red Scare, McCarthy, and McCarthyism as a whole, was due to a combination of the secrecy of the Communist Party, the misinformation about the party spread by McCarthyism’s proponents, and the extremely aggressive tactics McCarthy himself adopted. Red Scare as a whole gained prominence because Communism was a secretive new movement that Americans knew little about, its associations with Stalinism, and the actual Russian spies in the country. The movement known as McCarthyism started as a response to the Red Scare soon after World War II and was an attempt by various government officials to find Communists in America and then get those Communists removed from the country by any means necessary. The government’s problem was that their overzealousness often led to subversion of the law and American Constitution, mistaken accusations, and false convictions of people who were not Communists. McCarthy himself contributed by fundamentally changing the tactics of the movement to be much more vigorous and allowing other people who shared his extremist beliefs to take positions within the movement.
The majority of the escalation of the Cold War can be seen as a direct effect of the actions of the United States political parties feuding, feeding off public fears, and dealing with the reality of another atomic-equipped superpower, opposed to capitalist and democratic ideals trying to gain power, prestige, and ideological legitimacy in the world. Immediately following the culmination of WWI, stories and fears of the Bolshevik Revolution led to radical demonstrations and labor moveme... ... middle of paper ... ...recker, 47) Due to the acts of the American Government, dwindling support due to the Korean War, the revelation of Stalin’s genocidal actions, and the Smith Act trials of 1948 and their aftermath, the American Communist Party was effectively incapacitated. Just like the American public paranoia, the Communist Party leadership purged unreliable members, stopped its recruitment programs, restructured the organization of the Party, and was ultimately forced to go underground, which only hurt what was left of it. (Schrecker, 57). Anticommunism, domestically, was a facade which Republicans and Democrats operated under to diminish the support and image of one another, during a fragile and tumultuous time in history, socially, culturally, and politically.
They differed from the "typical American" in language, customs, and religion. Many individuals and industries alike played upon America's fears of immigration to further their own goals. Leuchtenburg follows this common theme from the beginning of World War I up untill the election of 1928. If there was one man who singlely used America's fear of immigrants to advance his own political goals it was Attorney General Palmer. The rise of Communism in Russia created a fear of its spread across Europe, and to America.
The Hollywood blacklist caused the Hollywood industry a lot of harm in its business and reputation. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was created in 1938. They were focused on investigating and putting an end to Communists and Communist supporters in the American Society. Their first major attack was on the Hollywood film industry. Communists in the Hollywood industry were said to be placing subversive messages into films.
Anything that was the slightest bit left or radical or even new could be seen as communistic. The US was fighting the war on someone else’s territory over seas, and did not want the communists to spread to America. McCarthyism was invented at the peak of hysteria and accepted as the only possible way to prevent communism in America for many years. The Cold War had created a fear that democracy was in danger, that the American people must take drastic measures to ensure their on-going way of life The Alien Registration Act had been introduced into the United States and everyone who had the slightest chance of being linked to communist sympathies was required to register, or face being ‘Blacklisted’. it was very important if you were asked the question “do you support communism?” back then, as it could affect your future, career and personal lifestyle.