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Crucible Webquest - Group 4

McCarthyism
By: Hina C, Madison C, and Kai K
What is McCarthyism?

McCarthyism was a campaign that tried


to expose alleged communists/spies in the
US government. Many of the accused lost
their jobs, went to jail, and were even
blacklisted. It ended with him being
exposed for false accusation when he tried
to accuse people in the Military.
Who was the target of this movement?

● Mccarthyism targeted alleged


Communists and spies for the
Soviet Union.
● He targeted many people in the
US government and alleging
many Communists and spies
came into the united states and
could be anywhere. He then
alleged a ton of people from
Universities, people in the film
industry, and even in private
companies of being spies.
Who was Joseph McCarthy?

Joseph McCarthy was a


American Politician who
served as a US Senator for
the state of Wisconsin. He
served from 1947 until his
death in 1957 due to either
Hepatitis or Alcoholism.
Primary Source: A telegram sent to President Harry S.
Truman
Why do you think McCarthy began persecuting Communists?

I think that McCarthy began persecuting


Communists out want for political power.
After discovering that there were workers
of the government that were Communist
as well as spies, he realized that by
creating a crusade against them he
could gain power in the U.S government.
Why were Americans afraid of Communists?

Americans were afraid of Communists because


during the Cold War, our enemy was the Soviet
Union, which was Communist. Americans were also
afraid of Communism because they thought it might
spread to America and interfere with the democratic
form of government. I found this a bit surprising
because I had always thought that Americans were
very secure in their beliefs of democracy and
wouldn’t be swayed easily.
What eventually became of Joseph McCarthy?

Eventually, in 1954, the


senate voted that he should
be censured. He fell out of
popularity after, and
developed a drinking habit.
He died in Maryland on
May, 2, 1967 at the age of
48. Why did he have to go
so extreme?
Primary Source: Censorship of McCarthy
(There was a transcript I
read)
How was the persecution of McCarthyism carried out?

They often started out as a suspicion


from one person who would then report
that to an official then it would turn into a
prosecution. The way in which people
were prosecuted was not fair and often
lacked proof or solid evidence. The term
McCarthyism itself can mean blaming
someone for things they did not do, so
this is pretty clear.
By: Madison

What happened to people who were Blacklisted by the


HUAC?
The people who were blacklisted by the *HUAC were often jobless and
often left careerless. When before a committee, many people would refuse to
answer any questions the committee asked, and the people being questioned
would not call out names of people either. In many cases, people being
questioned exercised their right to plead to the fifth amendment (the right to
remain silent), in this case, the committee would assume that you were guilty
of the crime. Those Blacklisted were often kicked out of their own career
industry.
*The HUAC stands for The House Un-American Activities Committee
(which was renamed the Committee on Internal Security in 1969 and ended in
1975) was a committee that belonged to the House of Representatives. The
HUAC investigated the infamous communist allegations during the first few
years of the Cold War.
By: Madison

What options did people have when called before the HUAC
?
Usually the people appearing before the HUAC would get their political
beliefs/activities questioned, over and over, time after time. Then after the
interogating process, the person being interviewed would then be asked to
surrender names of those who he/she believed was suspicious or was taking part
in communist activities. Those whose names were given to the HUAC would
receive a subpoena (a request to come before a court).

❖ People could plead to the 5th amendment


❖ People who refused to give information to the HUAC were blacklisted
❖ People who refused to give names could also have the chance of
imprisonment
❖ “Critics claimed that HUAC’s tactics amounted to a witch hunt that trampled
By: Madison

What were the consequences of each course of action?

❖ Those who pleaded to the 5th were accused of being being guilty of
communist beliefs and activities.
❖ Those who also pleaded to the 5th had the chance of being blacklisted
because they refused to give any information regarding the topic.
❖ Imprisonment was a big factor of not giving information to the HUAC
❖ Your reputation was shattered if you were to become blacklisted
❖ No employer wants to hire a blacklisted person

To relate McCarthyism to The Crucible, being blacklisted was like being hanged, it
was threatening to citizens and often forced people to call out others for the sake
of saving their own life. Many innocent people were blacklisted, just like many
innocent accused witches were hanged.
***SOMETHING THAT SURPRISED ME***
Sources

● Primary Source: “Telegram from Senator Joseph McCarthy to President Harry S.


Truman.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and
Records Administration, <www.archives.gov/education/lessons/mccarthy-telegram>.
Accessed 6 March, 2018
● History.com Staff. “HUAC.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009,
<www.history.com/topics/cold-war/huac>.Accessed 6 March, 2018.
● Communism. www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Communism.
Thank You

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