?The McCarthy HearingsSenator Joseph McCarthy instilled fear into the minds of the Americans with his anti-Communist thinking, with his ideals. Senator McCarthy, during 1950-1954, disrupted the UnitedStates with the HUAC ( House of Un-American Activity Committee) Hearings. These hearingsbrought government workers, college professors, playwrights and Hollywood screen writers,actors, artists, musicians, gays, Jews and anyone with a goatee under suspicion.
Joseph McCarthy was an unknown senator from Wisconsin, who wanted to be in thespotlight. During a speech in West Virginia, Senator McCarthy accused the State Department ofbeing full of Communists.
The media immediately centered on McCarthy and his accusations. ASenate committee was immediately appointed to look at these accusations. The United States wasalready in the middle of a Communist witch-hunt. It was believed that the recipe for the atomicbomb was stolen by an American communist. With the Communist take over in Russia with Stalinand in China with Mao Tse Tung, the United States was already on the road to beingconservative. The Republican Party had control of the Congress.
President Truman restarted theHUAC to stop the fears of the American people .
Investigations were started to look for Communist activities in organized labor, theFederal government, and especially Hollywood. Hollywood was hit the hardest with theaccusations of Communism. Many of the actors and writers either moved to Europe or Mexico toavoid being put jail. As a result of the accusations, a group of Hollywood liberals established theCommittee for the First Amendment. The CFA went to Washington to support theirHollywood but in the end denied all involvement with them because they felt they were beingused. Many people in Hollywood had lost their jobs because of the HUAC meetings. PresidentTruman at a Democratic meeting backed the Anti-Communist feelings to gain political andpopular support. It was very common for people to have to take an Anti-Communist oaths whenthey worked in the government. If they refused, they were fired.
McCarthyism left its mark on the United States government and its people. If the publiccould express their opinions about the government without their fears about being labeled aCommunist, an event such as the Vietnam War may have not taken place. The cultural andacademic life was also affected. T.V. shows were bland and non-threatening, as were movies. TheUnited States tried to isolate itself from Communism and liberal views. It was not until the 1960’swith the Civil Rights Movement and the full-blown Vietnam War, that the liberal ideas began tobe accepted.
McCarthyism and The Crucible have many similarities such as the need for attention.
Senator McCarthy was looking for attention and made accusations about the State Departmenthaving Communist-personnel. There was no proof of this and he never mentioned how manypeople were involved. He, however, got media-attention from the story. In The Crucible, thegirls lied about who they saw with the devil. By lying, they got the attention from Rev. Parris,Rev. Hale, and, especially, the townspeople.
People react to the fear of the unknown in strange ways. With the McCarthyism, the fearof Communism made people fearful of anyone with independent ideas, different thoughts, oranything out of the ordinary. In The Crucible, the fear of being accused of being a witch, madethe people in the story fear for their lives, fearful of what others think of them.
Throughout history, people have been fearful of being different and the punishment forbeing that way. In Nazi Germany, the Jews were afraid of being caught, because they were notconsidered part of the supreme race. Before the Civil Rights Movement, there was a fear byAfrican Americans of seeking their individual rights and freedoms. Since McCarthyism has diedand the country has advanced out of the dark ages. People have learned that they can expresstheir own beliefs with out fearing persecution.Words/ Pages : 730 / 24
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