Tda 3.2.1 Case Study

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CWA 3.2.1 – Containing Subversives Overview The federal government believed that an important way to influence public opinion away from Communism was for the American media to always provide a clear proAmerican message. The Smith Act of 1940 made it a criminal offense to promote in any way the act of overthrowing the United States government – which eventually included supporting Communism. As a result, the House Committee on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) had legislative grounds to prosecute people whose purpose seemed to be to advance Communism in the United States. The Hollywood trials are a famous example of HUAC’s anti-Communism investigations. In 1947 HUAC held hearings to investigate whether Communists were creating films with…show more content…
HUAC also interviewed workers in the film industry who were believed to be associated with the American Communist Party – either currently or in the past. The “Hollywood Ten” (the ten Hollywood employees who refused to answer certain questions in front of HUAC) were “blacklisted” – put on a “do not hire” list and sent to jail to serve one-year sentences. These were only ten of hundreds of people barred from the industry throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. HUAC succeeded in creating a culture in which the film industry was afraid to produce any works that appeared to be anything but 100% American. This Hollywood “witch-hunt” was in keeping with the larger Second Red Scare (the first scare came with the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917). This scare allowed for the success of Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy who, hoping to secure re-election in 1950 despite an undistinguished record, latched on to the idea to accuse the federal government of employing numerous Communists. He lied about the numbers, trying to create a sensation, and it worked. For several years McCarthy held popular support, and helped spread paranoia among citizens that Communists could be operating anywhere to spread their influence over American culture and politics. Page 9 Cold War America Lesson #3: Anti-Communism at Home…show more content…
There was a narrow definition of acceptable political and social beliefs and behavior during the Second Red Scare of the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. Those whose actions were labeled outside these bounds were often afraid to express themselves for fear of retaliation. Page 10 Cold War America Lesson #3: Anti-Communism at Home Copyright © 2013, The Regents of the University of California, All Rights Reserved CWA 3.2.2 – Containing Subversives (Rosenberg Mug Shots) Ethel Rosenberg Arrest Photograph, August 8, 1950. From U.S. vs. Julius & Ethel Rosenberg and Martin Sobell, Government Exhibit 13, Photographs and mug shots of Ruth and David Greenglass, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Department of Justice, Office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, ARC Identifier # 596909. Page 11 Cold War America Lesson #3: Anti-Communism at Home Copyright © 2013, The Regents of the University of California, All Rights
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