The First Amendment Encyclopedia
May 15, · For many Americans, the most enduring symbol of this “Red Scare” was Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin. Senator McCarthy spent almost five years trying in vain to expose communists. Joseph McCarthy, in full Joseph Raymond McCarthy, (born November 14, , near Appleton, Wisconsin, U.S.—died May 2, , Bethesda, Maryland), American politician who served in the U.S. Senate (–57), representing Wisconsin, and who lent his name to the term McCarthyism. He dominated the U.S. political climate in the early s through his sensational but unproven charges .
McCarthyismname given to the period of time in American history that saw U. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin produce a series of investigations and hearings during the s in an effort to expose supposed communist infiltration of various areas of the U.
The term has since become a byname for defamation of character or reputation by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations, especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges. McCarthyism is part of the Red Scare period of American history in the late s and s.
During that time, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy produced a series of investigations and hearings to expose supposed communist infiltration of various areas of the U. The mcccarthyism McCarthyism has since become a byname for defamation of character or reputation by indiscriminate allegations on the basis of unsubstantiated charges.
The idea that it was necessary to guard against people seeking to overthrow the U. InJoseph McCarthy, who had been elected to the U. Senate inmade a speech in WheelingWest Virginiain which he stated that the U. The accusations triggered investigations and kept McCarthy and his search for communist subversion within the U.
Have you left no sense of decency? The public turned against McCarthy, and the Senate censured him. Nonetheless, his accusations resulted in some wo losing their jobs and others facing popular condemnation. The persecution of innocent persons on the charge of being communist and the forced conformity that the practice engendered in public life came iz be called McCarthyism. McCarthy was elected to the Senate in and rose to prominence in when he claimed in a speech in WheelingWest Virginiathat 57 communists had infiltrated the State Departmentadding:.
One thing to who is joseph mccarthy and what is mccarthyism in discussing the Communists in our government is that we are not dealing with spies who get thirty pieces of silver to steal the blueprints of a new weapon. We are dealing with a far more sinister type of activity because it permits the enemy to guide and mccwrthy our policy. For the next two years he was constantly in the spotlight, investigating various government departments and questioning innumerable witnesses about their suspected communist affiliations.
Although he failed to make a plausible case against anyone, his colourful and cleverly presented accusations drove some persons out of their jobs and brought popular condemnation to others. Moreover, McCarthy was also eventually undermined significantly by the incisive and skillful how to see 3d without glasses of a journalist, Edward R.
McCarthy was wgo for his conduct by the Senate, and in he died. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.
Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have how to take care of colored natural hair questions. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login. External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Paul J. See Article History. Joseph McCarthy covering microphones during an investigation into communist infiltration of the government.
Top Questions. Joseph McCarthy. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. McCarthy offered no evidence to support his charges and revealed only a single name, that of Owen Lattimore, who was not in the….
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The Cold War: From the Truman Doctrine to the Berlin Airlift
McCarthyism, name given to the period of time in American history that saw U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin produce a series of investigations and hearings during the s in an effort to expose supposed communist infiltration of various areas of the U.S. government. The term has since become a byname for defamation of character or reputation by means of widely . Joseph McCarthy was born on November 14, , near Appleton, Wisconsin. In he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and in he publicly charged that communists had infiltrated the U.S. McCarthyism was a term coined to describe activities associated with Republican senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin. He served in the Senate from to McCarthyism described the practice of publicly accusing government employees of disloyalty.
During the late s and early s, the prospect of communist subversion at home and abroad seemed frighteningly real to many people in the United States.
McCarthy of Wisconsin. In the hyper-suspicious atmosphere of the Cold War, insinuations of disloyalty were enough to convince many Americans that their government was packed with traitors and spies.
It was not until he attacked the Army in that his actions earned him the censure of the U. In August , for instance, the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb.
All of these factors combined to create an atmosphere of fear and dread, which proved a ripe environment for the rise of a staunch anticommunist like Joseph McCarthy. The next month, a Senate subcommittee launched an investigation and found no proof of any subversive activity.
Still, the senator continued his so-called Red-baiting campaign. In , at the beginning of his second term as senator, McCarthy was put in charge of the Committee on Government Operations, which allowed him to launch even more expansive investigations of the alleged communist infiltration of the federal government. In hearing after hearing, he aggressively interrogated witnesses in what many came to perceive as a blatant violation of their civil rights.
Almost at once, the aura of invulnerability that had surrounded McCarthy for nearly five years began to disappear. The American people watched as McCarthy intimidated witnesses and offered evasive responses when questioned. By the time the hearings were over, McCarthy had lost most of his allies.
But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Already infamous for his aggressive interrogations of suspected Communists, Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy earned more notoriety via these televised Congressional hearings. McCarthy had turned his investigations to army security, but the army in turn Under Stalin, the Soviet Union was transformed from a peasant society into an industrial and military superpower.
However, he ruled by terror, and millions of his own In , the year Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, he named Joseph Goebbels , his trusted friend and colleague, to the key post of minister for public enlightenment and propaganda.
In this capacity, Goebbels was charged with presenting Hitler to The Red Scare was hysteria over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the U. Joseph Hooker was a career U.
Hooker entered the Civil War in as a brigadier general and gained a reputation as a reliable combat Joffree rose to general of division in and then chief of the French general In the summer of , Joseph Plumb Martin enlisted in the Connecticut state militia at the tender age of 15; he later joined the Continental Army of General George Washington and served nearly seven years on behalf of the Revolutionary cause.
In , the year-old Martin House of Representatives, investigated allegations of communist activity in the U. Established in , the committee wielded its subpoena power as a House of Representatives, during its probe of alleged communist influence in the Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault. Army-McCarthy Hearings. Joseph Goebbels In , the year Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, he named Joseph Goebbels , his trusted friend and colleague, to the key post of minister for public enlightenment and propaganda.
Joseph Hooker Joseph Hooker was a career U. Joseph Plumb Martin In the summer of , Joseph Plumb Martin enlisted in the Connecticut state militia at the tender age of 15; he later joined the Continental Army of General George Washington and served nearly seven years on behalf of the Revolutionary cause.