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HIST 405 Week 7 Assignment: Case Study
McCarthyism and Anti-Communist Campaigns
The speech given by Senator Joseph McCarthy entitled Enemies from Within is rhetoric which probes on the presence of an external enemy who managed to penetrate the state ranks and stirred up policies that undermine the stable socioeconomic and political status of the United States of America down on the brink in the presence of an emerging tension veiled in the guise of a Cold War. The message relayed was not only to reveal a presence of high disloyalty among the citizens but to build up distrust in the presence of unknown infiltrators that widened the scope of conflict not outside the state territories but within the very institutions of the government that lay down its core.
McCarthy’s Communism: Threats and Definition
McCarthy lined communism as a religion that defied the existence of God, an atheist, much like the nations that preach its extreme ideology and blindly follow its principle. His speech invoked that the threat posed by the presence of Communist countries is because they dominate and take control of everything in terms of resources which gravely violates the freedom of every individual as to the options they have and would choose for themselves. Communism to his concept is an ideology that strips a human person of his free will up to the extent of manipulating even human emotions and reason all for the benefit of the selfish interests of a false notion of a communistic state. He further expounds that Communism would initiate the great divide between mankind to the point that is beyond repair and incur unimaginable damages never before done by any economic or political system ever introduced to humanity.
The impending danger brought by the multiplying number and population of the Communist States posed a terrifying threat to the democratic ideals of America and its capitalistic system of economy. McCarthy fully called this Communist challenge as immoral which needs to be responded with a moral uprising. This claim had been supported by a series of events that manifested a gradual shift from the period of peace to the preparation of war as initiated in the shadows by the Communist Nations (MCCarthy,1950).
McCarthy’s Charges and Validity
The speculated fast-paced expansion and growth on the nuclear arms production of Communist Nations has led McCarthy to sound the alarm of an impending danger that Christian countries could face if not given immediate attention by the concerned people in authority. The senator has cited the gradual influence of the communist ideology to several strategic places in the world namely Formosa and the continent of Europe. He further cited the verbal warnings made by Communist Leaders such as Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. Knowing that Russia is unyielding in its mission of spreading Communism worldwide is already a high danger considering that these nations are capable of going against the United States in all aspects.
He emphasized that this situation has triggered an alarming scenario that must be acted upon immediately as it slowly penetrates the ranks of state officials in the US, putting the entire interest of the country in great jeopardy. This is the biggest fear that McCarthy would want to imprint to the hearts of the American people as he made firm claims that the Communist spies have been holding positions in the federal government and are secretly collaborating to plot down the downfall of the entire federal state in their planned conspiracies. Borrowing as an arguable phrase from former Pres. Abraham Lincoln issued his stern warning that the country’s destruction will not be because of the enemies coming from the outside but will be due to the presence of internal enemies.
McCarthyism: Basis of The Red Scare
Several events, governmental experiences, and intelligence investigations had led McCarthy to burst out accusations against Communist spies and collaborators who are affiliated in the federal government. One of the prominent names revealed by McCarthy was Alger Hiss, a statesman who played vital roles in the country’s foreign relations in the 1930s, serving under the administrations of both Roosevelt and Truman. This allegation has been correct at some point since Hiss had been identified through credible sources that a spy is working in the government, and it fits perfectly well with his description and identity.
Furthermore, McCarthy also identified a list of more than 200 members of the Communist Party which was gathered by the intelligence, only that these identifications were held to be confidential by the White House itself under the mandate of President Truman. This led to the assumption that even the president of America himself is a co-conspirator of a wide shadow network working for the destabilization of the American government. Several other names have also emerged, unfortunately, this intensive probe on the people involved in the Red Scare had been mysteriously white washed resulting in a non-affirmation on the charges pressed against the mentioned individuals.
Fifth Amendment and the Congressional Investigation
The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was created by Congress in 1938 to investigate possible cases of communism in the U.S. jurisdiction. A lot of personalities were placed on trial by the committee including celebrities and political personalities even on groundless allegations. This resulted in the devastation of livelihood and damage to the reputations of those who were charged with espionage. This instilled fear among those who were suspected by the operations of the committee chaired by Senator McCarthy (Openstax, 2019).
The methods employed by the investigating committee raised an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. These approaches became controversial to the point that Communists under suspicions will receive a subpoena to participate in the hearing. Suspects are grilled to the extent that their political ideologies are being questioned and connected to subversive actions. People who received subpoenas but refused to attend or participate in the questioning process are threatened with contempt by Congress and are practically set for imprisonment. The option to invoke the Fifth Amendment has done nothing but to create an impression that indeed, the person being suspected is guilty of the crime against its very own nation.
Legacy and Truthfulness
At the tail end of the conducted investigation in the quest for the ghosts of a seemingly powerful and invisible enemy, McCarthy was criticized for his behavior and manner in violation of the Senate traditions of due process trials. His legacy was left in the negative light being linked to an unpleasant action of destroying a person’s reputation based on senseless allegations and unfounded charges. He died and left his name that will forever be remembered undesirably- the tradition of McCarthyism.
In the post-McCarthy time, the phantom being chased may somehow found its validity on the death of John F. Kennedy. The assassination of the political figure had been greatly connected to the operation of the Communists infiltrating the American soil to stage its grand plan, waiting patiently and acting methodically. JFK’s death has opened the minds of many Americans that the conducted investigation has its basis after all since the assassin had been linked to the Communist nations pointed out by the late Senator McCarthy in his series of conducted investigations. Events in the years that come would tell that Communism has largely penetrated its way to federal state ranks, and as others may think before that McCarthy had been delusional on his investigation, history would say otherwise.
Openstax CNX (2019). US History: Post-War Prosperity and Cold War Fears, 1945-1960, Chapter 28, p. 833
McCarthy, J. (1950). Enemies from Within. Speech. Wheeling. West Virginia
Read/review the following resources for this activity:
- Textbook: Chapter 28, 29, 30
- Minimum of 1 primary source
- Minimum of 4 scholarly sources (in addition to the textbook)
Optional Resources to Explore
Feel free to review the library guide for scholarly sources and videos at the following link:
- Link (website): History Library GuideLinks to an external site.
The purposes of each case study assignment include the following:
- To hone your abilities to research using scholarly sources
- To advance critical thinking and writing skills
- To compile a response to the prompts provided
- To explore a historical topic and make connections to change over time
Pick one (1) of the following topics. Then, address the corresponding questions/prompts for your selected topic. Use at least one (1) documented example of the corresponding primary source in your writing.
Option 1: McCarthyism and Anti-Communist Campaigns
The Cold War brought about an irrational fear of communism and communist activities in the United States. As we are learning this week, one of the most vocal instigators of this paranoia was Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy delivered a speech about the imminent threat of communism on February 9, 1950. Perform a search on the internet and locate and read Joseph McCarthy’s speech given in Wheeling, West Virginia on February 9, 1950. Copy and paste the following keywords into your Google search bar: “Joseph McCarthy, Wheeling, West Virginia.” The speech is also referred to as “Enemies from Within.”
Construct the case study by responding to the following prompts:
- Explain how Senator Joseph McCarthy defined communist nations within the speech. What specific threats did these nations pose?
- Assess if Senator Joseph McCarthy charges were accurate.
- Analyze anti-communist sentiments during the Cold War era, were these sentiments valid. If so, how? If not, why not?
- Explain if there are other examples of events similar to the Red Scare that have occurred throughout history and modern day.
- Examine what happened to people who invoked the Fifth Amendment, refused to appear or were found in violation of the law as defined by the Congressional Committee.
Option 2: The Civil Rights Movement
Using the Internet, locate and read Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech given in Washington D.C., August 1963. Copy and paste the following keywords into your Google search bar: “I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr.” Feel free also to locate and incorporate additional scholarly sources to respond to this case study, including information on the Civil Rights Movement.
Construct the case study by responding to the following prompts:
- Explain if the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s effectively changed the nation.
- What effect would the Civil Rights Acts have across the continent on minority groups?
- Do you think that the tactics and strategies that civil rights activists used in the 1960s would apply to today’s racial and ethnic conflicts? Why or why not?
- Do the ideas of the 1960s still have relevance today? If so how? If not, why not?
- Analyze how the Civil Rights Movement would impact diversity in America today.
Option 3: American Domestic and Foreign Policies (1953-1991)
Complete a search either in the Chamberlain Library or internet for domestic and foreign polices of four (4) of the following Presidents. Please incorporate at least one primary source of either a policy or act that you have chosen to write about.
Then, compare domestic and foreign polices of your four (4) presidents by answering the following prompts:
- Explain how your selected presidents worked to improve the United States economically and socially. Give at least one example of each president.
- Assess if the policies of your choice of presidents strengthen or weaken the United States.
- Explain how you see your choice of presidents served the public interest and further the cause of democracy.
- Determine if it is constitutional for the United States to fight preemptive wars.
- Determine if human rights and morality should be the cornerstones of United State foreign policy.
Writing Requirements (APA format)
- Length: 4-5 pages (not including title page and references page)
- 1-inch margins
- Double spaced
- 12-point Times New Roman font
- Title page
- References page
- In-text citations that correspond with your end reference
This activity will be graded based on W7 Case Study Grading Rubric.
Course Outcomes (CO): 3, 4, 6, 7
Due Date: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday
W7 Case Study Grading Rubric – 200 pts
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeLength||5 ptsMeets length requirement0 ptsDoes not meet length requirement||5 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeContent||15 ptsPaper addresses all aspects of the assignment.12.75 ptsPaper addresses most aspects of the assignment.11.25 ptsPaper addresses some aspects of the assignment.9 ptsPaper addresses few aspects of the assignment.0 ptsNo effort||15 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnalysis||50 ptsThroughout the whole work, content expresses original thoughts or interprets the subject matter in a different perspective.42.5 ptsThroughout most of the work, content expresses original thoughts or interprets the subject matter in a different perspective.37.5 ptsThroughout some of the work, content expresses original thoughts or interprets the subject matter in a different perspective.30 ptsThroughout little of the work, content expresses original thoughts or interprets the subject matter in a different perspective.0 ptsNo effort||50 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSupport||50 ptsThroughout the whole work, claims are supported with detailed and persuasive examples; accurate facts and circumstances are used for support.42.5 ptsThroughout most of the work, claims are supported with detailed and persuasive examples; accurate facts and circumstances are used for support.37.5 ptsThroughout some of the work, claims are supported with detailed and persuasive examples; accurate facts and circumstances are used for support.30 ptsThroughout little of the work, claims are supported with detailed and persuasive examples; accurate facts and circumstances are used for support.0 ptsNo effort||50 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWriting: Mechanics & Usage||20 ptsThe writing is free of errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation that would detract from a clear reading of the paper.17 ptsThe writing contains a few errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but the errors do not detract from a clear reading of the text.15 ptsThe writing contains some errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation that need to be addressed for a clearer reading of the paper.12 ptsThe writing contains several errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation that impede a clear reading of the paper.0 ptsNo effort||20 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeClarity & Flow||20 ptsThe writing contains strong word choice that clarifies ideas and masterful sentence variety aids with the flow of ideas.17 ptsThe writing contains varied word choice and sentence structures that clarify ideas and aid with the flow of ideas.15 ptsThe writing contains word choice and sentence structures that can be revised for better clarification of ideas and flow of ideas.12 ptsThe writing contains wording and sentence structures that are awkward and/or unclear, impeding the clarity and flow of ideas.0 ptsNo effort||20 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSource Integration||20 ptsPaper includes reference to a scholarly source within the case study and properly integrates the source.15 ptsPaper includes reference to a scholarly source within the case study but does not properly integrate the source.0 ptsPaper does not make reference to a scholarly source provided within the case study.||20 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAPA: Citation and Reference Formatting||10 ptsAll sources are properly cited in the text and references page demonstrating a mastery of resource and APA citation reference format.8.5 ptsMost sources are cited in the text and references page. Some minor errors may exist in citation, but it does not interfere with understanding the source of the information.7.5 ptsMost sources are integrated, structured, and cited in the text and references page. Some errors may exist in citation that need to be addressed to clarify the source of information.6 ptsSources are not properly cited in the text/references page. Formatting contains several errors that suggest a lack of understanding of APA format.0 ptsSources are not cited.||10 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAPA Paper Format||10 ptsPaper is formatted to include all 6 of the following: title page, references page, Times New Roman font, 12-point font, double spacing, and page numbers.8.5 ptsPaper is formatted to include 5 of the following: title page, references page, Times New Roman font, 12-point font, double spacing, and page numbers.7.5 ptsPaper is formatted to include 4 of the following: title page, references page, Times New Roman font, 12-point font, double spacing, and page numbers.6 ptsPaper is formatted to include 3 of the following: title page, references page, Times New Roman font, 12-point font, double spacing, and page numbers.0 ptsPaper is formatted to include less than 3 of the following: title page, references page, Times New Roman font, 12-point font, double spacing, and page numbers.||10 pts|
|Total Points: 200|
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