Cowley Other articles in Events The first anti-communist alarm, or red scare, in the United States occurred during the years between andprecipitated by the events of World War I and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. The term red came from the color of the flag used by Marxist and communist groups. Laws such as the Espionage Act of and the Sedition Act of criminalized many forms of speech, the Sedition Act being the broadest with in its criminalization of any disloyal language, whether printed or spoken, about the government of the United States. A second red scare came with a revival of anti-communist feeling after World War II that lasted into the s.
McCarthy first won election to the Senate in during a campaign marked by much anticommunist Red-baiting. Truman tried to demonstrate his own concern about the threat of Communism by setting up a loyalty program for federal employees. He also asked the Justice Department to compile an official list of 78 subversive organizations.
As the midterm election year got underway, former State Department official Alger Hiss, suspected of espionage, was convicted of perjury. There is some dispute about the number of Communists McCarthy claimed to have known about. Though advance copies of this speech distributed to the press record the number asMcCarthy quickly revised this claim.
Although McCarthy displayed this list of names both in Wheeling and then later on the Senate floor, he never made the list public. Speech of Joseph McCarthy, Wheeling, West Virginia, February 9, Ladies and gentlemen, tonight as we celebrate the one hundred forty-first birthday of one of the greatest men in American history, I would like to be able to talk about what a glorious day today is in the history of the world.
As we celebrate the birth of this man who with his whole heart and soul hated war, I would like to be able to speak of peace in our time—of war being outlawed—and of world-wide disarmament.
These would be truly appropriate things to be able to mention as we celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
But this is not such a period—for this is not a period of peace. Today we can almost physically hear the mutterings and rumblings of an invigorated god of war.
You can see it, feel it, and hear it all the way from the Indochina hills, from the shores of Formosa, right over into the very heart of Europe itself. There is still a hope for peace if we finally decide that no longer can we safely blind our eyes and close our ears to those facts which are shaping up more and more clearly.
The great difference between our western Christian world and the atheistic Communist world is not political, gentlemen, it is moral. For instance, the Marxian idea of confiscating the land and factories and running the entire economy as a single enterprise is momentous.
With only these differences, however, the east and the west could most certainly still live in peace. The real, basic difference, however, lies in the religion of immoralism. This religion of immoralism, if the Red half of the world triumphs—and well it may, gentlemen—this religion of immoralism will more deeply wound and damage mankind than any conceivable economic or political system.
Karl Marx dismissed God as a hoax, and Lenin and Stalin have added in clear-cut, unmistakable language their resolve that no nation, no people who believe in a god, can exist side by side with their communistic state.
Karl Marx, for example, expelled people from his Communist Party for mentioning such things as love, justice, humanity or morality.
Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity. The modern champions of communism have selected this as the time, and ladies and gentlemen, the chips are down—they are truly down.
Lest there be any doubt that the time has been chosen, let us go directly to the leader of communism today—Joseph Stalin. Here is what he said—not back innot before the war, not during the war—but 2 years after the last war was ended: Ladies and gentlemen, can there be anyone tonight who is so blind as to say that the war is not on?
Can there by anyone who fails to realize that the Communist world has said the time is now? Unless we face this fact, we shall pay the price that must be paid by those who wait too long. Lined up on the antitotalitarian side there were in the world at that time, roughly 1,, people.
Today, only six years later, there are , people under the absolute domination of Soviet Russia—an increase of over percent. On our side, the figure has shrunk to around , In other words, in less than six years, the odds have changed from 9 to 1 in our favor to 8 to 5 against us.
This indicates the swiftness of the tempo of Communist victories and American defeats in the cold war. The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because our only powerful potential enemy has sent men to invade our shores.
It has not been the less fortunate, or members of minority groups who have been traitorous to this Nation, but rather those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest Nation on earth has had to offer. This is glaringly true in the State Department.
There the bright young men who are born with silver spoons in their mouths are the ones who have been most traitorous.Executive Order , signed in by President Truman, called for a loyalty investigation of all federal employees.
Truman hoped that these investigations would help to rally public opinion behind his Cold War policies, while quieting those on the right who . This is “Red Scares, Lavender Scares, and the Quest for Equality during the Early Cold War”, section from the book United States History, Volume 2 (v.
). For .
As President, Truman made some of the most crucial decisions in history. Soon after V-E Day, the war against Japan had reached its final stage. An urgent plea to Japan to surrender was rejected. In this book, Johnson concludes that the lavender scare, as it became routinized in the bureaucracy of the national security state, outlasted its more well-known cousin, the red scare.
He demonstrates how, in the language of the s, “security risk” became a virtual code word for homosexual. After the war, a wave of leftist bombings, labor discontent, and a distrust of immigrants resulted in the First Red Scare, characterized by aggressive Justice Department investigations, severe violations of civil liberties, mass arrests and deportations, and several high-profile convictions.
The paranoia about the internal Communist threat—what we call the Red Scare—reached a fever pitch between and , when Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin, a right-wing Republican, launched a series of highly publicized probes.