Between the late 1940s and 1950s, Americans had suffered a political and cultural hysteria which have been caused by fear and anxiety of communism as communism quickly spread around the global. McCarthyism is the use of the charge of communism to discredit political ideas, cultural values, and individual's lives and reputations which had been originated and preserved by US Senator McCarthy in the 1950s. The senator was strongly opposed to the spread of communism throughout the world, and as a result, he started investigating people in the US for possible communist ties. At the height of McCarthyism in the 1950s, Americans from all walks of life were accused of being communist. As a result of this anti-communist hysteria, many Americans were constantly looking over their shoulders ...view middle of the document...
In this period of time men and women would get back at their enemies but accusing them of being communist spies. Through this the U.S. was on its end. Many people who were accused suffered unemployment, destruction of their careers, or imprisonment. Through this McCarthyism, the American people were affected.
Popularity of McCarthyism
One major source of the huge popularity of McCarthyism was the housewife. Through anti-communist groups like American Public Relations Forum and The Minute Women of the U.S.A., housewives could get involved in all the gossip. Another reason why McCarthyism was so popular was its concern for public health services. Through vaccination, mental healthcare services, and fluoridation, people felt secure that communists could no longer “poison or brainwash the American people.” Through all of this popularity, the poles at that time said that 50% of the people supported McCarthy while 29% did not. But who would favor against McCarthyism, they might accuse you of being a communist.
It is amazing that the number of victims fallen to McCarthyism cannot even be estimated. The number of people imprisoned is in the hundreds while about ten thousand lost their jobs. Not only were communists suspected, but so were homosexuals. Even actors were not given work because of the Hollywood blacklist. The Hollywood blacklist or the Entertainment Industry Blacklist was a list of screenwriters, actors, directors, and musicians who were not given jobs because political beliefs. Along with that 3,000 seamen and longshoremen lost their jobs because of McCarthyism.
Senator McCarthy was eventually censured by the body of the Senate for abusing his powers. As time went on, it was proven that some of the people McCarthy investigated actually were foreign spies, but there were also many totally innocent people subjected to his interrogations.