1 Aug 2022


Harry Truman and McCarthy on Red Scare

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Red scare was a revolutionary movement attempting to promote the fear of a potential rise in communism. In the United States, it was about socialist's revolution and political radicalism. It referred to as the first red scare that was characterised by a great fear of Bolshevism and anarchism as a consequence of Russian revolution of a universal communist revolution. Then came a second one that was focusing on national and foreign communists influencing society. The primary cause of red scare in the United States was the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia that caused a panic that immigrant especially from Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, and even Russia had the intentions of overthrowing the United States government. It was characterized by a mass decline in production and mass unemployment. This paper is obliged to address the contributions of Truman Harry and Joe McCarthy to Red Scare. 

American communist was engulfed in from a nuisance into a national fascination. McCarthyism created fear, an intense effort to eradicate communist completely from America ( Walker, 2011). This was an intention that was sort for by all means including constitutional rights and civil liberties . McCarthy was anticommunist who spent five years on exposing the communists who were working closely with the United States government. It is a notion that made most of the Americans feel that their government was full of spies and traitors. They had the intentions of overthrowing their government he even attacked the army, an act that made him get an electoral position as a senator of Wisconsin against his opponent he accused of failure to enlist during the second world war. McCarthy manipulated the issue of anticommunist to gain his political interest. McCarthy steered cold through such manipulations to the extent that the Americans trusted him with leadership. 

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McCarthy and his colleagues succeeded to link nearly any political group associated with the left with communism in a way or the other, holding up even the kindest leftist organisations as tools of a global scheme to destroy America. McCarthyism is still live in the new political affiliation where socialists and communists are using to describing a politician a policy that drives the public opinion away. 

However much many historians link Harry Truman as one of the major forces behind the red scare, it's not as it seems. It's his doctrines that ended the World War II. He pledged an allegiance to assist all democratic nations politically, military and economically from the external and forces, most preferably the communism that was threatening the peace in such countries. Truman doctrine was later referred to be the basis of cold war. According to Dudziak (2011), i t was under Truman that cold war began as he believed that he had to take some serious stance so as to comprise the expansionistic acts of the Soviet unions. Harry Truman’s action was of positive value on the whole but was as sidelining as well like those of McCarthy. Both were against communism that was the main bone of contention. 

I, therefore, stand to support the fact that both McCarthy and Truman had policies that fuel post-war in the form of cold war. Why? Truman's doctrine and the policies of McCarthy were all anticommunists that led to a state of political tension between powers in the Eastern Bloc and those in the Western Bloc. Truman also continued to sell the American people his apocalyptic brand of anti-communism. The debate between Truman and McCarthy quickly relapsed into a challenge over who was the most operative Cold Warrior, the more extreme anti-communist. It is evident that both Truman and McCarthy were equally forces behind the post-war era. 


Dudziak, M. L. (2011).    Cold War civil rights: Race and the image of American democracy. Princeton University Press. 

Walker, W. T. (2011).    McCarthyism and the Red Scare: A Reference Guide: A Reference Guide. ABC-CLIO. 

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