What was the Red Scare?
After World War II (about 1947 to 1957), Americans again feared the influence of the USSR, especially since most of Eastern Europe, and China, had fallen under communist rule. Suggestions were made by Senator Joseph McCarthy and others that the US was being infiltrated by spies and undermined by communist sympathizers. Some claims turned out to be factual, while others were accusations and innuendo for political gain.
The separate investigations by the House Un-American Activities Committee sought to identify communist party members within the entertainment industry. This led to convictions of those who would not implicate others by their testimony, including the "Hollywood Ten." This was followed by studio "blacklists" as the film industry sought to counter negative public opinion and avoid Congressional interference in their businesses.
Who was Joe McCarthy? During his ten years in the Senate, Joe McCarthy became known for his aggressive investigations of people in the U.S. government and others, of their political beliefs as Communists.The Cold War, which began after the end of World War II, was a period where Americans were extremely paranoid about the threat of Communism, and McCarthy claimed to know many State Department Employees who were known as Communists. Instead of turning this information over to the F.B.I.,
McCarthy chose to carry out with the investigations personally.
As a result of these controversial actions, the term McCarthyism was coined to specifically describe the intense anti-Communist movement that existed in America from 1950 to about 1956, a time which became popularly known as the Red Scare. During this period, people who were suspected of varying degrees of Communist loyalties became the subject of aggressive inquiries, which became known as "witch hunts" to his opponents.
Why was Communism bad?