Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2005

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The Red Scare, also known as the Era of McCarthyism, spanned from 1950 to 1954, and was a movement of anticommunism that brought the United States through four years of domestic turmoil where individuals and organizations were tried incessantly for disloyalty to America through any and all support for communism. Initiated by lawyer and Republican Senator, Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism deeply disturbed the political, social, economical, and artistic normality of United States in the 1950s', however this essay will only explore the impact it had on the political scene.

Figures show that though there was a minority of communists and communist sympathizers in the US in the beginning of the 1950s', most of the individuals attended ten or fewer meetings and conferences organized by the party. In fact, attending such conferences were a popular trend in the 1930s', and the propaganda and paranoia against the suspected mass of communist spies was not a factual and reasonable cause for the prolonged 'witch hunt'.

Historians such as Richard Freeland, in The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism (1971), insisted that the Democrats began the crusade to rid the government of radicals to protect themselves from Republican attacks. Likewise, authors like Nelson Polsby and Robert Griffith argued that Republicans seized the issue of communism in the government to get themselves back into power after twenty years of exclusion. The later case is directly proven by McCarthy's speech before the Republican National Convention in 1952 when he claimed, "Our job as Americans and as Republicans is to dislodge the traitors from every place where they've been sent to do their traitorous work." The Republicans, calling those two decades "twenty years of treason" on behalf of the Democrats for appeasing, sympathizing and allowing the growth of communism to occur, directly all of...