What impact did Joseph McCarthy have on domestic politics in the USA?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade October 2005

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The US dealt effectively with the USSR until 1949, especially over the Berlin crisis and setting up NATO to join the West power against Communism. 1950s were a period when many Americans believed they were losing the Cold War.

Politically, the Americans saw Communism spreading through the world. October 1949 China fell to communism, which was a big loss. With the domino effect, Communist North Korea invaded South in 1950. Although South Korea was defended from being taken over by Communism, the fear was never gone in Americans' mind. They realized something had to be done in order to contain Communism. Also, as French left Vietnam during WWII, the Vietminh, led by communist Ho Chi Minh, combined forces of nationalism and communism. It was just south of China geographically and was well placed for receiving assistance from Chinese Mao's communists after 1949.

Militarily, the US and USSR always competed on militaries.

Between 1945 and 1949 US was the only country having A-Bomb. They thought USSR would not have it within 20 years. However, USSR had it by 1949 and it was a shock to Americans. When H-Bomb was invented in 1952 in the US, USSR had it in less than a year. The 'Bomber gap' arose because of concerns with Soviet bombing capabilities between 1955-56. The "missile gap" between 1957-61 developed in response to the USSR's launching of its ICBM program, nuclear missiles for use over a long range of about 8000 miles, in 1957. The fears of these perceived gap led the US government to increase it's military spending from $15 billion to over $50 billion and if there was any gap, it was closed down quickly. Soon American U2 spy-planes were able to see the lack of Soviet missiles comparing to the US's. However, the fear of Soviet...