22 The fbi engaged in a number of illegal practices in its pursuit of information on Communists, including burglaries, opening mail and illegal wiretaps. 23 The members of the left-wing National Lawyers guild were among the few attorneys who were willing to defend clients in communist-related cases, and this made the nlg tree a particular target of hoover's. The office of this organization was burgled by the fbi at least fourteen times between 1924 Among other purposes, the fbi used its illegally obtained information to alert prosecuting attorneys about the planned legal strategies of nlg defense lawyers. Citation needed The fbi also used illegal undercover operations to disrupt Communist and other dissident political groups. In 1956, hoover was becoming increasingly frustrated by supreme court decisions that limited the justice department's ability to prosecute communists. At this time he formalized a covert "dirty tricks" program under the name cointelpro. 23 cointelpro actions included planting forged documents to create the suspicion that a key person was an fbi informer, spreading rumors through anonymous letters, leaking information to the press, calling for irs audits, and the like.
This was a major assignment that led to the number of agents in the bureau being increased from 3,559 in 1946 to 7,029 in 1952. Hoover's sense of the communist threat and the standards of evidence applied by his bureau resulted in thousands of government workers losing their jobs. Due to hoover's insistence upon keeping the identity of his informers secret, most subjects of loyalty-security reviews were not allowed to cross-examine or know the identities of those who accused them. In many cases they were not even told what they were accused. 20 hoover's influence extended beyond federal government employees and beyond the loyalty-security programs. The records of loyalty review hearings and investigations were supposed to be confidential, but hoover routinely gave evidence from them to congressional committees such as huac. to 1955, the fbi operated a secret " Responsibilities Program " that distributed anonymous documents with evidence from fbi files of Communist affiliations on the part of teachers, lawyers, and others. Many people accused in these "blind memoranda" were fired without any further process.
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Oppenheimer had received a top-secret clearance in 1947, but was denied clearance in the harsher climate of 1954. Similar loyalty reviews were established in many state and local government offices and some private industries across the nation. In 1958, it was estimated that roughly one out of every five employees in the United States was required to pass some sort of loyalty review. 17 Once a person lost a job due to an unfavorable loyalty review, it could be very difficult to find other finished employment. "A man is ruined everywhere and forever in the words of the chairman of President Truman's loyalty review board.
"No responsible employer would be likely to take a chance in giving him a job." 18 The department of Justice started keeping a list of organizations that it deemed subversive beginning in 1942. This list was first made public essayist in 1948, when it included 78 items. At its longest, it comprised 154 organizations, 110 of them identified as Communist. In the context of a loyalty review, membership in a listed organization was meant to raise a question, but not to be considered proof of disloyalty. One of the most common causes of suspicion was membership in the washington bookshop Association, a left-leaning organization that offered lectures on literature, classical music concerts and discounts on books. Edgar hoover and the fbi edit fbi director. Edgar hoover designed President Truman's loyalty-security program, and its background investigations of employees were carried out by fbi agents.
Block later wrote that there was "nothing particularly ingenious about the term, which is simply used to represent a national affliction that can hardly be described in any other way. If anyone has a prior claim on it, he's welcome to the word and to the junior senator from Wisconsin along with. I will also throw in a set of free dishes and a case of soap." 12 Institutions edit a number of anti-communist committees, panels, and "loyalty review boards" in federal, state, and local governments, as well as many private agencies carried out investigations for small. In Congress, the primary bodies that investigated Communist activities were the house committee on Un-American Activities, the senate Internal Security subcommittee, and the senate permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Between 19, a total of 109 investigations were carried out by these and other committees of Congress. 13 On December 2, 1954, the United States Senate voted 65 to 22 to condemn McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the senate into dishonor and disrepute".
Executive branch edit loyalty-security reviews edit Executive order 9835, signed by President Truman in 1947 In the federal government, President Harry Truman 's Executive order 9835 initiated a program of loyalty reviews for federal employees in 1947. It called for dismissal if there were "reasonable grounds. For belief that the person involved is disloyal to the government of the United States." 14 Truman, a democrat, was probably reacting in part to the republican sweep in the 1946 Congressional election and felt a need to counter growing criticism from conservatives and anti-communists. 15 When President Dwight Eisenhower took office in 1953, he strengthened and extended Truman's loyalty review program, while decreasing the avenues of appeal available to dismissed employees. Hiram Bingham, chairman of the civil Service commission loyalty review board, referred to the new rules he was obliged to enforce as "just not the American way of doing things." 16 The following year,. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the manhattan Project that built the first atomic bomb, then working as a consultant to the Atomic Energy commission, was stripped of his security clearance after a four-week hearing.
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It had long been a practice of more conservative politicians to refer to progressive reforms such as child labor laws and women's suffrage as "Communist" or "Red plots". 9 This tendency increased in the 1930s in reaction to the new mom deal policies of President Franklin. Many conservatives equated the new deal with socialism or Communism, and saw its policies as evidence that the government had been heavily influenced by communist policy-makers in the roosevelt administration. 10 In general, the vaguely defined danger of "Communist influence" was a more common theme in the rhetoric of anti-communist politicians than was espionage or any other specific activity. Senator Joseph McCarthy McCarthy's involvement with the ongoing cultural phenomenon that would bear his name began with a speech he made on Lincoln day, february 9, 1950, to the republican Women's Club of Wheeling, west Virginia. He produced a piece of paper which he claimed contained a list of known Communists working for the State department. McCarthy is usually"d as saying: "I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the secretary of State as being members of the communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy. The first recorded use of the term McCarthyism was in a political cartoon by washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert Block (aka herblock published on March 29, 1950. The cartoon depicted four leading Republicans trying to push an elephant (the traditional symbol of the republican Party ) to stand on a platform atop a teetering stack of ten tar buckets, the topmost of which was labeled "McCarthyism".
N., and south Korean forces against Communists from North Korea and China. The following year also saw several know significant developments regarding soviet Cold War espionage activities. In January 1950, Alger Hiss, a high-level State department official, was convicted of perjury. Hiss was in effect found guilty of espionage; the statute of limitations had run out for that crime, but he was convicted of having perjured himself when he denied that charge in earlier testimony before the house Un-American Activities Committee. In Britain, Klaus Fuchs confessed to committing espionage on behalf of the soviet Union while working on the manhattan Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the war. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were arrested in 1950 on charges of stealing atomic bomb secrets for the soviets and were executed in 1953. There were also more subtle forces encouraging the rise of McCarthyism.
affiliation with or sympathetic association" with any organization determined. Many factors contributed to McCarthyism, some of them extending back to the years of the first Red Scare (191720 inspired by communism's emergence as a recognized political force. Thanks in part to its success in organizing labor unions and its early opposition to fascism, the communist Party of the United States increased its membership through the 1930s, reaching a peak of about 75,000 members in 194041. 8 While the United States was engaged in World War ii and allied with the soviet Union, the issue of anti-communism was largely muted. With the end of World War ii, the cold War began almost immediately, as the soviet Union installed Communist puppet régimes across Central and Eastern Europe, while the United States backed anti-communist forces in Greece and China. Although the Igor gouzenko and Elizabeth Bentley affairs had raised the issue of soviet espionage as far back as 1945, events in 19rply increased the sense of threat from Communism in the United States. The soviet Union tested an atomic bomb in 1949, earlier than many analysts had expected. That same year, mao zedong 's Communist army gained control of mainland China despite heavy american financial support of the opposing kuomintang. In 1950, the korean War began, pitting.
The term has taken on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of essay similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries. During the McCarthy era, hundreds of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and labor union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was sometimes exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned, 3 laws that were later declared unconstitutional, 4 dismissals for reasons later declared illegal 5 or actionable, 6 or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute. The most notable examples of McCarthyism include the investigations made by senator McCarthy himself; and the hearings conducted by the house Un-American Activities Committee (huac).
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McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. 1, the term refers. Joseph McCarthy and has its way origins in the period in the United States known as the. Second Red Scare, lasting from the late 1940s through the 1950s 2 and characterized by heightened political repression as well as an alleged campaign spreading fear of Communist influence on American institutions and of espionage by, soviet agents. What would become known as the McCarthy era began before McCarthy's term in 1953. First Red Scare, president, truman signed in 1947 an executive order to screen federal employees for association with organizations deemed "Totalitarian, fascist, communist or subversive" or advocating "to alter the form of government of the United States by unconstitutional means." In 1949 a high level. State department official was convicted of perjury in a case of espionage and the soviet Union tested an atomic bomb, while the, korea war started the next year, raising tensions in the United States. In a speech in may 1950, McCarthy presented a list of members of the. Communist Party working in the State department, which attracted the press' attention, and the term appeared for the first time in a political cartoon by the, washington Post that same year.