Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures
Columbia American History Online

Main Menu
E-Seminars
searchhelp

There are 118 items indexed to this topic.


APUSH-30-A

Domestic frustrations; McCarthyism


Resources:

The Politics of Anticommunism
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
The Red Scare
The Red Scare: A Totalitarian Nightmare
The Red Scare: Alger Hiss
The Red Scare: Klaus Fuchs
The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
The Red Scare: Joseph McCarthy
Interpretations of the Red Scare
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Domestic Subversion
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Alienated Travelers
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Institutional Stakes
Interpretations of the Red Scare: Why So Widespread?
Final Analysis
Key Figures

Relevant transcripts:
Professor Brinkley introduces this e-seminar.
The "domestic subversion" argument.
The "paranoid style" argument.
Why were people so afraid?
McCarthyism could have been challenged much earlier, but many elites were paralyzed by fear.

Relevant interactive tools:
Chronology
Chronology

The Stable Fifties
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Television: Two-Edged Sword

Impact of the Cold War: The Iron Triangle
Resource Type: Primary Source
Liberals were concerned that domestic social problems would damage America's influence abroad.

The Red Scare
Resource Type: Primary Source
U.S. Army poster from the mid-1950s.

The Red Scare: A Totalitarian Nightmare
Resource Type: Primary Source
Annie Lee Moss, a Pentagon worker whom Joseph McCarthy accused of being a communist, with her lawyer in 1954. McCarthy identified Moss as a code clerk who dealt with secret messages but in fact she worked in the cafeteria. Her case received national attention when Edward R. Murrow featured it in his CBS documentary series See It Now.

The Red Scare: A Totalitarian Nightmare
Resource Type: Primary Source
Seven members of the "Hollywood Ten" arrive at U.S. Federal Court in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 1950, to face charges of contempt. From left to right: Samuel Ornitz, Ring Lardner Jr., Albert Maltz, Alvah Bessie, Lester Cole, Herbert Biberman, and Edward Dmytryk.

The Red Scare: A Totalitarian Nightmare
Resource Type: Primary Source
Two other members of the legendary "Hollywood Ten" John Howard Lawson (left) and Dalton Trumbo enter van to be taken to DC jail after they were sentenced to one year in jail and fined $1,000 each for contempt of court.

The Red Scare: Klaus Fuchs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Photograph of British atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs that was used as an exhibit during the Rosenberg trial.

The Red Scare: Klaus Fuchs
Resource Type: Primary Source

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Police photos of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Sketch used as evidence in the Rosenberg trial.

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg leaving the U.S. Courthouse in New York City after being found guilty (1951).

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Demonstrators gather at Pennsylvania Station in New York City on June 18, 1953, to travel to Washington, D.C., for a protest against the death sentence of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

The Red Scare: The Rosenbergs
Resource Type: Primary Source
Ethel Rosenberg arriving at Sing Sing Prison on April 11, 1951, following her death sentence.

Interpretations of the Red Scare
Resource Type: Primary Source
U.S. Army poster from the mid-1950s.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Domestic Subversion
Resource Type: Primary Source
Poster for I Was a Communist for the FBI, a fictional film about an FBI agent who infiltrates the Communist Party (1951).

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Alienated Travelers
Resource Type: Primary Source
U.S. Army poster from the mid-1950s.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Alienated Travelers
Resource Type: Primary Source
McCarthy supporters at a rally in Washington, D.C., in December 1954.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Harry Truman holding up an early edition of the Chicago Tribune. The banner headline erroneously credited his opponent, Thomas Dewey, with victory in the 1948 presidential election.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 1.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 2.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 3.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 4.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 5.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 6.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Party Competition
Resource Type: Primary Source
Telegram exchange between Joseph McCarthy and Harry Truman, part 7. Truman's reply was probably never sent.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Institutional Stakes
Resource Type: Primary Source
The House Un-American Activities Committee.

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Institutional Stakes
Resource Type: Primary Source
Edgar Hoover, longtime director of the FBI and a passionate anticommunist (c. 1953).

Interpretations of the Red Scare: Why So Widespread?
Resource Type: Primary Source
McCarthy depicted as a threat to the press. Cartoon by Daniel Robert Fitzpatrick (1953).

Final Analysis
Resource Type: Primary Source
Senator Joseph McCarthy during the McCarthy-Army hearings (1954), which led to his political downfall.

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

The Red Scare: Alger Hiss
Resource Type: Primary Source
Richard M. Nixon (1913–94), 37th president of the United States, gained national prominence during the Red Scare of the early 1950s. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 after a campaign in which he accused his Democratic opponent of being soft on communism, Nixon went on to become a leader of Congressional investigations into communist activities in the United States. In particular, Nixon won national attention for his role in the investigation that the House Un-American Activities Committee conducted of Alger Hiss, an American who was alleged to have spied for the Soviets.

Key Figures
Resource Type: Primary Source

America Since 1945—E-Seminar 2, The Politics of Anticommunism
Resource Type: E-Seminar
In this e-seminar, the second in a series of ten, Professor Brinkley examines the Cold War, a key event during the "the postwar era," a period of more than half a century, during which the United States has probably changed more rapidly and profoundly than during any other period of its history. He analyzes the Cold War as a force in American domestic life, one that had an important impact on the relationships among and the distribution of power within many of the central institutions of American life.

Television: Two-Edged Sword
Resource Type: Primary Source
Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy on the news show See It Now, during the McCarthy-Army hearings (July 8, 1954).

Student Information Given to Federal Investigators
Resource Type: Primary Source
This article in the Columbia University student newspaper reports that the dean of students provided federal investigators with information about students who had attended the university.

DuBois on American Democracy
Resource Type: Primary Source
DuBois discusses American democracy and why he is frustrated with party politics in the United States.

New Deal Liberalism and Postwar Economic Growth
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The primary sources in this DBQ help students explore the legacy of New Deal liberalism as American society is transformed during the 1940s and 50s. Economic, political, and social issues interact to simultaneously and paradoxically enhance and undermine government intervention in American society.

Eisenhower and the Politics of the 1950s
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This selection of primary sources gives students an opportunity to examine different layers of dissent during the Eisenhower presidency. Although President Eisenhower enjoyed great public support, his administration was challenged by problems at home and abroad.

The Counterculture
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Although the decade of the 1950s deserves its reputation as an age of political, social, and cultural conformity, seeds of social discontent nevertheless permeated American society. This carefully crafted DBQ focuses on the intellectual and artisitic critics of the affluent society, as well as the origins of the women's and civil-rights movements.

Levitt On Communism and Home Ownership
Resource Type: Primary Source
As the first community of its kind, Levittown, New York, located 25 miles east of Manhattan on Long Island, heralded the postwar arrival of suburban America with its mass-produced housing. William Levitt is quoted as saying the following.

Schlesinger on Freedom
Resource Type: Primary Source
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., a noted American historian, wrote this influential book to argue that a rejuvenated faith in democratic ideals and the continuation of New Deal liberalism would safeguard America from the twin threats of totalitarianism and fascism.

Joseph McCarthy's Speech
Resource Type: Primary Source
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, an unremarkable member of Congress from Wisconsin, burst onto the national political scene in 1950, after announcing to a West Virginia audience that he held in his hand a list of 205 American Communists who worked in the U.S. State Department.

Convergence
Resource Type: Primary Source
Renowned for his technique of spontaneous "splatter" or "action" painting, Jackson Pollock (1912–56) emerged as the leading American artist of the abstract expressionist movement.

Levittown, New York
Resource Type: Primary Source
As the first community of its kind, Levittown, New York, located 25 miles east of Manhattan on Long Island, heralded the postwar arrival of suburban America with its hundreds of acres of mass-produced housing.

The Avant-Garde Artists of the 1950s
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this creative simulation, students role-play avant-garde artists of the 1950s to discuss important issues of the times (politics, the affluent society, race relations, women, etc.) from an artistic and intellectual perspective.


Refine Browse

Historical thinking 

Discovering primary sources (46) 

Interpreting and analysing (20) 

Narrating history (10) 

Resource types 

Video Transcripts (5) 





CAHO is being provided to you for your own use. Any copying or distribution of CAHO materials is prohibited.