The History of Hysteria Around Communism in The USA

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About this sample


Words: 916 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Words: 916|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Dec 12, 2018

Red Scare in America

Throughout history, there have been several examples of red scare in America. The red scare is just terminology for the hysteria and fear the United States felt towards Communists. This , however, began in the late 1940’s and the earlier years of the 1950’s. The word ‘red’ was known to represent communists because they had allegiance to the red Soviet flag. This hysteria led to a wide range of activities produced by the United States government. Several Federal employees had to be analyzed and tested to show their loyalty to this government and not their native ones. Many aspects of society and employments were studied to determine safety, including the Hollywood business (History,2017).

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Although many people claim the red scare happened during the 1940’s-50s. Other historians link the first account to be during World War 1. Which occurred in the year of 1917. Supposedly, WW1 triggered this first red scare. Russia had brought upon these unfavorable feelings in America. This communistic country gave America every right to feel paranoid and endangered. According to Wikipedia : ‘the early 20th century of the United States marked by a widespread fear of Bolshevism and anarchism, due to real and imagined events; real events included those such as the Russian Revolution and anarchist bombings. At its height in 1919–1920, concerns over the effects of radical political agitation in American society and the alleged spread of communism and anarchism in the American labor movement fueled a general sense of concern if not paranoia” (Wikipedia,2017). This was the beginning force, that led to these hysterias. Although, as the quote indicated, some of these actions were reality, while others were just imagined up.

During these times of hysteria in America, many societal changes took place to increase security amongst its people. Some of these landmark changes were illegal search and seizures, many unwarranted arrests, along with the deportation of several suspected radicals throughout the country. During this time, more than ever, the United States had to question whom to let into the country. Prior to this, few problems had occurred on these levels. Many American governmental officials felt that many communist immigrants from Russia were living in America but working for the other side (Wikipedia,2017). This feeling is still very relevant even in today’s times. Many refugees are coming to America and causing problems within their lands. These events were supposedly ended after the 1950’s, however, there is still red scare in America today as explained above.

Palmer raids, or Palmer red raids, were conducted in America during 1919 and 1920, and were done so by the U.S. department of Justice. These actions were conducted in hopes to arrest many of these radicals within the country, many of which were eventually deported back to their home countries. These raids were titled as such because Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer was responsible for most of these post WW1 raids in America. Palmer’s efforts, although seemed quite honest and true, could certainly be related to him desiring the presidency position in the upcoming election. He was running for the democratic party in the 1920 election, he desired to enhance the security of America, while paying high focus to social liberties as well. Unfortunately, he did not receive the position of president, however, his merits will be awarded and remembered throughout history (Dehler,2017).

Perhaps, Palmer did not win this campaign due to the publics shifting opinion of his efforts. During these raids, it caught wind that brutality was being utilized for order control. Many of his actions were brought to light, and his popularity decreased significantly in America. Palmer’s credibility was questioned heavily after he failed to predict the correct affairs of May Day and following Revolutions. This is said to be what ended the Palmer Raids, along with the red scare as well (Dehler,2017).

Other than the searches and deportations, another pioneering effort was given by the United States to help alleviate these issues and restore safety and trust back to civilians, this was done by investigating the communist activities in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1938, the House Un-American Activities Committee was formed. HUAC’s would frequently investigate on bringing focus to exposing Communists who worked on the inside. Whether it be through the government or Hollywood film agencies. Both appeared to have heavy relations in communist affairs. Since HUAC revealed this information to the public, much hysteria was formed by this as well. This committee gained popularization after the completion of World War 2, as the cold war approached (Wikipedia,2017).

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Through this entire process, America gained a lot of national pride. People were being united and aiming towards the same goals. Although, this national pride did leave out many immigrants, and caused a wholly negative outlook towards them. Even in today’s times, we can certainly see a big of red scare. Many Americans are afraid of refugees and immigrants being integrated into America. We can certainly blame events such as 9/11 and other bombings for these untrusting natures. Trump, just like Palmer, is very aware of these dangers, and tried to keep many foreigners out of the country. Red scare is very much well and alive in current times, and the hysteria will only become worse in my opinion. Many countries speak of wars in this country, which will only make matters worse for those who reside here.

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The History of Hysteria Around Communism in the USA. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
“The History of Hysteria Around Communism in the USA.” GradesFixer, 11 Dec. 2018,
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