This section has 25 slides and covers the Second Red Scare and McCarthyism. Students learn both episodes grew out of the Cold War abroad. Additionally, cases of espionage are discussed such as the Alger Hiss case and the Rosenberg case. Then McCarthyism is discussed at length because of its impact on the American political system. Students are given a definition of the term. Then, students are shown how McCarthy exploited the fear of communism for his own purposes, and overreached himself during the Army signal Corps investigation. Furthermore, the historiography of McCarthyism that maintains Eisenhower did too little stop McCarthy is discussed along with new scholarship challenging that conclusion. This is done to demonstrate to students that the understanding of historical events change when additional information becomes available.
At the end of the section students are asked to give their written opinion an answer to the following questions: Is McCarthyism still part of our politics today? If so, how is it recognized, and what role, if any, does social media play in
its existence and recognition? If not, has social media played a role in keeping McCarthyism out of our politics? Give specific details to explain your answer. Then students are given the opportunity to view a primary source television
program about McCarthy:
See It Now: A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and to answer questions about it. Finally, students are given the opportunity to view the film
Point of Order and answer questions about it. The film uses TV footage from the Army-McCarthy Hearings. It provides students the opportunity to see the hearings in a similar way to the public of the time.
Activities and Resources
Research and Opinion Questions
The Age of Conspiracy and Conformity
The Age of Conspiracy and Conformity Questions
See It Now: A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy
Point of Order