McCarthyism and the Crucible

Topics: Cold War, World War II, Joseph McCarthy Pages: 8 (3196 words) Published: March 9, 2014
During the era of the 1950’s, at the height of the Cold War, McCarthyism arose as a result of fear of the spread of communism in the United States. McCarthyism, named after Senator Joseph McCarthy, was a term which described the lack of evidence and false accusations used against people who were considered communists. Arthur Miller wrote the Crucible because he wanted to show how the relationship of McCarthyism in the 1950’s and McCarthyism in the witch trials during 1692 because the danger of people who were targeted as witches in the modern era. McCarthyism was during the period of 1950- 1954, where many accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs. Most belonged to the Communist Party. The main point about it is that everyone is equal, there is no single person of small groups of people who rule the others. One cause of the fear of communism was the effect of the Korean War. During the three years of this war, more than 33,000 United States troops in combat were killed. The Korean War had major United States politic effects and brought great change to the United States national security policy during the Cold War. In September 1950, the war had changed drastically after the United Nations forces went about risky attacks behind enemy lines. President Truman made all his mistakes and decisions in order for these effects to come into place. After the outbreak, in 1950, The National Security Council report was approved by Truman which called for “drastic increases in U.S. conventional and nuclear strength and in foreign aid programs.” (Pach, Chester J., Jr.) The Korean War was the first armed confrontation of the Cold War and set the standard for many later conflicts. It created the idea of a proxy war, where the two superpowers would fight in another country, forcing the people in that nation to suffer the bulk of the destruction and death involved in a war between such large nations. The superpowers avoided descending into an all-out war with one another, as well as the mutual use of nuclear weapons. The Korean War impacted the economy of the United States. The cost of the Korean War was less significant than that of World War II, it still changed the structure of the American growth as a result of its financing. (Economic Consequences of War) The Korean War boosted GDP growth through government spending, which in turn constrained investment and consumption. (Economic Consequences of War) While taxes were raised significantly to finance the war, the Federal Reserve followed an anti-inflationary policy. Though there was a large increase in prices at the outset of the war, price and wage controls ultimately stabilized prices by the end of the war.(Rockoff) Consumption and investment continued to grow after the war, but below the trend rate prior to the war. On January 26, 1951, a price freeze was introduced. From the onset of the war to the start of the price freeze, prices increased at a rate of 11.1 percent annually. During the period from the price freeze to the end of price controls, prices rose at rate of 2.1 percent annually.(Rockoff) Overall inflation increased by 5.3 percent.This inflation growth was much lower than that of World War II, during which wholesale prices increased about 70 percent. While money growth was very high and volatile during World War II, averaging 18 percent between 1940 and 1946, the average money growth rate during the Korean War was 4 percent.(Ohanian) In response to this growth in inflation, the government implemented price and wage controls. Increases in taxes and new price and wage controls that constrained private sector consumption and investment affected overall material well-being. In the years after the war, consumption and investment continue to be impacted by war as they did not return to pre-war levels(Economic Consequences of War). The fear of communism led the United States to throw itself into Vietnam, in order to avoid another North Korea. The Korean War brought the United...
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