3 SIMPLE WAYS TO
1. Do nothing.
2. Direct attack.
CONTAINMENT. What is it?
It is a policy that is based
in preventing communism
It does NOT mean that
capitalism attempts to
It means finding strategies
to strenghten capitalist
positions in strategic
• Intervention in conflicts. • KOREA • VIETNAM
• CUBAN MISSILE
• NATO • SEATO • CENTO
• Arms race.
Now in 1949 all of China fell to the Communists. We
saw red almost everywhere. And the Russians got the
bomb. We leaped from what we knew to what we
dreaded to think. Somehow, somewhere, possibly right
here at home, we were being betrayed. Who gave the
Russians the secret of the A-bomb? Who lost China to
the Communists? Suspicions fell on fertile ground.
Extract from the commentary of a 1984
American TV documentary called A Walk
Through The Twentieth Century with Bill
Myers. Myers was (and still is) a
distinguished political journalist
what you see.
Which is the
intention of the
Internal political developments
• The Federal Bureau of Investigations. FBI
• The House Un-American Activities Committee.
• The Hiss case.
• The Rosenbergs.
• The McCarran Act.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations. FBI
J. Edgar Hoover receives the National Security
Medal from President Eisenhower.
Some facts about him…
• Strongly anti communist
• Federal Employee Loyalty Program.
• loyalty boards to investigate
• around 3 million were investigated.
• Nobody was charged with spying.
• ‘security risks’
The House Un-American Activities Committee.
• The Hollywood Ten being accused of anti american/ pro communist.
• From the 1930s, the US Congress had a House Un-American Activities
• It was not illegal to be a Communist in a free democratic country such
as the USA.
• First Amendment of the US Constitution
The Hiss case.
• Hiss was a high-ranking member
of the US State Department
• Accused by Whittaker Chambers
in front of the HUAC
• Hiss accused Chambers of lying
and Truman dismissed the case.
• Hiss was never tried for spying,
although he was convicted for
• It´s not clear whether he was a
spy or not.
• Klaus Fuchs German-born British physicist
convicted of spying.
• The investigation also led to Julius and Ethel
• They were convicted in 1951 and executed in
• At the time, evidence was not strong.
• This was also called the Internal Security Act of 1950.
• President Truman opposed it because the Act was
opposed to the Bill of Rights.
• The main measures were:
• All Communist organisations had to be registered
• No Communist could carry a US passport or work in the
• It allowed for the setting up of detention camps in
Suspects were asked to
“name names”. If don´t
they became suspects.
Joseph McCarthy saw this
as an opportunity to gain
power and popularity.
The ‘witch hunts’
• General George Marshall was at the centre of a gigantic
conspiracy against the USA.
• Thousands of people found their lives and careers ruined.
• 100 university lecturers were fired.
• The HUAC ‘blacklisted’ 324 Hollywood personalities.
• Walt Disney, Jack Warner and Louis Mayer supported
“The technique apparently used by Senator
McCarthy against me is apparently typical. He first
announced at a press conference that he had discovered
the top Russian agent in the United States. At first he
withheld my name, but later, after the drama of his
announcement was intensified by delay, he then whispered
my name to a group of newspaper reporters with full
knowledge that my name would be bandied about by
rumour and gossip and eventually published. I say to you
that this was unworthy of a Senator or an American.”
Professor Owen Lattimore at the HUAC hearings in 1952.
The legacy of McCarthyism
• McCarthyism has become an example of how
fundamental American values were violated.
• Looking for an issue that would get him re-elected, he
seized on the fears of millions, and launched the squalid
campaign that became known as McCarthyism. Its tactic:
reckless and undocumented accusation against
government employees. Intimidation bred audacity and
audacity fed upon itself. McCarthy soon had the celebrity
he sought. The stage was his alone to command.
An extract from the commentary of a 1984 American TV documentary called A
Walk Through The Twentieth Century with Bill Myers