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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP U.S. History
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Post by Kathleen Etzel on April 6, 2016

Anyone interested more in the Second Red Scare, McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklists should watch the movie "Trumbo" (2015) with the amazing Bryan Cranston!  It's a bit long but really tells the story well!

The Red Scare and The Eisenhower Years

  • The (second) Red Scare broke out in the early 1950s: the House of Un-American Activities Committee held widely publicized investigations to prove that under Dem rule, the government had tolerated (if not actually encouraged) communist subversion
  • Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, Republican, was at the forefront of the investigations and appealed to many working class U.S. citizens b/c he “took the globes off” to fight Communism and attacked the educated elite from the east coast
  • Anti-communist hysteria spread & McCarthyism spun out of control; many people feared McCarthy & other anti-communist gov officials, but it eventually died down by the late 1950s.
  • “Duck and Cover” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKqXu-5jw60
  • Eisenhower’s presidency epitomized by “Modern Republicanism” emphasized a slowdown, not dismantling of federal responsibilities
  • NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was founded in 1958, the year after the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first satellite
  • The CIA become very active & helps overthrow Iran’s premier after he seized control of British oil properties; it supported a coup of Arbenz in Guatemala after he expropriated land held by the United Fruit Co.
  • In Eisenhower’s Farewell Address in 1961, he warned against the “military industrial complex” which by then employed 3.5 million Americans but had the potential to threaten the civil liberties & democratic processes

The Red Scare and The Eisenhower Years

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Overview 0:07
  • The Second Red Scare 1:31
    • The House of Un-American Activities Committee
    • The Movie Industry
    • Senator Joseph McCarthy
  • Alger Hiss and HUAC 5:51
    • Alger Hiss
    • Whittaker Chambers
    • Richard Nixon
    • Anti-Communist Hysteria
  • Anti-Communist Hysteria and McCarthyism 7:24
    • Resigned under Pressure
    • McCarran Internal Security Act
    • Investigate Subversion in the U.S. Army
  • Anti-Communism 11:03
  • The Red Scare 12:33
  • Protest of HUAC and “Red Channels” 13:24
  • Ethel and Julius Rosenberg 13:49
    • Julius
    • Electrocution
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower 14:55
    • Modern Republicanism
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    • The New Look Army
    • Social Security
    • Termination
  • The Highway Act of 1956 20:14
    • A Broad Liberal Consensus
    • Promoted Tourism
    • Nuclear Missiles
  • The Space Race 22:23
  • The New Look in Foreign Policy 23:35
    • A Massive Nuclear Arsenal
    • U-2 Spy Plane
    • Hungarian Revolt
  • Containment the Third World 25:59
    • SEATO
    • A Coup of Arbenz
    • Proxy Wars
    • Domino Theory
  • Decolonization of the Third World 28:52
  • Containment in the Post-Colonial World 30:06
    • The Containment Policy
    • Failed to Recognize Indigenous or Nationalist Movements
    • Dictatorships or Repressive Right-Wing Regimes
  • U.S. Global Defense Treaties in Cold War 32:23
  • SEATO and The Role of the CIA 33:07
    • South Asia Treaty Organization
    • Central Intelligence Agency
    • Lebanon
  • Containment Policy 34:10
    • Overthrow Iran's Premier
    • Guatemala
    • Geneva Accords
    • Domino Theory
  • Military Industrial Complex 35:30
    • Eisenhower's Farewell Address
    • Military Industrial Complex
  • Military Industrial Map 36:51
  • Spending Graph 37:31
  • Example 1 37:59
  • Example 2 40:44
  • Example 3 43:25
  • Example 4 46:00