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5. Domestic Impacts of the Cold War: The Red Scare and McCarthyism
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the impact of the Cold War on domestic politics in the US, focusing in particular on: (i) what the US was like in the 1950s – both in the popular imagination and in reality; (ii) the impact on US morale of Russia’s first nuclear test (29 August 1949), China’s fall to Communism (1 October 1949) and the beginning of the Korean War (25 June 1950); (iii) the formation of the House Un-American Affairs Committee (HUAC) and its pursuit of alleged communists within the US government; (iv) the importance of the trials of Alger Hiss (1948), Klaus Fuchs (1950) and the Rosenbergs (1951); (v) the impact of the Hollywood Hearings and the Hollywood Ten; (vi) the figure of Joe McCarthy and the concept of McCarthyism; and (vii) the impact of the Cold War on the domestic policies of other counties, including Britain and the Soviet Union.
In this course, Dr Thomas Tunstall Allcock (University of Manchester) provides an introduction to the Cold War, 1947-91, the period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and its satellite states (the Eastern Bloc) and the United States and its allies (the Western Block). In the first module, we provide an introduction to the topic as a whole, considering how we should actually define the Cold War, and its diplomatic, economic and ideological dimensions. In the second and third modules, we think about the origins of the Cold War, before turning in the fourth module to consider the importance of the Korean War (1950-53) on the conflict. In the fifth module, we think about the domestic impact of the Cold War, before turning in the sixth module to consider how the Cold War began to incorporate tensions in Africa, Asia and South America to become an increasingly global conflict. In the seventh module, we consider the importance of the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) to the development of the Cold War, before turning in the eighth module to the most important conflict of them all – Vietnam (1955-75). In the ninth module, we consider the development of the war between 1968-75, a period of easing tensions between the US and Soviet Union known as Detente, before turning in the tenth module to the ratcheting up of tensions during the presidency of Jimmy Carter (1977-81). Finally, in the eleventh module, we think about how the Cold War came to an end.
Dr Tom Tunstall Allcock is a lecturer in American history at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War, with particular interests in U.S.-Latin American relations, presidential history and diplomacy, and the cultural history of the Cold War.
Cite this Lecture
Tunstall Allcock, T. (2020, February 05). Cold War – Overview, 1945-1991 - Domestic Impacts of the Cold War: The Red Scare and McCarthyism [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-cold-war-1945-1991/domestic-impacts-of-the-cold-war-the-red-scare-and-mccarthyism
Tunstall Allcock, Thomas. "Cold War – Overview, 1945-1991 – Domestic Impacts of the Cold War: The Red Scare and McCarthyism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 Feb 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-cold-war-1945-1991/domestic-impacts-of-the-cold-war-the-red-scare-and-mccarthyism