The second red scare

By: Andre Cockrane & Rajast Mouzone

The beginning

As World War II was ending, a fear-driven movement known as the Second Red Scare began to spread across the United States. Many Americans were not accepting the fact that the soviet union were trying to spread communism. Senator Joseph McCarthy chaired one such committee, hoping to end communist influence in the federal government. Thousands of federal government workers came under suspicion of being loyal to the communists, and many of these people lost their jobs.


McCarthyism began in the late 1940s and ended in the mid to late 1950s. McCarthyism came to be synonymous with the term witch-hunt, the act of making serious but unsubstantiated charges against people in public life. McCarthyism is also used today as a more all-purpose term to describe the general practice of making false allegations, specifically of pro-Communist activity and most often based on irrelevant evidence. They worried that communists were infiltrating the government in an attempt to overthrow America. McCarthy was the man most responsible for reinforcing such fears.


HUAC is a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, investigated allegations of communist activity in the U.S. during the early years of the Cold War.The HUAC investigations delved into many areas of American life, but they paid special attention to the motion picture industry, which was believed to harbor a large number of Communists. Not wishing to get on the wrong side of Congress or the movie-going public, most film industry executives did not speak out against the investigations. In addition, many of the major studios imposed a strict blacklist policy against actors, directors, writers and other personnel implicated in Communist activity.

Hollywood Ten

Hollywood Ten were screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected. Artists were barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy toward the American Communist Party. The list eventually contained more then ten names but it started with just ten names in 1947.