McCarthy launches hunt for US Communists

(156 words)
  • Lucas Paul Richert (University of Saskatchewan)

Historical Context Note

In February 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy began his hunt for Communists in the U.S. government by publicly charging that 205 Communists had infiltrated the State Department. This charge propelled McCarthy into the national headlines. He was subsequently unable to produce the name of a single ‘card-carrying’ Communist in government; however, this did not deter him. Re-elected to the Senate in 1952, McCarthy was named the Chairman of the Government Committee on Operations. From this position, McCarthy continued his hunt for communists in government. His pugnacious style and insubstantial charges harmed many innocent Americans. McCarthy’s influence dwindled in 1954, as a result of the nationally televised U.S. army hearings.…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Richert, Lucas Paul. "McCarthy launches hunt for US Communists". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 October 2008
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]