In this paper, the discussion will center on whether the Red Menace was real or just another scapegoat. On these grounds, the essay will show that the Red Menace was real because of (1). Soviets increase influence in Eastern Europe, (2). Association between the American Communist Party and Soviet espionage, (3). Declassified documents by scholars, (4). Secret Kremlin documents released in the early 1990s, and (5) Senator Joseph McCarthy claims of Communists spies in the government.
Red Menace or Red Scare, is a popular term that was widely used during the Cold War era to describe the “international communist conspiracy.” Just after the post-war period in the United States, Cold War heightened. Within hundred days after defeating Nazi Germany in Europe, there was the division of allies (“Red Scare: HUAC and McCarthyism”). This led to many Americans getting concerned with what they believed as Soviet aggression in Eastern Europe as a result of a series of Cold War events witnessed between 1945 and 1949 (“Red Scare: HUAC and McCarthyism”). In this period, there was the Potsdam Conference, Greek Civil War, the Iron Curtain Speech, a coup d’etat in Czechoslovakia, electoral success of communism in France and Italy, and the continuous division of Germany (“Red Scare: HUAC and McCarthyism”). The United States concern translated to fear following several discoveries that we are going to see in this paper
First, American Leaders started to disclose to the public that there is a good reason for the public to fear the subversive Communist influence in their day-to-day lives (“McCarthyism and the Red Scare”). According to the leaders, Communists could be hiding anywhere, some disguising their positions as college professors, school teachers, artists, labor organizers, and journalists to help the World Communist domination program (“McCarthyism and the Red Scare”). This kind of paranoia concerning the internal threat of the communist-what we call the Red Menace-attained its highest level between 1950 and 1954 when more evidence was discovered (“McCarthyism and the Red Scare”).
The discovery of Soviet spies within the American government is clear proof that the Red Menace was real. What was called the VENONA project, a Soviet cable that decrypted all operations conducted by the US Army Signal Intelligence Service provided evidence of Soviet spies in the US government (“Red Scare: HUAC and McCarthyism”). Several individuals were accused of conspiring with the USSR by spilling over important secrets including information on the manufacture of nuclear weapons. These individuals include Alger Hiss and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were later executed for espionage in 1953 (“Red Scare: HUAC and McCarthyism”). Another source of evidence that proves that the Red Menace was real and not a scapegoat is the recently declassified documents examined by scholars from American and Communist archives (“Platt | Red Scare or Red Menace?”). These documents reveal that many of those who were accused of Communist affiliations and espionage were indeed guilty (“Platt | Red Scare or Red Menace?”). The declassified documents indicate that they were members of an American Communist Party supported by Moscow and enlisted into its network of agents (“Platt | Red Scare or Red Menace?”). Most of them had indeed penetrated the top echelons of the U.S. government something that the United States had to be very concerned about.
Besides that, more revelations about the Communist’s invasion of the United States is yet another source of evidence to show that Red Menace was true. In their new book “Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History.” Jerrold and Leona Schecter disclose that J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was the legendary chief of the Manhattan Project was a close member of the Communist Party before 1942 (“FrontPage Magazine – The Red ‘Scare’ Was Real”). And this was the time when the KGB ordered Robert Oppenheimer to resign his membership (“FrontPage Magazine – The Red ‘Scare’ Was Real”). The documents examined by Jerrold and Leona shows that Oppenheimer was a key Soviet asset, and had accepted to recruit Communist scientists for a project that would lead to sharing out secret data to the Soviets (“FrontPage Magazine – The Red ‘Scare’ Was Real”).
The Red Menace, furthermore, is real because the secret Kremlin documents released in the early 1990s confirm that the American Communist Party had some links with the Soviet Communist Party just before the Cold War (“Red Scare: Real Threat or Scapegoat?”). According to historians John Earl, Harvey Klehr, and Fridrikh Firsov, the documents add emphasis on the popular belief that many American Communists joined hands with the Soviet intelligence and became very loyal to the Soviet Union instead of their own country (“Red Scare: Real Threat or Scapegoat?”). Additionally, the continuous subversive threat of the Communist Party of the US and fear that Communists working in sensitive government positions posed a security risk was true (“Red Scare: Real Threat or Scapegoat?”).
What even further makes the Red Menace true is Senator Joseph McCarthy’s claims of Communists within the United States government. He went ahead to launch several highly publicized investigations into the allegations that Communists had found a way into the White House, State Department, the Treasury, and even the US Army (“McCarthyism and the Red Scare”). To millions of Americans, McCarthy was a true hero of anticommunism and promoter of a Red Menace (“McCarthyism and the Red Scare”).
By the evidence examined in this paper, it seems fair to say that The Red Menace was real and not a scapegoat. With the Soviets increased interference in Eastern Europe, Senator Joseph McCarthy claims of Communist spies in the government, information from declassified documents from American and Communist archives as well as secret Kremlin documents released in the early 1990s. This evidence confirms that Red Menace was real and not imagination.