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Red Scares of the 1920s and 1950s

The intense antiradical activity referred to as the Red Scare of the 1920s actually began in 1919, and, by 1921, most of the intensity had been spent (Bennett, 1988). Antiradical activity reached another crescendo in 1950. This time, the period of intense antiradical activity lasted longer, and did not subside until 1954 (Bennett, 1988).

Because the Red Scares of the 1920s and 1950s are related, it is necessary in this comparison to consider some events and actions all along the continuum. Further, because the greatest intensity of action in the Red Scares of both the 1920s and the 1950s were much shorter than the full decades indicated by their designations, it is necessary in this comparison to place a greater emphasis on the events and actions of the 19191920 and the 19501954 periods than on most other periods along the continuum.

Alien ideas had caused trouble for Americans throughout their history (Bennett, 1988). For most Americans, however, the greatest trouble was perceived to be alien people, as opposed to alien ideas. The success of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the worldwide rise of communism in 1919, however, brought the fear of alien ideas to the forefront of American consciousness. The fear of an alien ideacommunismin 1919 coincided conveniently with a rebirth of American concerns with alien people (Bennett, 1988). The resurgence of nativism in the United States b


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Red Scares of the 1920s and 1950s. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:01, October 22, 2014, from
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