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Red Scare
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Red Scare


Speaking as if the POWs were old friends, he voiced his hope that the prisoners would help Japan fight the "Red Menace"—the Soviet Union, which had just seized Japan’s Kuril Islands.
Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  a term applied retroactively to a period of general fear of communists in the US
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Red Scare Red Menace
Strongly Associated with:   Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism
Notes:
The term is applied to two different periods in U.S. history. If context does not indicate which period it is probably the first (more recent) period listed below:

The late 1940s through the late 1950s (sometimes called the Second Red Scare) saw a fear of nuclear war with the Soviet Union that literally resulted in school children practicing drills of ducking under their desks or in school hallways with their hands over their heads in event of an attack. Fear of espionage resulted in efforts headed by Senator Joseph McCarthy to identify communist sympathizers. One famous result of this was the Hollywood Blacklist that made it impossible for some in the film industry to find work. Eventually McCarthy was discredited for exaggerating fears.

From 1917 to 1920 (sometimes called the First Red Scare) there was fear that the communist revolution in Russia could spread to the US. By 1919 there were hundreds of strikes per month. That same year coordinated bombings and a foiled plot to send 36 bombs to prominent Americans further increased fears. There were mass arrests and deportations effecting between 4,000 and 10,000 people over the next two years. Membership in groups like the U.S. Communist Party shrank about 80%. Eventually there was a backlash against heavy-handed anti-communist tactics.
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Samples:
  • Speaking as if the POWs were old friends, he voiced his hope that the prisoners would help Japan fight the "Red Menace"—the Soviet Union, which had just seized Japan’s Kuril Islands.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • He’s been going up and down the western country, rousting people out and haranguing them about the Red Menace.
    Orson Scott Card  --  Red Prophet
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Associated words [difficulty]:   Red Scare [9] , Joseph McCarthy [9] , McCarthyism [9] , McCarthyism [9]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   History, Public Policy & Politics, Sports
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