McCarthyism and the Red Scare Questions and Answers

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Did many people die during McCarthyism? In The Crucible, people died.  Did they die in McCarthy's time?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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McCarthyism was more for destroying people's lives than actually killing them. I'm sure there were some suicides, and maybe even some murders, but nothing was government sanctioned. Instead, people were blacklisted and kept from earning a living in their chosen professions, and socially cast out.

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lrwilliams eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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McCarthyism was mostly a period of time where accusations were made that individuals were members of the Communist Party. Senator McCarthy had composed a list of people that he said were members and J Edgar Hoover gladly stoked the fire of McCarthyism.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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No.  People did not die during the McCarthy era.  There were lives that were ruined (in terms of people having a hard time getting jobs in their preferred line of work) but there were not many people killed.  I would say that no one was killed during the era except for (if you want to look at it this way) the Rosenbergs.

The Rosenbergs were a couple who were convicted of spying for the Soviet Union -- giving nuclear secrets away.  They were both executed in a fairly controversial episode.  There is no real doubt that they were guilty, but there is controversy over whether they deserved to die.

But in terms of people getting killed just for being communist or anything like that, no, it didn't happen.

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