Senator Joseph Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain? DBQ

Senator Joseph Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain? DBQ
Senator Joseph Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain? DBQ
Senator Joseph Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain? DBQ
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Analysis of Senator Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain?

DBQ:
Analysis of Senator Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain?



Background:
Was Senator McCarthy a power hungry politician who deliberately mislead and manipulated people? Or was he a product of his time, working like other officials to defend the American people against the threat of communism?

Task:
Use your knowledge of the Cold War and the documents to answer the questions and then the essential question below.




Document A

In my opinion the State Department, which is one of the most important government departments, is thoroughly infersted with communists. I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card-carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shapr our foeign policy.
- Senator Joseph McCarthy, February 1950

Document B




Document C
(He) was in many ways the most gifted demagogue ever bred on these shores. No bolder seditionist ever moved among us- nor any politician with a surer, swifter access to the dark places of the American mind. The major phase of McCarthy’s career was merciful short. It began in 1950, three years after he had taken his seat in the Senate, where he had seemed a dim and inconsiderable figure… If he was anything at all in the realm of ideas, principles, doctrines, he was a species of nihilist; he was an essentially destructive force, a revolutionist without any revolutionary vision
- Richard H. Rovere, Senator Joe McCarthy
Document D
- Emotions ran very, very high about how to conduct the Cold War, about how to deal with the threat of Stalinism, both abroad but also at home. You had American soldiers dying in Korea. The Korean War formed the vivid backdrop for all of McCarthy’s career. There was a bitter, bitter partisan battle in which people were prepared to say almost anything to blacken the reputations and to smear their political opponents.
- McCarthy did it, and his Republican allies did it. You also have to remember that the Democrats were quite prepared to do the same thing, and often did against McCarthy, calling him a Nazi sympathizer, talking about his investigations as posing a threat to American democracy and so on, charges which really don’t, in the light of historical evidence and historical perspective, hold any kind of water.
- - Arthur Hermanm The Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy
Questions:
1. Which of the documents is a secondary source that claims that McCarthy was like other politicians of his time and not a significant threat to the American political system?

2. According to Richard Rovere, which of the following statements is the most accurate assessment of McCarthy?

a. He was a power-hungry politician who destroyed people without good reason
b. He was a gifted politician who protected Americans from destructive forces?
c. He was a man with high ideals whose career in politics was too short?
d. He was evil, but he helped defeat communism?

3. The political cartoon most closely agrees with which of the other Documents? Explain?

4. Writing Task: With which of the historians quoted in the documents above do you most strongly agree? Use your knowledge of the Cold War, the Red Scare, and specific evidence from the primary sources above to support your opinion
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Senator Joseph Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain? DBQ
Senator Joseph Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain? DBQ
Senator Joseph Joseph McCarthy: Hero or Villain? DBQ