"Not McCarthy's Job": McCarthyism and the Anglo-American Relationship

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Longe, Edward John
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Abstract: The era of McCarthyism, and the consistent persecution of suspect Communists in the United States during the early 1950s has traditionally been considered by historians as a political and cultural phenomenon that was confined to the United States. My thesis challenges this notion, arguing that the charges Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) levelled against the British Government in 1953, combined with the targeting of suspected Communist subversives, was a significant destabilising dynamic to the Anglo-American diplomatic and cultural relationship during the early Cold War. To British politicians and the wider public, the activities of Senator McCarthy eroded British sovereignty and resembled a shadow government that not only threatened the stability of American democracy, presented a disparity between the American Cold War values and the treatment of domestic citizens and created the impression that President Eisenhower lacked the political skill to lead the Republican Party, let alone the United States and the free world during the Cold War. As such, this thesis considers that McCarthyism was a domestic phenomenon that had discernible transnational consequences.