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During Trumans presidency he was faced with forces of intolerance within United States society These were principally the Red scares of the 1950s hostile attitudes towards Trade Unions and racism particularly in the South These forces of intolerance were motivated by both Truman himself and the Republican party for political reasons but for different aims Trumans intolerance could be seen as positive while the Republicans intolerance was more extreme and motivated for party advantage The intolerance of the Red scares was perpetrated by the Republican party and in particular Senator Joseph McCarthy McCarthy made claims that there were communists known to the Secretary of State working and making policy within the state department This was politically motivated because McCarthy was trying to further his own political career It was uncertain whether he would maintain his seat in Congress in the 1950 mid-term elections so he needed a strong issue to campaign on He had witnessed Richard Nixon become a household name in the United States when he successfully prosecuted Algar Hiss who was accused of passing government papers to the Soviets McCarthy desired a national reputation and the Republican party used McCarthy to play on the fears that already existed in society about a communist threat to the United States to damage Trumans administration It is not enough to simply blame the Republicans for the Red scares There was nothing new about a fear of communism There had been Red scares in the 1920s and the House of un-American Activities Committee was set up in 1938 which contained files of premature anti-fascists This fear of communism is almost inevitable as communism poses a threat to the American ethos of free market capitalism There was a communist threat to the United States in the 1950s all though it was not as great as was suggested at the time This was shown by the defection of Igor Gouzenko cipher clerk at the Soviet embassy in
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