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There were two general periods known as the Red Scare. The first was shortly after the Russian Revolution that created the USSR. This was from 1917 to 1920. The activity of socialist and "workers" groups led many to fear a similar uprising in the US and the West. Germany experienced this near the end of World War I, and it was a factor in their defeat in the war.

The so-called Palmer Raids of 1919 and 1920 sought to deport radical leftists and anarchists from the US. Some of these groups had used bombings and killing to support their attacks on the government.

As late as 1940, the US Government began prosecuting socialists under the Smith Act.

The second "Red Scare" followed World War II and was part of the Cold War from around 1947 to 1954. Many in the US feared that the Soviets would be strong enough to take over the US, and worried that communist infiltrators were already working to undermine the government. This sparked the activities of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950's, along with similar actions by the House Un-American Activities Committee that jailed the Hollywood Ten for refusing to name others in the film industry who were supposedly communist party members.

Those ten, and many others, were shunned (blacklisted) by the entertainment industry for fear that Congress would pass onerous regulations.

Books that were labeled by the McCarthy camp as communist Propaganda were removed from the official libraries of the US overseas.

Congress successfully overrode the Truman veto in passing the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950, which gave the US broad powers to act against supposed spies and security risks. Most of the provisions were later repealed, as many were deemed unconstitutional, such as "preventive detention" of suspects and revocation of passports.

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Vincent Kemmer

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Q: What was the results of the red scare?
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