Communism is a government philosophy that was developed by Karl Marx
and Friedrich Engels in 1848. His Manifesto became a base to the whole
political movements that were going on in the Soviet Union during the
early 1900. Originally, Mark intended communism to be the final stage of
socialism in which all class differences would disappear and humankind
would live in harmony. The Manifesto stated that a struggle between the
classes would occur in the future between the bourgeoise (the capitalist
employers) and the proletariats (the workers).
But when the Soviet leader Lenin took these ideas, he started the
Bolshevik revolution in which the working class overthrew the government.
The whole revolution started when the Duma, something like a Soviet parliament,
declared the Soviet Union a provisional government. Tsar Nicholas Romanov II
peacefully gave up his reign three days later and Lenin returned from exile.
Once back, he immediately started to rally up the workers to reject the
While recieving money from the Germans, Lenin was declared a German agent
after he and the Bolsheviks attemped to sieze power in July of 1917. After a
period of hiding Lenin found a right hand man, Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was a
great revolutionary orator and it was his intellegence that caused the
Bolshevik's sieze of power. Once power was taken, the Bolsheviks named Lenin,
head of the new communist government.
Now the great Civil War took place. There were 18 different governments, all
competing for the Soviet Union's central government. These governments included
Lenin with his Red army and the old government with its White army. By 1919 it
seemed like that White army would triumph and retake the central government but
after dividing politically, the Red army took over. From there the Soviet Union
As the world then began to see was that communism could only work if the
whole world ran on the same system but many of the other nations worked well in
their system of government. As a result communism had a tendency to spread. So
when the 1950's came around and WWII was over, America assumed the role of
containing communism. It was for this reason that the Vietnam was started. The
ideas of communism had reached the Southeast and Vietnam divided so that the
north was communist while the south was democratic. To contain communism and
promote democracy, we helped the south in their civil war against the North.
For information on Communism:
Contradictions of Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxian Economics
McCarthyism is the name for the massive witch hunt that occured in the 1950's.
Led by senator Joe McCarthy, the senate set out to find what communists were
spreading propaganda across America. The first place they looked was at the
movie industry. Hundreds of movie actors, actresses, writers, directors, and
producers were Black listed for wild accusations that they had communist beliefs.
Along with actors McCarthy claimed to have lists of communist in the State
Department, the pentagon, and in the army.
This trend didn't last long, for the senate looked into McCarty himself. They
found that he had no backing to these alligations. He was formally censured by
his colleagues in December of 1954 and died a broken alcoholic in 1957. Although
McCarthy had died, the fear of communism in the United States was in the heads
of the American people.
Sound files of McCarthy:
"At long last, have you
left no sense of decency?"
"There's only one
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