phenomenon in the United States of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence, named after Senator Joseph McCarthy

McCarthyism is the term describing a period of intense anti-Communist suspicion in the United States which began during the start of the Cold War, that lasted roughly from the late 1940s to the mid to late 1950s. The term gets its name from U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, a Republican of Wisconsin. The period of McCarthyism is also referred to as the Second Red Scare (The First Red Scare happened after the Bolshevik October Revolution of 1917, that lasted from the late 1910s to the late 1920s). It happened at the same times as increased fears of Communist influence on American institutions, espionage by Soviet agents such as the Rosenbergs, heightened tension from Soviet control over Central and Eastern Europe, and the success of the Chinese Communist Revolution (1949) and the Korean War (1950-1953). There is a play called 'The Crucible' which is about the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials, but also about McCarthy.