McCarthyism CommonLit Answers 2024 [Free Access]

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McCarthyism CommonLit Answers – FREE Access

Find the answer key for the topic “McCarthyism” below:

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CommonLit McCarthyism Answers key

Discussion Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. In the context of the text, how does fear drive action? How does popular opinion shape political policies? Do you think it is acceptable for the government to suspend the rights of citizens when in a state of panic or emergency? Why or why not?
Ans: Fear can drive action by creating a sense of urgency and motivating individuals to take measures to protect themselves or their interests. In the context of the text, fear may lead people to support certain political policies that promise security or stability. Popular opinion can shape political policies by influencing public discourse and putting pressure on policymakers.
Whether it is acceptable for the government to suspend citizens’ rights in a state of panic or emergency is a complex ethical question. Some argue that temporary restrictions may be necessary for public safety, while others believe that protecting civil liberties should always be prioritized. Acceptability depends on factors such as the severity of the situation, proportionality of measures taken, and transparency in decision-making.

Q.2. In the context of the passage, how can fear be used to manipulate? Do you think that a demagogue such as Joseph McCarthy could ever rise to power again? Why or why not? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: Fear can be used to manipulate individuals by exploiting their vulnerabilities and manipulating their emotions. In the context of the passage, fear is used as a tool by demagogues like Joseph McCarthy to gain power and control over public opinion. They exploit people’s fears and insecurities for personal gain.
As for whether someone like Joseph McCarthy could rise to power again, it is difficult to predict with certainty. History has shown that demagogues can emerge in times of social unrest or economic instability when people are more susceptible to fear-based rhetoric. However, societies also learn from past mistakes and develop safeguards against such manipulation.
To support this argument, one could cite historical examples like Adolf Hitler’s rise in Nazi Germany or contemporary instances where fear-based tactics have been employed successfully by politicians seeking power. Additionally, literature and art often explore themes related to manipulation through fear (e.g., George Orwell’s “1984”) which further highlights its potential dangers.


Assessment Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. PART A: Which statement best identifies the central idea of the text?
Ans: The government was cautious about communist spies and relied solely on Senator Joseph McCarthy to contain communism in America.

Q.2. PART B: Which detail from the text best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “McCarthy capitalized on national paranoia by proclaiming that Communist spies were omnipresent and that he was America’s only salvation.” (Paragraph 6)

Q.3. PART A: What is the meaning of the word “unscrupulous” as used in paragraph 14?
Ans: shameless

Q.4. PART B: Which quote from the text best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “censured him” (Paragraph 15)

Q.5. How does Reagan’s testimony in paragraphs 19-20 contribute to the development of ideas in the text?
Ans: Reagan uses words like “dishonest” and outcries “I never as a citizen want to see our country become urged, by either fear or resentment of this group”.
Reagan’s testimony in paragraph 18 contributes to the development of ideas in the text by expressing his strong disapproval of dishonesty and his concern about the potential negative impact on the country. By using words like “dishonest” and expressing his desire to not see the country influenced by fear or resentment, Reagan emphasizes the importance of honesty and unity in society. This helps to further develop the idea that integrity and unity are crucial for a strong and prosperous nation.


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In CommonLit, “McCarthyism” is one of the students’ favorite articles authored by for grade 10 students.

This short article describes how the fear of communism affected America during the Cold War.


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