Senator Joseph McCarthy: Biography, Facts & Timeline


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question 1 of 3

Which of the following statements is correct about the rise of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy to national prominence?

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1. This was the Senate organization that Joseph McCarthy used to launch his investigations and accusations:

2. This man, the chief counsel for the U.S. Army, was responsible for the public recrimination that began the downfall of Sen. McCarthy:

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About this Quiz & Worksheet

Senator Joseph McCarthy exploited post-World War II fears about the rise of Communism by accusing scores of innocent Americans of engaging in subversive activities. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you understand McCarthy's personal motivations, the chilling effect his senate investigations had on political thought and speech and his legacy which made his name synonymous with an unfounded witch hunt.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be tested on:

  • McCarthy's ability to manipulate public opinion
  • Senate investigations into subversive activities
  • Opposition to McCarthy's investigations
  • Roy Cohn's role in the McCarthy era
  • Joseph McCarthy's downfall

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet lets students practice the following skills:

  • Knowledge application - use the knowledge you've gained to answer questions about Senator Joseph McCarthy's role in Cold War era history
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can define key terms and phrases such as McCarthyism, Cold War and House Committee on Un-American Activities
  • Making connections - correlate the events of the 1950s with McCarthy's rise to power
  • Critical thinking - use your understanding of McCarthyism to examine the role of fear in political movements

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the accompanying lesson on Senator Joseph McCarthy. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Understand McCarthy's personal political motivations
  • Know the effect of McCarthy's unfounded accusations
  • Define McCarthyism
  • Understand the atmosphere of the Cold War
  • Understand McCarthy's effect on free speech and political dialog