Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



While the historiography of the Red Scare has often discussed the major internal security legislation passed during the period, the legislation in question is often given short shrift and characterized as a misguided response by Congress. It is important to examine this legislation not only for what it did for the internal security of the nation, but also for what it meant symbolically. Implementation of governmental policy, including internal security policy, through legislation often also serves as a window to the beliefs and values of those crafting the legislation. By examining the internal security legislation passed during the Red Scare, we can determine some of the beliefs and values that underlay the legislation. This dissertation argues three points. First, Congressional politics and legislation during the Second Red Scare created a pattern for dealing with internal security crises both during and after the Cold War. As part of this pattern, the values and beliefs that underlay the initial internal security legislation are present in internal security legislation of the 1960s and the early 2000s. The judicial response to this legislation created necessary limits to Congressional action. Second, while the race riots of many major urban centers in the 1960s have been explained as social crises, it’s important that they be studied as internal security crises as well. Particularly within Congress, some viewed these riots as an insurgency and an insurrection and framed their responses and legislation towards combating them. Finally, while attempts have been made to create a post-Cold War policy towards combating terrorism, the initial post-September 11, 2001, attempts at anti-terror legislation (such as the USA PATRIOT Act) continued to follow much of the same pattern established for internal security crises during the Cold War.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Culbert, David H.



Included in

History Commons