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A lawyer who rose to become a significant public official in the United States through the 1930's and 1940s. In 1948 a magazine editor, who confessed to being a communist, accused Hiss of assisting in the transmittal of documents to the Russians. Hiss denied any involvement but was found guilty in his second trial and sentenced to five years in prison. Many did not believe his pleas of innocence and the case stimulated support for Senator McCarthy and the hunt for communists in places of influence in American society. It is now widely believed that Hiss (who was probably wrongfully accused) was the scapegoat for the loss of China to the Communists and the Russian development of the atomic bomb. Americans found it difficult to believe that either of these events could have happened without duplicity and thus looked to subversion, spies, lack of loyalty and moral degeneration as explanations for these world developments. See: MCCARTHYISM / .

Last updated 2002--0-9-

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
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