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Search > Learning Exercise Results > The Alger Hiss Trials

Learning Exercise: The Alger Hiss Trials

The Alger Hiss Trials
Alger Hiss worked for the State Department. He was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union during the Truman pesidency. This site examines Hiss' guilt.
Course: U.S. History


Submitted by:
William Paquette
Date Last Modified:
August 04, 2009


Instructions: CLICK "go to material." SCROLL down to the bottom of the page. Click "Famous Trials." CLICK "Alger Hiss." READ "The Alger Hiss Trials: An Account. Answer the following questions: 1. Who were Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers?, 2. What was HUAC?, 3. What were the charges against Hiss?, 4. What were the Pumpkin Papers?, 5. What role in Richard Nixon play in the Hiss trials?, 6. Summarize Hiss' defense, 7. Summarize the prosecution's position, 8. How many times was Hiss tried and for what?, 9. Was Hiss convicted of spying? 10. If not, what was he convicted of?, 11. What were the Venora files and what was their importance to the case?, 12. What was Hiss' fate?, 13. How did the trial affect Richard Nixon's career?, 14. Did Hiss get a fair trial?, 15. What does the trial tell us about the United States at the beginning of the Cold War?



  • College General Ed
  • College Lower Division
  • High School


Alger Hiss; Richard Nixon; Anti-Communism; The Cold War.



Learning Objectives

To evaulate whether or not Alger Hiss was guilty of spying for the Soviet Union during the outbreak of the Cold War.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Supplemental Activity
  • Unsupervised



Technical Notes