, Research Paper
The McCarthy Era and the Salem Witch Trials
The McCarthy era is very similar to the Salem Witch trials. They
are both similar, because they both dealt with hysteria. Hysteria is an
uncontrollable fear or outburst of emotion. Both things had to do with people
accusing each other of people being communist, and people being witches.
The McCarthy era, took place in the twentieth century. It had to do
with people thinking that other people were communist. Since people thought that
others were communist, they accused them of committing communism.
Communism is, when people don’t follow what the government says. The people
that were accused of being communist, were persecuted by other people in the
community. Then they were put to death. The U.S. senator Joseph Raymond
McCarthy was the man who was against the rising of communism. His revolts
against communism gave birth to the term McCarthyism.
The Salem Witch trials took place in the seventeenth century in
Salem, Massachusetts. They were considered to be America’s most notorious
episode of witchcraft hysteria. As in the McCarthy era, people who were even
accused of being witches were persecuted. Many innocent people were killed
because of the result of false accusations and many other women were put through
many trials to determine if they were witches. Witches were considered outcasts of
society. It was also considered a hysteria because it was blown out of proprtion.
Much of this hysteria soon ended due to the sermon delivered by Cotton Mather.
In his statement he argued against the mass convictions of innocent people. Some
clergy finally decided to listen to his ideas and many of the accused were released
from jail by the decision of the governor and because jails were overflowing.
Hysteria has no place in a society because it is wrong. It causes chaos
and confusion and in these cases death. Hysteria can also cause paranoia and can
cause fear and hatred among societies. Many societies have experienced their own
witch hunts which has damaged societies greatly.
1996 Grolier Encyclopedia
“The Social origins of Witchcraft (1974)”
“The Salem Witchcraft Papers, 3 volumes (1977)”
“Witchcraft at Salem (1969)”
“Reading the Witch Trials of 1692 (1993)”
1996 Encarta Encyclopedia
“Joseph Raymond McCarthy”