Mccarthy Trials Vs. The Crucible Essay

"Mc Carthyism" Vs. The Witch Trials In "The Crucible"

In today's society, many people are accused of crimes so absurd that when put to trial, they name others of the same crime. This is to redirect the focus from them to others. "The Crucible" and in "McCarthyism" had the same influence on people. People were accused of witchcraft and being communist, so they accused others to lessen their penalty and redirect focus. "The Crucibl"e is about the witch trials in Salem in 1692. "McCarthyism" is about the communist trials in the United States during 1950 to 1954. These two events in history are very similar, yet also very different.

Both the witch trials and McCarthyism had innocent people wrongly accused, had reputations ruined, had people put in jail or worse, and the accused had very little choices afterward. In both cases, many were wrongly accused of being a witch or being communist. In The Crucible, Abigail and Betty accuse many of being "with the devil" (pg. 48). They accused others to blame others for being caught dancing in the woods one night. Once it got started, the "whole country's talkin' of witchcraft!" (pg. 18). Senator Joseph McCarthy accused others of being a communist to stop the fear of communists, to stop an uprising against the government, and to stop espionage, whether the accused were innocent or not. The fear of the communists led to the "Red Scare" (named after the communist color: red). (http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/Dl/McCarthy/McCarthy documents.html) One instance is a big Hollywood investigation, where the House of Un-American Activities Committees (HUAC) investigated 41 people, named the "friendly witnesses" who blacklisted 19 people. The "Hollywood Ten" refused to talk or name names, using the first amendment as justice to their cause. Those ten were sent to jail for six to twelve months. (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk.USAmccarthyism.htm) This emphasizes the point that the accused had very little choices. The choices were to: A. to confess, and live and not be jailed, B. to name others, or C. be silent and be put in jail or worse, put to death. Both events in history had people lose their excellent reputation or had people lose their lives, jobs, and everything. Both McCarthyism and the witch trials had wrongly...

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McCarthyism versus The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay example

1174 Words5 Pages

"Reasonable doubt" was all that was necessary to accuse and sometimes convict someone of un-American activities in the late 1940's, early 1950's. This period of time was known for McCarthyism--a time of extreme anticommunism, lead by Senator Joseph McCarthy (McCarthyism). The United States pledged to contain the spread of communism globally, as well as locally, and did what it could to keep this promise. Americans began to fear that communism was leaking into the media, government, arts, schools, and other areas. This was called the "Red Scare" (Brinkley). One writer that used this era as a basis for his play, The Crucible, was Arthur Miller. He was able to capture the panic and mere insanity of many Americans in an allegorical way. The…show more content…

The Federal Loyalty Program was also established at this time in order to question the trustworthiness of federal employees. Many were questioned and fired with the reasoning that they were considered a threat to their employers. State and local governments wanted to rid themselves of all kinds of subversives (Schrecker). On February 9, 1950 in Wheeling, West Virginia, the "crusade against subversion" took a significant radical turn. Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy gave a speech, and in it he stated, "I have here in my hand a list of two hundred and five [people] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department"("Enemies"). This was a very bold move by McCarthy because he was outright accusing over two hundred of his fellow co-workers of communist activity. Over the next few years, McCarthy became very well known for his bold tactics to expose alleged communists. Most Americans were too afraid to stand up to him, including President Dwight D. Eisenhower (McCarthyism). Eventually, however, people who were being affected by McCarthy began questioning his harsh tactics and his objectives concerning communism. McCarthyism affected people of all races, ethnicities, and professions. The American people were terrified of communism, yet the Truman administration did nothing to curb these fears. People lost their jobs, not

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