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Comparison between McCarthyism and Salem Witch Trials Essay Sample

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Comparison between McCarthyism and Salem Witch Trials Essay Sample

Potent similarities of different patterns and genres are found between the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism even though there was a significant period of time that separated them. The Salem witch trials began in 1692 and caused panic, confusion, and disorder as a result of witchcraft accusations in both Salem Village and Salem Town, Massachusetts. McCarthyism, which was presided over by J., Parnell Thomas from the 1940s to the 1950s, first originated in the HUAC (House of Un-American Activities Committee), and was based on the Republican ideas of the U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy; McCarthyism had vast investigations all over the States. Mass hysteria, chaos and disarray caused by the accusations against innocent lives and people were evident both during the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism.

These accusations and polemics, without a doubt, were a representation of the obsession with witchcraft and of total communism. Charlie Chaplin’s patriotism and love for his home country, England, was one of the main reasons why he was accused of “un-American activities”. In 1942, after his innumerable problems with the FBI and especially its director at the time, J. Edgar Hoover, Charlie Chaplin’s re-entry permit to the US was revoked; he could never come back to America again. Accusers in both cases were put “high in the levels of the sky” since they were seen as saints that helped people in these periods of chaos and guided people to salvation with their deeds; actions that made them more powerful than even the most important figures in the society.

Pursuing this further, one of their investigations undertaken in Hollywood, lead them to a list of approximately 19 names by just investigating 41 forthcoming witnesses; out of the 19 names 10 did not want to answer questions and refused interrogations. The Hollywood Ten, as they came to be known, claimed that the rights and freedom of speech given to them by the first amendment through the Bill of Rights, gave them the voice and power to resist and oppose. However, as a result, they were sentenced to six months of prison. Furthermore, this occurrence is a wonderful representation and also a clear paradigm that gives one an idea about how the trials during McCarthy’s era did not differ much from the ruthless witch trials in Salem; the suspects were given prison terms without taking into account the broken laws and violated human rights, condemned even beyond the necessary. Even though most of the sentences were not protracted, the consequences were life-lastingthey all resulted life-lasting since the sentence was the same as a black mark on the condemned; it ruined their existence until the end condemning them not only for those few months of their lives but for an eternity.

They were astonishingly unwanted, wordlessly abandoned, and suppressed off the limits. As a result of these prejudicial ideas, even their descendants were socially and politically persecuted, not being able to do anything in their lives. McCarthy’s campaign raised a suspicious wave in the society, which lead to many false accusations based on fear and hatred. In 1954, American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was unfairly accused but warmongering rivals such as physicist Edward Teller, former colleague who testified against him at a security hearing; Oppenheimer was reported to have been “like a wounded animal”. Obviously, there were similarsame patterns in the witch trials of Salem. In the light of the fear, hatred, and false accusations it is easy to see that there were evident and obvious similarities throughout whole these two periods of time.

Following this further, it is palpable that these facts and examples are amazingly connected to religious manners, which were clearer in Salem’s witch hunts resulting in obsession. The only way to give a coherent explanation ofto them would be believing in the devil and its evil powers; this was what most of the people believed in and what mercilessly destroyed entire families. These facts connect McCarthyism to Salem’s witch hunts even though there was a strong difference in time but apparently outstanding similarities in existence. Hence, beliefs that these two events would be different were discredited as a result of the surprisingly similar events occurring during these two periods; unbelievable since they would never be expected to be so analogous because of the 250 years separating them.

In final consideration, the Salem witch hunts and McCarthyism were both ventures by power-hungry people to ebb their rivalry without any tangible facts. Without evidence and proofs, hundreds and thousands of families got destroyed and chaos invaded the society. These two events modified people’s mentality and also distorted their ways of living. The Salem witch hunts and McCarthyism were without a doubt, two similar and powerful weapons which shattered lives, peoples, and societies.

Works Cited

“McCarthyism.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 17 Jan 2007. 17 Jan 2007 .

“Witch Hunts, Pledges, and Blacklists.” McCarthy Which Hunts. 18 Feb. 1996. 15 Jan. 2007 .

Rovere, Richard H. “Joe McCarthy.” Richard H. Rovere. 2 Aug. 2004. 15 Jan. 2007 .

“Salem witch trials.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 13 Jan 2007. 16 Jan 2007.

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