The Fear Factor
The Salem Witch Trials and the 1950's Red Scare were both the product of fear, hysteria, suspicion, and false accusations. These black events in American history had countless similarities that led to the persecution of many innocent individuals. In many ways, these events were initiated because of human nature and fear of the unknown. It is a natural instinct of all animals to proceed with caution when presented with something that is different. This reaction is a defense mechanism to protect ones self from potential harm and caused the mass hysteria to spread.
Arthur Miller's The Crucible and the Witch Trials began with a few young children, Abigail Williams, Marry Warren and Mercy Lewis, accusing some of the town's women of dancing and chanting in the woods. This was the basis for all their evidence, a few children's stories. In addition, both the incidences had leaders that fed and fueled the hysteria.
During the Witch Trials, one of the main "Hanging Judges" was Danforth. He was a main contributor to the hysteria and fear of witches that swelled throughout the communities. Though Danforth did not directly accuse people of practicing witchcraft, he chose to believe the fits that the children of the jury put on in the court. The Children were believed to be innocent and it was given that their voice was the word of god.
The equivalent of the Witch Trial jury during the Red Scare was the committee that charged people of communism. It was named the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). They sought out people whom they thought were either communist or a threat to the integrity of America. People were called before the committee if they had any previous connection with communist activities. In the late 1940's, a senator by...