Comparison between McCarthyism and Salem Witch Trials

Essay by flame08High School, 10th gradeB, February 2007

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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with the FBI and especially its director at the time, J. Edgar Hoover, Charlie Chaplin's re-entry permit to the US was revoked; he could never come back to America again.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...