McCarthyism and Salem Witchcraft.

Essay by mdig700High School, 11th gradeA, January 2006

download word file, 2 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 32 times

We are innocent until proven guilty, we have the right to remain silent, and the right to a lawyer and fair trial, unfortunately for the people of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, these rights were not in existence. Victims of these trials were faced with a hard decision, confess to witchcraft and live meanwhile commit a sin in a Puritan society, or keeping your pride. Sadly, keeping your pride meant you lose your land, your family and friends, and your life. Justice definitely hit a low and people learned from their mistakes, as did the founding fathers when they ensured the right to a fair trial. But, if history has had one constant it is that it will repeat itself, and in the early 1950's, Sen. Joseph McCarthy accused members of the Government as Soviet spies. Though they are very similar, they are some key differences between the Salem witchcraft trials and the McCarthyism Hearings.

The trials were both based on fear. The witchcraft trial took place in a Puritan society that believed the Devil is real and on Earth, the fact that religion was involved made things more difficult for the people. How were they to know that the judge himself wasn't possessed by the Devil, this is why the trials were unjust. The McCarthy Hearings was based on the belief that Communism was in the United States and was a great threat to the country. In both trials, little or no evidence was needed to try or question someone as a Communist or a witch, as a result, over 140 were arrested of suspicion of witchcraft and many government officials and even the U.S. Army were accused of Communism or "anti-anti-Communism".

The accusers of both trials were very unique. Joseph McCarthy was a very determined anti-Communist. Unlike...