Salem Witch Trials vs Mccarthyism

957 Words4 Pages
The Salem Witch Trials occurred in 1692, but as history tends to repeat itself, the similar destructive event of McCarthyism took place in the 1950’s. Both the Salem Witch Trials and the Second Red Scare shared a lot of the same attributes. They both had strings of accusations based on suspicion alone, both spread fear and hatred where there was no need for it, and both events spiraled out of control as a chain reaction of accusations occurred. The two events also used Man’s innate sense of greed and fear to overtake sense and help someone to rise to power. The Salem Witch Trials were a result of mass hysteria fueled by the accusations of Abigail Williams and her friends. During the Salem Witch Trials those suspected of witchcraft were jailed and given a trial. During the trial the accused was dogged for a confession and even names of other wishes. The incentive was if they confessed, God would forgive them and they could live, but of course no one was really a witch so most plead innocent and were hung anyways, simply because of a suspicion. The whole event of the Salem Witch Trials is viewed as unjust because after the accusations spread, many townspeople simply accused their neighbors of being a witch to gain revenge, money, land, or something similar. In this way, the Salem Witch Trials exposed the sense of greed in humans. The Witch Trials showed that our resourcefulness includes using an event, no matter how bad, for personal gain. Also, the Salem Witch Trials showed how the innate sense of fear that humans have and how we react to that fear. Because of the fear of witches, people tried to protect themselves by sending anyone slightly untrustworthy to jail or to Gallows Hill. Centuries later Senator Joseph McCarthy, like Abigail Williams spread fear. Unlike Abigail, McCarthy spread fear about communism during the Second Red Scare. McCarthy started by creating
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