Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings

Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings

Length: 1712 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings

The evidence of witchcraft and related works has been around for many centuries. Gradually, though, a mixture a religious, economical, and political reasons instigated different periods of fear and uncertainty among society. Witchcraft was thought of as a connection to the devil that made the victim do evil and strange deeds. (Sutter par. 1) In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and twentieth century, the hysteria over certain causes resulted in prosecution in the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze, and the McCarthy hearings. These three events all used uncertain and unjustly accusations to attack the accused.

The Salem witch trials in Massachusetts Colony lasted from 1692 to early 1693. Even before the witchcraft trials, Salem Village was not exactly known as a bastion of tranquillity in New England. (Sutter par.2) There was a population of over six hundred that was divided into two main parts; those that wanted to separate from Salem Town and those that did not. They divided themselves into the eastern and western parts of the town. With this tension and an unfortunate combination of economic conditions, congregational strife, teenage boredom, and personal jealousies, (Oliver par. 2) Salem became unstable. When Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams, Reverend Samuel Parris's daughter and niece, started to exhibit strange behavior including convulsive seizures, screaming, and trances, (Oliver par. 2) and the doctor declared that the girls were under the influence of the devil, the townspeople believed him. This could be because there was an Indian War ranging less than seventy miles away, and with many refugees from the war were in tha...


... middle of paper ...


...uring the McCarthy hearings, people were prosecuted for being communists even without valid proof just as in the two witchcraft crazes, people were prosecuted for being witches without valid proof. All three were caused mainly of fear of the so-called evil.

During a time of crisis, people turn to extreme solutions. The witchcraft hysteria of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the McCarthy hearings are only three examples of how people can try to prosecute those they fear by assumption and without valid proof. The witchcraft hysteria should warn us to think about how best to safeguard and improve our system of justice to avoid unjustly trials that lead to unfair prosecution. These trials come to show as a reminder of how politics, family conflicts, religion, economics, and the imagination and fears of people (Sutter par.1) can yield tragic consequences.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Endless Witch Trials: Salem, Massachusetts, McCarthy Hearings, and the KKK

- What is the difference between witches in today’s society and witches in the past. Why were people accused of being witches. What were the punishments people got when they were accused of being a witch and found guilty. How is the witch trials repeated in history.      When someone talks about witches what’s the first thing that comes to mind. Most people think of witches from movies such as the witch in the “Wizard of Oz” or in “Snow White and the Sevens Dwarfs”. These two witches are looked at as old, ugly and dressed in black from head to toe....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1212 words (3.5 pages)

Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings

- Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings The evidence of witchcraft and related works has been around for many centuries. Gradually, though, a mixture a religious, economical, and political reasons instigated different periods of fear and uncertainty among society. Witchcraft was thought of as a connection to the devil that made the victim do evil and strange deeds. (Sutter par. 1) In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and twentieth century, the hysteria over certain causes resulted in prosecution in the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze, and the McCarthy hearings....   [tags: American History]

Strong Essays
1712 words (4.9 pages)

The Salem Witch Trials And The Mccarthy Trials Essay

- Wiccaphobia During the 1690’s in Salem, Massachusetts, one of the most disgraceful events in American history took place. 20 innocent people were sentenced to death on charges of witchcraft (Kortuem). At the time there was a witch scare sweeping across the North East of America in a time we know today as the Salem Witch Trials. The witch trials was one of the most shameful events in American history. In fact, it was compared to another event by a man named Arthur Miller. Arthur Miller was a playwright from New York who wrote many famous plays like Death of a Salesman, All my Sons, and of course The Crucible (Kortuem)....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Witchcraft]

Strong Essays
1396 words (4 pages)

The McCarthy Hearings Essay

- Throughout the 1940s and 1950s America was overwhelmed with concerns about the growing threat of communism in Eastern Europe and in China. One senator in particular, Joseph McCarthy took this one step further and made more than two-hundred accusations against these supposed communists, one of these people being Arthur Miller. Miller dared to stand against McCarthy and used The Crucible as a way to show McCarthy’s flaws without approaching him directly. The Salem Witch Trials and the Scares in the Mid Nineteen hundreds both remind us that no man is perfect, and we do make mistakes....   [tags: 1940's America]

Strong Essays
746 words (2.1 pages)

Comparing the McCarthy Hearings and McCarthyism with The Crucible Witch Trials

- The Contrast of the Salem Witch Hunts and McCarthy Hearings Does history repeat itself. Lots of people think that the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s are a repeat of history from the Salem witch-hunts of 1692. All of the accusations were false, and also fictitious. The main reason people were blamed was so that ones who were condemning would receive their own personal gain. Both parties (McCarthy and the girls in Salem) accused people to make themselves look better to others and gain respect. They both gained respect from others, which was something they did not have a lot of, especially the girls of Salem, Massachusetts....   [tags: compare and contrast essay examples]

Free Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Comparing the McCarthy Hearings and McCarthyism with The Crucible Witch Trials

- Throughout the history of mankind, the misapplication of power, marring of souls have been a part of life. How does this affect us, why does it happen. Human emotion plays a major role in prejudice and the politics that surround it are evident in today's society. Many things can define persecution. No matter how it is defined, it is a tragic event. About three hundred years ago, the witch trials of Salem were a hot topic. Two young girls deceitfully accused a slave, Tituba of witchery. Soon, callous accusations flew and the joke became a sad, sad reality....   [tags: compare and contrast essay examples]

Free Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Exploring Explanations for the Salem Witch Trials

- Between the years of 1692 and early 1693 in the colonial Massachusetts Bay colony of Essex known as Salem Village great paranoia broke out in the form of witchcraft accusations, neighbor against neighbor, and as a result much injustice was done. During this time in our nation’s history at this place more than one hundred and fifty people, residents of Salem Village, were accused of practicing witchcraft and consorting with the devil. At least twenty were put to death nineteen by hanging and one man by laying stones on him until his body was crushed under the weight....   [tags: American History, Massachusetts Bay, Puritan]

Strong Essays
1322 words (3.8 pages)

Arthur Miller's Comparing of Similarities in The McCarthy Era and The Salem Witch Trials Illustrated in The Crucible

- “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave. And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it, I set myself entirely in your hands.” John Proctor says this to Danforth in the movie “The Crucible,” which is a fascinating, and disturbing story based on an important event in history. This event was the Salem Witch Trials. The author Arthur Miller wrote this story in response to the major event the McCarthy Era....   [tags: American History, Red Scare]

Strong Essays
1005 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism in Arthur Miller´s The Crucible

- Telling lies, making false accusations, having suspicion, betraying others and creating fear in others are just some of the factors that caused McCarthyism in the United States. Named after Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism is the false accusation of someone being a communist. Numerous playwrights are recognized as an allegory for McCarthyism. Arthur Miller, born in 1915, was one of America’s greatest writers for his diversity, his courage, and the influence that he has made on readers all around the world....   [tags: Communism, Play]

Strong Essays
672 words (1.9 pages)

Mccarthyism And The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

- Niam Mohseni Ms. Sussman English 2 October 26, 2014 McCarthyism and The Crucible Events have played out in history that made people realize the inhumane acts of people and the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy era were two of them. The Salem witch trials in 1692 were almost 260 years before the McCarthy “witch hunts” in the 1950s yet there are similarities between them. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1953, is about the Salem witch trials and is an allegory to the practicing of McCarthyism during the Second Red Scare in the United States, which Miller was a victim of....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, McCarthyism]

Strong Essays
968 words (2.8 pages)