Repeating History: The Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare Essay

Repeating History: The Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare Essay

Length: 895 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Is it possible for history to repeat itself? This seems like an unlikely concept, but it is not as far-fetched as it may seem. There have been many times throughout history that things have seemingly repeated themselves. One of the best examples of this is the Salem Witch Trials in the 1690’s being repeated in the form of the Red Scare of the 1950’s. The Red Scare is reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials in that people were accused of doing something they did not do, they were only given the choices of condemn or confess, and more harm was done than avoided as a result of the scares.

Of the many similarities between the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare, one of the most obvious examples of these similarities is that people were accused of doing something they did not do. Not only were they people falsely accused, there was no physical evidence that they ever did anything wrong. The only “evidence” against them was what other people claimed they saw them doing (Miller). Florida International University’s Richard A. Schwartz wrote an essay regarding the Red Scare, and in it he says that during the HUAC hearings, companies, “...listed 151 men and women who the editors claimed were linked with a variety of past or present Communist causes.” This further supports the idea that “spectral evidence” played an important role in both the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare. There was no proof that anybody was involved with any Communist-sympathizing activities, but since the editors of these popular magazines claimed that they were involved, they had to face the consequences. In the Salem Witch Trials, spectral evidence was a key part from the start of the trials. Despite answering “No,” to all of the questions coming from the judges, ...

... middle of paper ...

...ess to their “crimes” or face condemnation. The false accusations combined with the threatening used to make people confess made it so that both the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare created more harm than they avoided. It seems obvious that it is one hundred percent possible for history to repeat itself.

Works Cited

Linder, Douglass O. “Salem Witch Trials 1692.” University of Missouri-Kansas City. September

2009. Web. March 21, 2014.

Miller, Arthur. “Why I Wrote the Crucible.” N.p. February 25, 2014. PDF File.

Miller, Arthur. “Why I Wrote the Crucible.” The New Yorker. October 26, 1996. Web. March 19,


Schwartz, Richard A. “How the Film and Television Blacklists Worked.” Florida International

University. Web. February 28, 2014.

Shmoop Editorial Team. “McCarthyism & The Red Scare.” Shmoop University, Inc., November

11, 2008. Web. February 24, 2014.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Crucible By Arthur Miller And Salem Falls Essay

- “Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love” (Julian Assange). There is a point where there is nothing left to do, a point of weakness where things must come to an end; even if it means drowning in sorrow. Indiscretions are constantly made, there could be another side to the story, but no one is there to listen. Drowning in sorrow means there is no coming back, especially when the cards are stacked against you....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor]

Better Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, Nazi Germany, and the Red Scare Essay

- In the novel The Crucible, Arthur Miller paints an image in the reader’s mind of the brutality that ensued in the Salem, Massachucettes Witch Trials and ventures into the personal stories of both the victims and the people who initiated the entire catastrophe. History is constantly repeating itself, this becomes apparent by comparing the Salem Witch Trials, Nazi Germany, and the Communist scare in America. When Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible, he kept in mind what some thoughtlesslessly assumed to be an ever expanding Communist revolution and utilized some of the corrupt problems throughout those years in his play....   [tags: comparison compare contrast 2014]

Better Essays
1079 words (3.1 pages)

Hitler 's Disastrous Campaign On The Same Eastern Front Essays

- Perhaps the most famous example of history repeating itself is Hitler 's disastrous campaign in Russia. This event closely mirrored Napoleon 's failure on the same Eastern front in many ways. The most obvious is the fact that the Russians used almost the exact same tactics to win both times. They allowed their enemies to march forward into their homeland almost effortlessly, but while they were retreating they also burned and destroyed anything that could be used by their opposition. By the time Napoleon, and later Hitler, realized this, it was too late as the Russian winter had already set in....   [tags: Salem witch trials, McCarthyism, Witchcraft]

Better Essays
1927 words (5.5 pages)

Hitler 's Failure On The Same Eastern Front Essay

- It is often said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Some people believe that it is simply the elders being too cautious and laugh it off while others take the message seriously. I am part of the latter group. I believe that history is a story we can learn much from and that its lessons apply both to every day life and monumental decisions. History also supports my theory with three stellar examples : Hitler 's crushing defeat in Russia, McCarthyism in the 1950 's, and Tzar Nicholas II 's downfall....   [tags: Salem witch trials, McCarthyism, Joseph McCarthy]

Better Essays
1754 words (5 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]

Better Essays
1396 words (4 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- Accusations of witchcraft ran rampant in the 17th century colonial settlements in the United States. The individuals accused, mostly women, were put on trial and punished, if found guilty. The most well-known of such cases on public record are the Salem Witch Trials. Between February, 1692 and May, 1693, hearings and prosecutions were set up to deal with those accused of dabbling in the dark arts in the cities of Andover, Salem, and Ipswich, all in Massachusetts Bay. These trials came to commonly be referred to as the Salem Witch Trials because some of the most notorious cases were heard in the Oyer and Terminer courts in Salem....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]

Better Essays
2209 words (6.3 pages)

The Trials Of Salem Witch Trials Essay examples

- The Salem Witch Trials were a series of gruesome trials that began in Salem Massachusetts in 1692 and lasted until 1693. During that year, more than 200 Salem residents were accused and convicted of witchcraft, 19 of whom were hung for the crime (List of 5…). This was a bloody time for Salem that left many of its citizens broken and scared. Although the main cause for these trials seems to be fear from breaking the Partisan religion, Greed and revenge come in a close second. Not to mention, cold weather and disease which contributed highly to the outcome of the trials....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]

Better Essays
738 words (2.1 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- The Salem Witch Trials took place in the summer and into the fall of the year 1692, and during this dark time of American history, over 200 people had been accused of witchcraft and put in jail. Twenty of these accused were executed; nineteen of them were found guilty and were put to death by hanging. One refused to plead guilty, so the villagers tortured him by pressing him with large stones until he died. The Salem Witch Trials was an infamous, scary time period in American history that exhibited the amount of fear people had of the devil and the supernatural; the people of this time period accused, arrested, and executed many innocent people because of this fear, and there are severa...   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]

Better Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Crucible By Arthur Miller

- Review Lone Star College of Kingwood put on for its fall production The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Its doors opened on October 29th, 2015 with showings all the way to November 1st 2015. On its opening night, the performance drew in a packed theatre audience of all ages, but mainly young adults and up; all who seemed captivated throughout the show time. With astonishing actors such as Hailey Orman and Seth Carter Ramsey along with the rest of the ensemble bring this not far from the truth story of a dark moment in American history to life....   [tags: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, John Proctor]

Better Essays
1031 words (2.9 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay example

- The Salem witch trials is possibly one of the most controversial events in early American history, where many innocent individuals were wrongly accused of witchcraft. Even though the trials occurred over three hundred years, ago, they still continue to be studied with great interest; however there is still not a conclusion to what truly caused the hysteria. Although the settlers in Salem, Massachusetts were superstitious, they could have prevented the trials from occurring, a possible similarity to our modern judicial system....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Jury, Salem]

Better Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)