In January of 1663 mass hysteria broke out in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. This hysteria cause what we know today as the Salem Witch Trials. Just like the witch trials, the Japanese American Internment of 1942 was cause by hysteria. The hysteria was caused by fear and intimidation but regret soon followed and eventually ended the events caused by it.
The Salem Witch Trials and Japanese Internment were caused by one dangerous thing: fear. Fear can cause people to not think straight and over react in serious situations. In The Crucible, fear caused Tituba and Abigail to blame innocent people for consorting with the devil in order to save themselves. This action later evolved into the whole town being fearful of the devil being in their presence. Likewise, after the attack on Pearl Harbor many U.S. citizens feared another attack causing distrust of Japanese Americans throughout the country. In both of these situations, fearing for ones safety was one of the factors leading to mass hysteria.
Just like fear, intimidation was another reason for hysteria to spread through masses of people. In both cases, intimidation was used to force powerful leaders to comply with the wishes of the masses. With suspicion of Japanese Americans rising throughout the United States, many citizens wanted the Japanese people gone. Pressures from state representatives eventually cause President Roosevelt to call for the exclusion and internment of all Japanese citizens from the West Coast. In the Crucible, when Judge Danforth would question Abigail of telling the truth Abigail would intimidate him by accusing him of working with Satan. This caused the judge to listen to whatever Abigail said. Both of these cases show that no matter how large or small the group of people, intimidation can cause even powerful leaders to go along with the hysteria.
After all the turmoil the townspeople of Salem and the Japanese people dealt...