Mccarthyism and the Crucible

Good Essays
McCarthyism and the
Salem Witch trials.

Mrs. Tolins March 2, 2013

During the 1950’s McCarthyism arose as paranoia about communism in the United States. McCarthyism named after Senator Joseph McCarthy is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller draws a parallel between the Salem Witch trials of 1692 and McCarthyism of the 1950s, when communism became the devil and a community of people used “evil” as an excuse to take out their personal spite on those they had always wished ill. Miller sets up the parallel by showing Salem to be a theocracy, which would make the devil and those communing with him enemies of the town; it follows that America, then, is a democracy, which would make communism the modern devil and communists enemies of America (“The House of Un-American Activities”). Reverend Hale’s books are similar to the books, lists, and pamphlets of the McCarthy era that listed communists. The climate of fear in the 1950’s of communism in the United States was in part caused by the effects of the Korean War. The Korean War was one of several military conflicts that occurred during the Cold War, as the United States and its allies attempted to stop the spread of communism. The Korean War was the direct result of the splitting of Korea after WWII into two zones, the communist North, and the democratic South. The United States feared the spreading of communism because America was just coming out of WWII and saw the Soviet Union emerging as a super power. If Communist forces were allowed to expand their power it is said that it may create a domino effect which was a theory in the 1950’s that speculated

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