The McCarthy Trails and Salem Witch Trials

Topics: McCarthyism, Joseph McCarthy, Salem witch trials Pages: 3 (950 words) Published: October 11, 2008
The McCarthy Trails and the Salem witch trials have always drawn comparisons to each other in many ways. People were punished unfairly and without any real form of proof. As we continue throughout history, events similar to the McCarthy and Salem Witch Trials have sprung up occasionally in current events. The methods of persecution in these events have varied from the minor to the extreme. Due to these unfair practices, many victims had their livelihoods destroyed and some were even killed due to another person’s word over theirs. In both of these situations, the accusers were hungry for power and would do anything possible to achieve this power. In any case, reputations were ruined, lives were lost, or families were decimated.

The methods of persecution for criminals have varied greatly throughout the ages. Incarceration, torture, and death are common methods that have been used as punishments for crimes. During the McCarthy and Salem Witch Trials, people were punished in many ways. During the Salem Witch Trials, the accused were first placed in jail to await a hearing. In all, over 150 people were arrested and placed in jail. Even more were accused but were never pursued by the proper authorities. If found guilty of witchcraft, the victims were sentenced to death by hanging. Between June and September of 1692 nineteen of the accused were hanged. On September 19th, 1962 one man was pressed to death when he failed to plead guilty or not guilty. At least four deaths occurred from the accused dying while incarcerated. The punishments during the McCarthy trials while less severe, still had a devastating impact on the persons involved. People accused of being communist had their names added to a blacklist created by Hollywood. The only way to be removed was to meet before the House of Un-American Activities Committee and prove your innocence. If a person that was called before the House of Un-American Activities Committee refused to name other people involved...
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