McCarthyism falsely accused people of supporting communism and being unloyal to America(Document D). These claims had no proper evidence which justified the said assertions. Individuals who were accused of being a communist or a spy, even if the facts were not accurate, were looked down upon and occasionally prosecuted. Accused people no longer supported the war, for it led to the government punishing the innocent(Document G). Not only was the government believed to be unreliable, but trust between people was a large issue during the Cold War. People rarely trusted one another, in fear they were assisting a spy or communist(Document K). An example of this is when Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for espionage; they were not aware they were leaking information, it was their relative, who they told information to, who told Russia the
First and foremost, the American people feared that communism would spread and take over governments in other nations beyond the Kremlin. If communism took over any American State, it “would constitute a threat to the sovereignty and political independence of the American States, endangering the peace of America” (Source B). If communism reached America, war could ensue and democracy would be greatly threatened. This fear of communism fed into McCarthyism which consisted of false accusations of people as being communist. American society went into mass hysteria out of will to avoid communism. Eisenhower acknowledged this stating, “[communism] makes us act almost hysterically, and you find the hysterical reactions” (Source A).
Informative Essay: How did the Accusations of the HUAC reflect the effects of the Cold War in the United States?
In the 1950’s the cold war had begun. The fear of retaliation from communists was at large. Some Americans believed that communists were amongst them plotting. This lead to a dark time in history when American opportunity became limited for many. Most rights were limited, normal life was disrupted, and the most necessary human right may have been taken. All of these restrictions limited the American opportunity making it an age of fear and oppression rather than an age of opportunity.
In the 1950s, the United States was plagued by the Communist Red Scare and was defined by the McCarthy era. In this era, the American people were deathly afraid of the thought of Communism taking over the world. The very essence of Communist stood for everything the United States was not. The American people, at
The fear of communism carved a deep sense of mistrust in American people. They believed anything that was said and blindly followed people who were in political power without any basis of evidence. The fear of communism created a sense of “hysteria” (Document A) within the general public and even in people in government. This kind of hysteria caused the Red Scare, which was a period that Americans thought communists were working to destroy America. This mass fear of communism ruined people’s lives and made them turn against their own family and friends. Joseph McCarthy played an
In the play, The Crucible, Salem, Massachusetts, along with the United States during McCarthyism, is engulfed with paranoia. Although both situations include different causes, their effects are strikingly similar. For instance, throughout The Crucible, Abigail Williams is being shown repeatedly accusing innocent people of witchcraft. Her actions begin sending the small town into a panic as they throw people into jail and hang them in an effort to try and cleanse the town from any aspect of evil. Similarly, throughout 1950-1954, Joseph McCarthy falsely accused people within the United States Government of being a member of the Communist party. Both scenarios spiraled out of control due to people who became paranoid that most of the government were made up of communists and it would destroy the United States of America. Also, with
Reflection of this conflict was apparent in the American ethos, in which Americans feared that if “world communism captur[ed] any American state…a new and perilous front…will increase the danger to the entire free world and require even greater sacrifices from the American people” (Document B). As illustrated by Eisenhower, “the hysteria” of communism propagating into American society and threatening the American way of life was a very prevalent fear at the forefront of the Cold War (Document A). McCarthyism, a system established by Senator Joseph McCarthy in which he made unsubstantiated accusations of subversion or treason to America, acted as the culmination of this hysteria, directly reflecting the sentiments driving the American people. Eisenhower did not engage in any domestic policies to quell these “multiplicity of fears” (Document A). Instead he compounded them with legislation such as the “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways…connect[ing] 209 of the 247 cities having a population of 50,00 more and [serving as] the country’s principal…defense” (Document D). As apparent in Document A, Eisenhower acknowledged the fact that “there is too much hysteria,” yet failed to successfully placate these concerns. Not only were these fears unsuccessfully addressed and directed at the
Fear, it causes people to be blinded by the truth. People can’t tell right from wrong. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible to show how no one could see what was right. During the 1950’s communism was spreading throughout Europe like a wildfire, then it slowly made its way over to the U.S. This was known as The Red Scare. People were terrified of communism spreading to the United States, so when accusations started floating around everyone would believe them. McCarthy accused people of communist behavior, although many were falsely accused, no one knew better than to think they were guilty because of how scared they were of communism spreading. This resembles how certain characters were accused of witchcraft in The Crucible. The Red Scare caused nationwide hysteria just how the Salem Witch Trials caused hysteria to the people of Salem.
Often times there’s a point in a person’s life where one wonders if they’re crossing the red line when it comes to reaching their goals. When the lines a drawn and crossed, people suffer, much like the 20 sad souls who were executed in the Salem witch trials, or the 205 falsely accused state department officials. False accusations that ended and ruined people’s lives have been going on for ages like the examples before. Either for self-preservation or to cheat their way up, these things have always been embedded in human nature. Just like in Arthur Miller’s, The crucible, Abigail William’s false accusations propelled the community into its own demise, which also happened when McCarthy doomed 205 members of the state department with his accusations.
A witch-hunt is the act of unfairly looking for and punishing people who are accused of having opinions that are believed to be dangerous or evil. The topic of this research paper is McCarthyism and how it affected Arthur Miller and others in the 1950s and how the events compare to the events in his play The Crucible.
The Soviet Union was growing in power and the threat of a nuclear holocaust was on the forefront of American minds. Eastern Europe had become a conglomerate of Communist satellite nations. Threw in China and Americans began to feel they were surrounded by a Communist threat. Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator, made unsubstantiated claims that more than 200 "card carrying" members of the Communist party had infiltrated the United States government but held no proof to his accusation. McCarthy’s unsubstantiated claims ruined lives and led to increased hostility. Those who were accused were assumed guilty, put on trial, and expected to divulge the names of other Communist sympathizers when people Failed to do so led to sanctions. The media were not willing to stand up to Senator McCarthy for fear of being accused of being a Communist. Arthur Miller was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and subsequently
In history there have been many major events that have shaped the times we live in. Two of the major events of our time are the "witchunts" of the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism. The Crucible is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a drama and fictional story of the Salem Witch Trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692-1693. Miller wrote the play as a parable for McCarthyism, when the United States government ostracized people for being communists. McCarthyism was a vociferous campaign against alleged communists in the US government. Many of the accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs, although most did not in fact belong to the Communist Party. In these two events, many similarities
People thought that because the Russian czar had been overthrown and executed by strikes that the labor unions of America were being taken over by Communist immigrants with the same goal in mind. Soon, people became obsessed with the Communistic threat coming from Russia following World War II which led to violence and disregard of civil liberties. “The U.S. government, mainly the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) led by Democratic congressman Martin Dies, Jr., had launched an investigation designed to target suspected Communist Party members in all areas of life, including government, educational institutions, labor unions, and the entertainment industry. The repression engendered a climate of fear throughout the country, as people were afraid to speak out as the accused found their names on blacklists, which hindered their employability and ruined many lives.” (Travino, Marcella Bush. "The Crucible Allegories the Red Scare Era." Great Events in History: The Twentieth Century 1941-1970 22 Jan. 1953: n. pag. Salem History: Decades in America. Web. 16 Oct. 2015. .) This proves that the amount of paranoia during this era led to the mass deportations of immigrants and American citizens from false accusations and the building pressure to rid America of Communistic
“The term ‘"McCarthyism’" has passed into general usage as a synonym for the anticommunist political repression of the early Cold War”. (Schrecker 3) The Crucible shows the similarities between the Salem witch trials and the Red Scare. The Crucible displays a relationship between the Salem Witch Trials and the fear of McCarthyism in the 1950s. Like The Crucible, with people terrified of witchcraft, people during the Red Scare feared communism and feared the punishment that came with an accusation. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible compares the fear of witchcraft in 1692 Salem, to the fear of Communism created by Senator McCarthy in the 1950s.