Hysteria, paranoia, and delusion was what drove the Salem Witch trials in 1692. Many people were executed by decision of the court because it believed in absurd false allegations. Justice in the court was perverted by fear and delusion (Johnson 9). In the 1940s and 1950s, many people in the United States were living in fear of communism; similar to those who feared “witches” in Salem. In the 1953, Arthur Miller came out with a play: The Crucible based on the Salem Witch Trials tackling McCarthyism; accusing others of being communists trying to overthrow democracy in the United States (9-10). Arthur Miller was a playwright and a political activist speaking up addressing societal issues. One of his most well-known works being The Crucible, addressed McCarthyism and its absurd purpose. Miller, creator of The Crucible was blacklisted, and accused of being a communist along with many other entertainers (“Arthur Miller”). Through all this ignorance and delusional fear, Arthur Miller was inspired to explore the similarities and parallels of the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism.
Throughout History, women have long struggled and fought for the same equality, justice, and rights as males in society. Historians have two opposing views of what life was like in Puritan society. One side argues that Puritan society was a golden age for women as they worked alongside their husbands, had an important role in the household. However, opposing historians argue that Puritan women were inferior to men in the society for five main reasons. Women were inferior because they were supposed to be silent company, they only received half the inheritance of their brothers, they were meant to have and take care of the children, they received harsher punishment for their wrongs, and they had to follow strict rules. The most significant way
Introduction George Jacobs Sr. said, “You tax me for a wizard, you may as well tax me for a buzzard I have done no harm.” Although his words were true, many chose to either believe this hysteria or turn the other way. He died along with many other women and men. This was just the start of the many terrors of the Salem witch trials. Yet if you confessed to being a witch then you had a better chance of living, but if you denied you would automatically get hanged.
In the 1940 's and 1950 's, an anti-Communist movement swept the United States of America. Fueled by the anti-Communist actions of Congress, particularly a Senator from Wisconsin by the name of Joseph McCarthy, the movement escalated and many people lost their jobs as a result of various blacklists. Congressional hearings, both in front of HUAC and McCarthy Senate committee were a study in organized persecution. The actions taken during the "Red Scare" were eventually given the general name McCarthyism. McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.
Not many people know much about what actually happened in the Salem Witch Trials. Maybe someone would think that it was just about witchcraft and crazy people being hanged, but it is a lot more than that. The Salem Witch Trials only occurred between 1692 and 1693, but a lot of damage had been done. The idea of the Salem Witch Trials came from Europe during the “witchcraft craze” from the 1300s-1600s. In Europe, many of the accused witches were executed by hanging. Many practicing Christians, at the time, believed that the Devil could persuade people to use the powers that he gave them to harm others. The Salem Witch Trials occurred because of resource struggles, many women were accused and tortured, and in the end the Governor realized that it was a big mistake. (“Salem Witch Trials”, 1).
Occasion’s Effect The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism are very similar even though they took place such a long time from each other. If someone was accused of witchcraft in 1692 they had to confess and lose all social standing or be executed, in the 1950’s if a person was accused of being a communist they would be fired and put on trial, if they would not confess they were blacklisted until they admitted to their “crime”. Arthur Miller used the Salem Witch trials to protest McCarthyism in a somewhat discreet way that proved to be a timeless comfort to the citizens experiencing oppression from their government (“Why I Wrote The Crucible”, 911).
The Salem Witch Trials accusing others of a feared crime showed definite evidence that mass hysteria was to blame. Salem was a religious settlement, following Puritan beliefs (Miller, 6). A large fear for everyone in Salem was the touch of the Devil (Miller, Arthur). According to Puritan beliefs, if a man or woman was touched by the Devil he would convince them to do witchcraft. Once word was mentioned the Devil had possibly touched Salem, the fear spread.
The Salem Witch trials popped up around 1692 and they were a disaster. The reason why they came up was because of their religion. The people in the town of Salem were puritans. This means their religion was very strict and that they believed in the devil. The way this all started was that the people who were accused of being witches were acting funny.
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
In 1953, Arthur Miller wrote the famous play The Crucible, in response to a fear of Communism The “Red Scare”, was led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was afraid of communist takeover. The Crucible a play in which Arthur Miller changes some events of the Salem witch trials of 1692 to the problems that were happening in his own society. In this essay we’ll see the ties between The Crucible, McCarthyism , The witch trials and Puritans.
What Caused the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 In Salem, Massachusetts there were Witch Trials held during the summer months of 1692. Throughout the seventeenth century in New England, witchcraft was said to be a crime punishable by death. Puritans came to New England in the early 1600’s to practice their Christianity in the purest form possible. They believed every word in the bible and that the words of God were to be followed down to the last sentence there was. Havoc started occurring around the town and 19 women along with men were hanged for witchcraft.
The events that took place leading up to the witch trials were Bacon’s Rebellion, The Little ice age, and the puritan control of the church and state. Bacon’s rebellion was a rebellion in Virginia against Governor William Berkeley for his failure to address the colonists safety. The Little ice age was a very religious time for the settlers, who thought they were being punished by God. Puritan control of the church and state led people to believe that men were superior and women were evil beings. The witch trials of 1692 were not only motivated by the stringent restrictions of the Puritan faith, but also by the misogynistic social structure that provoked mass hysteria among the sexes.
The lying caused the witch trial hysteria. In 1692,In salem massachusetts. The puritans believed of what they read in the bible and becasue of the fales accusations twenty people died. One of them was a man and he was pressed to death. The three causes of the salem witch trails were the dividing towns,lying,and age.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play about what happened during the Salem Witch Trials. It gives insight about what people had to deal with in this situation and how they handled it. The trials were basically a big test which helped figuring out whether or not people were guilty of witchcraft. This is an example of what a crucible is. In our world today we still have crucibles and even though they are different than back then, they all relate to each other because of what influence they have on people. These “tests” make us act a certain way to achieve a reputation that we’re proud to display in public. But what exactly do these crucibles really do to us?
Can the fear of people control the way certain things and events are looked at? In 1950 a nationwide historical campaign called McCarthyism took place. The campaign was against alleged communist in the U.S government and other institutions and accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence which was carried out by Joseph McCarthy. The primary targets were usually union activist, government employees, educators, and entertainment industry. Many people people lost their trust in others, causing a new outlook on life while relationships were destroyed. McCarthyism was caused by the fear of the people due to past events.