The Second Red Scare

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The 1950s harbored one of the largest witch hunts in world history, the second Red Scare. This brutal political movement targeted Communists, Socialists, and members of subversive groups, physically and socially maiming those citizens. Led by Joseph McCarthy, innocent members of society were figuratively “burned at the stake” in public trials and accused them of Communism and espionage. McCarthy’s ruthless tactics sparked the development of “McCarthyism,” which today refers to any unfounded accusation of a person with immaterial evidence. The second Red Scare is comparable to Salem Village, Massachusetts where the original witch hunt began, based off of mass hysteria, just like the Red Scare. These two events can be compared and contrasted…show more content…
Both situations spiraled out of control because of ignorance and the use mob mentality. A person who sympathized with Communists was persecuted, just as if someone tried to defend the accused witches of Salem. Parallel to the Salem Witch Trials, the McCarthy Trials accused hundreds of innocent people of being Communists without any proof. Like Salem, if the accused confessed to communism, they would be blacklisted from their community, but not jailed. Sir William Phips was the Governor of Massachusetts at the time of the salem Witch Trials, and he refused to stop the trials until one of the accusers targeted his wife. This is comparable to Joseph McCarthy’s horrific attacks against innocent people, where President Eisenhower never spoke out against him in public, only privately criticized him.These political and social stains on American history provide insight to the past, and a warning for the future on how easily American society lets fear sway them into unwise…show more content…
Prejudice towards people of German, Russian, and Chinese descent is still felt today, when an ignorant person calls them a “Communist”, because of the damaging affects the Second Red Scare had. The Salem Witch Trials affected society by realizing that not all those who cry victim should be believed, especially when ulterior motives, such as the girls in The Crucible.These horrific events demonstrate how mass hysteria, mob mentality, and corrupt politicians created an atmosphere of substantial coercion that caused the destruction of innocent people’s
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