The Mccarthy and the Salem Witch Hunts

1100 WordsJul 12, 20055 Pages
"The McCarthy Era of the 1950's and the Salem Witch Trials of the 1600's were major events in American history that destroyed the lives and careers of many innocent victims. These tragic events were similar in that they demonstrated how hard times lead to society's need to find a scapegoat. They also show the shame and regret that take place after the bloodbaths occur. The parallels between these two events, which took place almost 300 years apart, are remarkable." "However, the Salem Witchcraft Trials use of human frailty in court helped courts move forward in eliminating its use. Courts now need factual or circumstantial evidence to convict a person of any crime and the accused is promised a fair trial. Nowadays, the accused is given…show more content…
By the early autumn of 1692, the cries of witchcraft began to ebb and doubts began to develop concerning the validity of the charges. The educated elite of the colony began efforts to end the witch-hunting hysteria that had enveloped Salem. Increase Mather, the father of Cotton, published "Cases of Conscience," which argued that it "were better that ten suspected witches should escape than one innocent person should be condemned." Mather urged the court to exclude spectral evidence. A period of atonement soon occurred in which Samuel Sewall, one of the judges, issued a public confession of guilt and apology, and Reverend Parris admitted errors in judgment. He did, however, attempt to shift the blame to others. Governor Phips shifted the blame to Stoughton, who became the next Governor of Massachusetts. However, Miller wrote The Crucible not simply as a straight historical play detailing the Salem witch trials. Indeed, a good deal of the information in the play misrepresents the literal events of the trial: John Proctor was not a farmer, not a tavern owner, and during the time of the trials he was sixty years old and Abigail Williams only eleven. Rather, the play has as much significance as a product of the early Cold War era in which Miller wrote the play. The play is a parable for the McCarthy era, in which similar Œwitch hunts' occurred targeting citizens as
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