the mccarthy and the salem witch hunts Essay example

Good Essays

"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 …show more content…

As a form of counter-magic, Tituba was ordered to bake a rye cake with the urine of the afflicted victim and to feed the cake to a dog. This added to suspicions of witchcraft by Tituba, and led to the slave becoming one of the first women accused, along with Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn. Although most of the women first accused of witchcraft were considered disreputable, several reputable members of the community were soon executed, including Rebecca Nurse (featured in the play), the most controversial execution, George Burroughs, the former minister in Salem. One of the most flamboyant of the women executed was Bridget Bishop, a woman who had been married several times and was known as the mistress of two Salem taverns and had a reputation for dressing more artistically than the women of the village.Sir William Phips, the Governor of Massachusetts, created a new court to oversee the witchcraft cases. The Chief Justice of this court was William Stoughton, an avid witch-hunter who allowed many deviations from normal courtroom procedure including the admission of spectral evidence (testimony by afflicted persons that they had been visited by a suspect's specter) and private conversations between accusers and judges. 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

Get Access