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Witch Hunts Salem and McCarthyism Imagine what it would be like to be labeled a Communist for the mere fact that you happened to sport a goatee It happened in the 1950s McCarthyism period Doesnt this sound strangely similar to the Salem witch-hunts Perfectly normal people accused of being witches just because they were seen dancing strangely in the woods McCarthyism and the Salem witch-hunts were both attempts by power-hungry people to diminish their competition without any concrete evidence The causes of the Salem witchcraft trails and McCarthyism were irrational fears that witchcraft and communism were going to infiltrate society if drastic measures were not taken Once the idea that witchcraft might really be going on got started the behavior of normal citizens was open to suspicion of witchcraft Likewise the real fear of a Communist take-over had Americans in the 1950s so frightened some actually believed that there neighbors might be spies because McCarthy was planting this suspicion so strongly into their minds Once the hysteria began it snowballed out of control In the Salem witch hunts two young girls Betty Paris and Abigail Williams were exhibiting strange behavior and were diagnosed to have been touched by the hand of the devil When pressured to reveal the witch or witches who had caused this the young girls named several outcasts of society These accused witches were guilty until they prove their innocence Many were tortured until they confessed they were in fact witches so they did not have to endure any more pain A few who admitted their guilt were spared while the rest were quickly executed These confessions became the proof of the existence of witches The hysteria of McCarthyism began when Senator Joseph McCarthy landed a series of highly publicized investigations that intended to bring forward Communists in the State Department and Hollywood McCarthy eventually let his Red Scare get out of control and said the US Army was concealing foreign espionage
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