The Salem Witch Trials Of 1692 And Mccarthyism Essays

1034 Words Nov 10th, 2015 5 Pages
Looking back on past tragedies one can see the effects that hysteria has had on communities, fearful residents never contribute to the success and happiness of a community, but rather the destruction of one. Examples of times when hysteria has taken control of a weak community can be found in looking at the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and in McCarthyism from the late 1940s to mid-1950s. However, while society has learned from these experiences, this does not make it so that hysteria is completely avoidable. Even in this modern-day and age, hysteria can be found tearing apart a community, or even something larger. Mass hysteria can spread through a community like a wildfire when there is no absolute way to be certain that what one fears is harmless. The village of Salem in colonial Massachusetts was completely divided in 1692 when young girls began to claim that there were witches casting spirits onto them. Salem at this time was not the liveliest town by far, but rather was a town full of trouble and worry that later turned into fear. The Puritan people in Salem had a strong feeling that Satan was acting out on the world due to disease, land wars, and the economic state that the village was in (Causes of the Salem Witchcraft Trials). All of these factors that were already affecting the village 's unity made it easy for one accusation to take flight and spread mass hysteria. In fact, the prosecutors of the time weren’t exactly formal prosecutors, but rather the town…

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