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The Red Scare/Salem witch Trials

From 1945 to around 1952, America endured the Red Scare. The Red Scare, the hunt for Communists, was epitomized in the McCarthy trials when many innocent citizens were labeled as Communists. In many ways, it resembled the notorious Salem Witch Hunt of the 1690's. Both involved fear, prejudice, and a lack of respect for civil rights. The Salem witch hunt was centered in Salem, Massachusetts during the 1690's. The thing most important about this is the time--1690. In 1563, a little more than a century before the witch hunts of the1690's, Queen Elizabeth legalized the killing of witches. She made a law stating that the first offense was punishable by pillory (public ridicule) but the second offense was punishable by death. James I wasn't so lenient. He decided that on the first offense, a witch must die. At this time in America, the New England colonies were recovering from a serious Native American uprising lead by the Wampanoag tribe. The Wampanoags had come close to eliminating the colonies in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island until they were defeated in 1675. In the 1690s, the wartime atrocities were vivid memories. Witchcraft and demon-worship were central to the religion of several Native American tribes, and had become a threat to the moral existance of the settlers. This was a time when people believed magic worked and witches could kill with spells. The settlers felt they were under attack again. All that was needed was a spark, and the fire would be uncontainable. The spark was Abigail, a Protestant girl around 17 years old, who had an affair with John Proctor, an extremely attractive, desirable man. She wanted his wife out of the way. She and her friends were bored with their Protestant life. They thought it needed a little spice. So they decided to go dancing naked in the woods at night with Tituba, a Barbados slave who k...

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The Red Scare/Salem witch Trials . (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:31, July 05, 2015, from