Published on December 24, 2007
The McCarthy Hearings:and how they relate to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible: The McCarthy Hearings: and how they relate to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible Mrs. Jamison American Literature Harrison High School A world that was divided…: A world that was divided… World War II Allies: US, Great Britain, and USSR fought side by side to defeat Nazi Germany. A New, Cold War: Soon after WWII, the United States and Great Britain would end their friendship with Russia, thus beginning the cold war (1945-1989). Russia and America: two conflicting systems of government: Russia and America: two conflicting systems of government The United States believed (and still believes) in the capitalist and democratic ideology. Russia operated under a communist system. The government owned most businesses, farms and homes, Citizens were guaranteed a job, a place to live, and food. But, Soviet citizens did not enjoy many of the individual rights guaranteed the people of the United States. The Communist Attraction: The Communist Attraction The world gradually divided into two groups: Communists and Democrats. The Rise of Joseph McCarthy: The Rise of Joseph McCarthy McCarthy was born in 1909 in Wisconsin Although he once dropped out of high school, he managed to get his diploma, graduate from Marquette University in Milwaukee, get his law degree, and win an election to the Wisconsin circuit court as a judge. Served as a lieutenant in the Marines during WWII. He would later claim to be a war hero—something the Military denied. McCarthy’s Quick Rise to the Top: McCarthy’s Quick Rise to the Top At the start of the Cold War, McCarthy was an unknown Republican politician. Once he took up the cause and fight against Communism, he became famous. 5 years after being elected to the Senate, he made himself into one of the most powerful men in the country. McCarthy, who honestly believed that communism was a threat to American society, also used his cause to gain more political power for himself. The American Communist Party : The American Communist Party Founded in 1919 A legal organization that operated as a political party similar to the Republican and Democratic parties. ACP members competed in elections, including those for the United States Presidency! While the vast majority of ACP members were loyal Americans, they believed in the ideas of communist thinkers like Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Attacking Anyone and Anything: Attacking Anyone and Anything Once McCarthy became popular, he started attacking anyone he thought might be “communist”. This included those who might sully his political career. His willingness to attack the reputation of anyone he disliked went against the values he claimed to support, so now, the term “McCarthyism” has come to mean more than anti-communism. How The Crucible relates to the McCarthy hearings: How The Crucible relates to the McCarthy hearings Arthur Miller claimed to have written The Crucible to explore the theme of hysteria and fear in a community, but many people saw parallels between the Salem Witch Trials and the McCarthy Hearings. Just like McCarthy, the people of Salem were not interested in facts. Instead, they took our their hatred and resentment against people of their community. Even Arthur Miller was not immune to McCarthyism: Even Arthur Miller was not immune to McCarthyism Miller himself became a target of Joseph McCarthy, and was falsely accused of Communism. Whether or not Miller wrote The Crucible as a protest against McCarthyism is an issue that has been up for debate since the 1950’s.