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McCarthy Witchhunts - Essay Example

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McCarthy Witch Hunts Your Name Due Date Introduction There are points in any individual and any countries history that they would prefer were forgotten and were conveniently omitted from the history books. There are many today who feel that one such historical period is the McCarthy era…
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McCarthy Witchhunts
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Download file to see previous pages He established a committee that acted as task force and court for all those suspected or accused of communism; people from all walks of life would, ultimately, find themselves in the “hot seat.” History Joseph McCarthy was born in 1908 in Wisconsin. He was raised in “proper” Catholic family, was a good student, and earned his degree from Marquette University in 1928. He was involved in an unsuccessful law practice and became an avid gambler on the side, before he finally decided on a career in politics. He joined the Democratic Party, but after being overlooked for the Democratic candidate for district attorney he switched political sides. Becoming a republican he began, what many historians describe as an example of the most unqualified and corrupt of politicians of all time. This perspective is personified by the “dirty” campaign he ran to earn an appointment as a circuit court judge. After a short time in the military he won the Senate seat for Wisconsin; his term was overall not impressive. It was at this time the United States was feeling the looming threat of “communist” sentiments, McCarthy “banked” on those fears and began a crusade to eliminate this threat and guarantee himself reelection (Oh, and Latham 1). Discussion McCarthy established the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was tasked with investigating anyone who was suspected of or associated with people involved in communism or were thought to be sympathetic to the communist party. These committee courts forced the accused to answer questions about their political ideologies and behaviors. They offered deals to those that would give the names of others who are, likely, to be communists. When one refused to give names of others they were “Blacklisted,” which prevented hundreds of those questioned to be able to find work in their respective fields, from politics to Hollywood. Arthur Miller, famous American writer, found himself in McCarthy’s court. He would certainly not confess to Communist ideologies and refused to help them in accusing others. In turn, Miller was Blacklisted (History Channel 1). It is the events, during the McCarthy era, that led Miller to write “The Crucible,” which details a version of the Salem witch trials in the 1600s.He framed the way the young girls freely accused citizens of Salem, Massachusetts of witchcraft within the current events of McCarthy’s witch hunt. The accused were guilty until proven innocent, and their innocence was impossible to prove because of the structure of the courts. Accused witches were given the opportunity to repent and avoid execution. However, for many of these innocent and highly devout people they could not morally confess to something they did not do, even to save their own lives. This would be a lie and lying is a sin against God. They would rather die free of sin than to live having lied. This was reflective of McCarthy and his HUAC. In 1938, as television first became common in people’s households, Edward R. Murrow, well-respected and renowned new correspondents, began a show called “See It Now.” The majority of his stories concerned issues of the average American citizens (American Masters 1). It was a huge success for more than a decade. In March of 1954, Murrow brought McCarthy on his show as a guest. He allowed McCarthy to do most of the talking; in black and white it became very clear that McCarthy had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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