Would you say that people can act irrationally, and often this behavior leads to questionable happenings? Many times in American history, egregious events have taken place. From the Salem Witch Trials in the 16th century, to the McCarthy hearings and internment of Japanese-Americans in the mid-20th century, these times often involved fear, unsubstantiated accusations, and punishment of innocent people. Similar to the Salem Witch Trials hundreds of years ago, the McCarthy hearings and the internment of Japanese-Americans violated the rights of American citizens, while being supported by little or no evidence.
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All of it was due to the widespread feeling of fear and hysteria all across the nation. The McCarthy hearings can be thought of as a modern-day event where peopler’s emotions can cloud their judgement. Joseph McCarthy was considered the maestro of it all (www.history.com).
During the hearings, his claims caused many people in the political arena to lose their jobs. People had their lives ruined because of one false accusation. The search for supposed communists was a witch hunt, due to the fact that they never actually found any hard evidence. McCarthy was labeled as judge, jury, prosecutor, castigator, and press agent, all in one (www.senate.gov). The internment of Japanese-Americans during WW2 was a time where one group of people were wrongly put together under one false stereotype. During a time of great uncertainty, President FDR issued Executive Order 9066 (www.history.com), which detained all Japanese-American citizens and put them into internment camps. The Pearl Harbor attacks sent the U.S. public opinion on a straight-line trajectory towards the hate of Japanese-Americans. Some even found themselves homeless after the government seized their property. From the words of a prisoner of the time, George Takei, I remembered some people who lived across the street from us.
They watched as we were taken away. After we were taken, everything we owned was also taken (www.brainyquote.com). Many times in history, people have been propelled into a state of fear and dread of what is to come. During these times, one can find themself thinking irrationally, and committing questionable acts in the process. The Salem Witch Trials, the McCarthy hearings, and the internment of Japanese-Americans are only a few examples of this behavior. Similar to the Salem Witch Trials hundreds of years ago, the McCarthy hearings and the internment of Japanese-Americans violated the rights of American citizens, while being supported by little or no evidence. All of it was due to the widespread feeling of fear and hysteria all across the nation.
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