AP Language and Composition
22 Apr. 2014
Mary Beaudoin discusses connections between America’s war on terrorism and the European witch hunts of five hundred years ago in her article "Hunting Witches in the 'War on Terror'" (2011). Beaudoin asserts that the United States is on a witch hunt for alleged terrorists and imagined “imminent threats” that may not realistically be capable of posing a threat to the United States. She wrote the article to inform people of the persecution of foreign lands to keep and American dominance.
In this article, "A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials," from the Smithsonian magazine website, Jess Blumberg recounts a brief history of the Salem Witch Trials (2007). He talks about the origins of the witch hunts in Europe which spread to the colonies. He gives examples of some of the first cases of “witches” tried in the Salem colony. This article is intended to inform in the hopes that this bizarre time in history will be remembered and not repeated.
In his article, "Modern Day Witch Hunts," Jamie Dailey brings up the topic of religious freedom in America, claiming that on our “witch hunt” for Muslims since 9/11 we have put too much restriction on their basic rights. She states that Americans are persecuting Muslims in America based on prejudices. She does this by using the controversial “Ground-Zero Mosque” in New York to support her claim.
The essay written by the History.com staff in 2009 explains how the symbol of the "Red Scare" (Joseph McCarthy) became so powerful during the cold war and the factors that lead up to this power shift. The essay starts out with a brief overview of the state of America in the 1940's and 50's and gives a brief overview of who Joseph McCarthy was. The essay then transitions into a description of the cold war, which leads to a more detailed description of Joseph McCarthy and the rise of McCarthyism. The essay concludes with the fall of Joseph McCarthy when the senate voted to condemn him. The History.com staff did a good job segmenting the essay into brief paragraphs. The staff also was very thorough in explaining the background of the topics they elaborated on. This makes it easier for the audience (possibly with no prior knowledge of cold war/McCarthyism) to understand.
Arthur Miller's biography by Ann Keene (February 2000) illustrates the life of Arthur Miller. Keene starts off the biography by explaining Miller's early childhood and development through high school and college. Keene then explains the successes and failures of Miller's career. She ultimately concludes with Miller's death on February 15th, 2005. While Ann Keene does not go into great detail of Arthur Miller's life she does an excellent job at summarizing his life and achievements/failures.
Amanda Latham and Joyce Oh describe the rise and fall of McCarthyism in their article, "Senator Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism, and the Witch Hunt" (2008). The first paragraph is a short biography about Joseph McCarthy childhood and gives information about the, "ominous foreshadowing to his later era of “McCarthyism."" Amanda and Joyce go on the describe the effects of McCarthyism and elaborate on how the "American public went crazy with the thought of seditious communists living within the United States". They wrote the article to inform the present generation of the effects of Joseph McCarthy's corruption of government position and yellow journalism. The article was aimed at anyone who has an interest in learning more about McCarthyism, and with very detailed explanations of events there is no prior knowledge needed.
This article, "The Salem Witch Trials of 1692," from the website of the Salem Witch Museum gives a basic outline of what the Salem witch trials were and why they happened (2012). Their point in educating people of this time in history is to help people not to make the same mistakes again and see parallels in modern “witch hunts”. They even call into example the McCarthy witch hunt for alleged communists from the 1960's.