The Crucible and McCarthyism

The Connection

The Crucible

  • written by Arthur Miller in 1971
  • based on the Salem Witch Trials (1962)
  • based on McCarthyism (1940s&1950s)


  • term to describe being disloyal to the US government
  • initiated by Senator Joseph McCarthy
  • coincided with the Red Scare

Gulity or Not

"Guilty until you confess" attitude was in both The Crucible & McCarthyism; however:

The Crucible
  • people were hung if they didn't confess
  • put in jail if he/she confessed and named others as well


  • was viewed as a communist either way
  • incarcerated if found gulity
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Falsely Accused

The Crucible (Abigail)
  • made false accusations
  • tried to cover up her secret of witchcraft

McCarthyism (Joseph McCarthy)

  • made false accusations against alcoholics and sexual deviants
  • tried to cover up his own drinking and sexual problems


Victims of both accusations were accused of being disloyal to something.

The Crucible

  • being disloyal to their religion (Puritans)
  • dealings with the devil


  • being disloyal to the US government (Democracy)
  • accused of being a communist (Russia)
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Arthur Miller

The Crucible

  • Arthur Miller wrote it


  • Arthur Miller was accused by Joseph McCarthy
  • based his book on McCarthyism

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The Crucible

  • hysteria began with others being falsely accused in fear of being accused themselves


  • hysteria began with McCarthy accusing people in the government in fear of being accused themselves.