What is a witch ?
A witch is a word which was used to describe an ancient British tribe known for its unique class of female physicians and prietress, but it changes during years to become into something different and discriminatory.
Why are they persecuted ?
The superstition and the lack of public awareness are the most important reason of the persecution of witches. The church said that they were related with the evil and even possessed by him and at this moment of History when the church was in power, they started to hunt witches. Indeed the puritanism didn't help in 17th century in New England. The church became more severe and strict about rules and liberty. (strict morale code, h forest is the place of the devil. Adultery, witchcraft, physical and social pleasure were forbidden and the sentences were: public shame, humiliation or death (burnt).)
How the government finds the witches ?
These are the statements of the inhabitants and suspicions following strange acts like walking alone in the forest at night or that there are several deaths in our surroundings during a short period. And some people accused without proof for their personal interest
Salem witch trial
It's a serie of investigations and persecutions that caused 19 convicted “witches” , in 1692, to be hanged and many other suspects to be imprisoned in Salem Village. But the most famous names or those of Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Obsorn. The three were accused of witchcraft and the two Sarahs claimed innocence but Tituba confessed and said that Evil came to her and bid her to serve him. After that the fear was omnipresent in the village and 17 other women will be hanged unjustly.And in total 200 people will be accused of praciticing the Devil's Magic. In 1702 this act was acted unlawful and in 1957 the government apologized about what happened in Salem in 1690's.
In a context of cold war where american capitalism is opposed to communism, americans must be united to fight against the enemy ideology. That's why a real communist hunt begins in the country.
1940's - 1950's
Fear invaded the country. Everyone suspected his relatives, a form of paranoia set in.
In 1938, the HUAC(House Un-American Activities Comittee) is created and in 1947, 19 actors,screenwriters, producers were suspected to be communist. Only 11 have been listened but Bertolt Brecht left the country and the 10 others refused to answer questions about communism.
in 1947 even the FBI was looking for informations about the suspects given by the ministry's list.
McCarthy was a normal politican and democrat before the Wheeling Speech (9 february 1950) in which he gave a list of 205 names from the government who are according to him communists. The 11 februrary, he reduced the list to 57 names and gave it to Truman and this is how the McCarthyism is born.
His list will be judged as a hoax because of the lack of evidence and Joseph will be put aside. But he returned to the charge by attacking George Marshall during a speech reproaching him for having gone to war with China on June 14, 1951. Thus, after the presidential elections, McCarthy was appointed chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations where he could do no more harm according to the Senate leader. But the latter will try to flush out the communists in the government, even in Hollywood, and gets more and more power in the Senate. Finally, the Senate reprimanded McCarthy on December 2, 1954 by 67 votes to 22 and he fell into alcoholism and died in 1957.
There were 7,000 resignations and 739 dismissals between 1947 and 1953