Mass Hysteria Research Paper

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Abstract Throughout the course of history, mass hysteria has plagued civilizations. Societies are thrown into chaos, and the people of these societies begin to act in irrational manners. Quite often, the effects of this hysteria are the same. This is evidenced by the Red Scare, the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the existence of Japanese internment camps. Each of these events brought about similar consequences: repression of a certain group’s civil liberties, insecurity in the populace, and drastic actions taken by public institutions. In examining the course of each of these events, a distinct connection that links mass hysteria and the aforementioned effects becomes apparent. The Common Effects of Mass Hysteria Throughout History A single…show more content…
One such decision was President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which placed Japanese-Americans in internment camps without a trial (Contino, 2003, p. 44). To exacerbate the situation, “most of the internment camps were quickly built on Indian reservations . . . that were far enough away from other civilians so they would not see what the government was doing” (Contino, 2003, p. 44). These actions demonstrate the drastic decisions taken by the government in response to the mass hysteria of the Second World War. Moreover, the Supreme Court even declared these actions to be legal in the cases Hirabayashi v. United States and Korematsu v. United States ( Staff, 2009). Regarding the Red Scare, because any ideology resembling communism was looked down upon, officials adopted extreme anticommunist policies and ignored left-wing stances on issues ( Staff, 2010). In the current era, anti-terrorist policies are commonplace, but many of these have been extreme. For example, the “Center for Security Policy has published and funded anti-Muslim books” (el-Aswad, 2013, p. 41). Overall, these decisions and legislation reveal that mass hysteria does indeed bring about drastic governmental

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