During the 1940s and 1950s communism was a huge concern in the United States. McCarthyism refers to the obsessive search for communists that took place during this same time. Like the unfounded accusations presented during the Salem Witch Trials depicted in The Crucible, people were accusing anyone and everyone of being communists. Accusations were particularly common among entertainers and writers. Arthur Miller was actually questioned by the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) and convicted of being in contempt of Congress for not cooperating. McCarthyism provided the inspiration for Arthur Miller's The Crucible.