Cause Of The Salem Witch Trials

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In 1692 the town of Salem, Massachusetts was home to one of the most controversial upsets in judicial history. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions in which several people in colonial Massachusetts were accused of performing witchcraft. The supernatural was a commonplace observance in 17th-century North America. “:Witchcraft cases were hardly unknown in New England in the 1600s—more than a hundred were recorded before 1692—but they were mostly isolated, widely separated in time and space, scattered around the colonies”(Brandt 38). However, from 1560 to 1670, witchcraft persecution became a concentrated epidemic throughout New England. There are many theories as to the origins of these trials and superstitions, but none that provide justified reasoning as to why they should have occurred. During the winter months of 1692, Betty Paris and her cousin Abigail Williams began to have fits described as being beyond natural causes. They complained of being pinched and pricked with pins, but no physical evidence could be found. Other young women in Salem began to exhibit similar behaviors. The first arrested for allegedly…show more content…
Two dogs were also executed for conspiring with the Devil and one person was pressed to death under a pile of stones for refusing to testify. Even with the trials over, many were still in jail because that could not pay for their release. The trials also took a toll on the surrounding land and structures. Houses and fields were left unattended, and the planting season was interrupted. The fields that were planted were not cultivated or harvested. Also, the Salem Meetinghouse was left dilapidated due to the distraction of the trials. The Puritans felt they were being punished by God for the hangings of innocent people. Therefore, a day of fasting and prayer was ordered for January 13,
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