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Cause Of The Salem Witch Trials

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The Salem Witch Trials took place in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. At this time there appeared to be an outbreak of witches. This started when the children of the Goodwin family begin having mysterious fits. The doctors, not knowing what had happened to the children, blamed it on witchcraft. From that point on many people were accused of being a witch and were killed. This occurred for many different reasons; either they were hanged for their crimes, crushed by stones for refusing to stand trial on their cases, or from waiting in the jail for so long before their case came up. As people began to investigate the Salem Witch Trials further they came up with two explanations; either the people of Salem were begin acted through by the devil or…show more content…
This was the belief of many of the Puritans, in Salem. Puritans had such strong religious beliefs, that to them it seemed highly plausible that the devil was using their peers as pawns to carry out his evil influence on the world. Another thing that fueled the Puritans belief of bewitchment was a book written a few years previously called Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions by Cotton Mather. This book explained symptoms of four children who had been bewitched by their laundress. The symptoms that Mather described were the same symptoms the town seemed to be plagued with. This only added to the belief that the town had an outbreak of witches. Many of the doctors in the town started blaming illness that could not be diagnosed on witchcraft. In 1692, Williams and Elizabeth Parris began acting out of the ordinary by dashing around, complaining of strange pains, and jumping under things. They visited their local doctor and he told them they must be bewitched because there activities were so unexplainable. Another medical case that was thought to be witchcraft was that of Martha Goodwin. She began screaming, complaining of unusual pain, and demonstrating different behavior than normal. The symptoms that were shown in Martha Goodwin were so out of the ordinary that the doctors did not know what could be causing these problems. The doctors decided the child must be a victim of witchcraft and arrested her parents under the assumption that they were
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