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Causes of the Salem Witch Trials

analytical Essay
2019 words
2019 words
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From the beginning of time there has been conflict between the views of different people and their different groups. Conflict has brought prejudice and fear into communities around the world. As conflict is an inescapable part of any society, it can be expected to extend to the greatest impact possible. The Salem Witch Trials are one such conflict. This conflict caused many to be accused, arrested, and killed. Because of social, economic, religious, and physical problems within the community, Salem Village was present with prejudice and panic causing the Salem Witch Trials. Witchcraft has been present in many other religions, not only the Puritan religion. Witchcraft was also found in Catholic and Protestant parts of Europe. The Salem Witch Trials were smaller in comparison to those in Scotland, France, or Germany (Hall 3). Though the trials in Salem were smaller, people recognize the Salem Witch Trials as one of the worst times in American history (“Witch Madness” 4). The Puritans believed that the Devil was alive in their community (“Witch Madness” 2). The accusations started in February 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts when young Puritan girls were found using magic. The Salem Witch Trials began when Betty Paris, Abigail Williams, and some of their friends began to act strange with odd fits (Hall 1). Because many mental and emotional disorders were not understood, the people of Salem believed it was the work of witchcraft. When sickness or even misfortune came, the most Bednar 2 sensible reason was witchcraft (Godbeer 28). The Salem Witch Trials were a prime example of the prejudice in early America with the different personal lives and beliefs (Adams 26). The prejudice and panic caused much instability in the Salem comm... ... middle of paper ... ...n in Salem."NewLeader.N.p., 1996. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. Godbeer, Richard. ""How Could They Believe That?": Explaining to Students Why Accusations of Witchcraft Made Good Sense in Seventeenth-Century New England." OAH Magazine of History July 2003: 28-31. Ebscohost.Web. 05 Nov. 2013. Hall, David D. "Witch Hunting In Salem." Christian History. N.p., 1994. Web. 05 Nov. 2013. Hinds, Maurene J. Witchcraft on Trial: From the Salem Witch Hunts to the Crucible. Library ed. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2009. Print. Kent, Deborah. Witchcraft Trials: Fear, Betrayal, and Death in Salem. Library ed. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2009. Print. Langley, Michele. "The Salem Witchcraft Trials."JuniorScholastic.N.p., 2003. Web. 08 Nov. 2013. Shapiro, Laura. "The Lesson Of Salem." Newsweek.N.p., 1992. Web. 31 Oct. 2013. "Witch Madness."CurrentEvents.N.p., 2000. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that encephalitis lethargica is a virus that is known to lay dormant for months before becoming active.
  • Argues that ergot or encephalitis lethargica caused the accusations, though many believe that both ailments affect both males and females.
  • States that adams, gretchen a., "the specter of salem." oah magazine of history, july 2003: 24-27.
  • Describes the salem witch trials as one of the worst times in american history.
  • Explains that the salem witch trials were a prime example of prejudice in early america with the different personal lives and beliefs.
  • Analyzes how the girls began fortune-telling with tituba, reverend parris’ west indian slave, for excitement during the winter of 1691-1692.
  • Analyzes how the salem witch trials started because of the poor status of women in the puritan religion.
  • Explains that the church was a huge part of the accusations because the idea of witchcraft came from it.
  • Explains that established religion and religious practices were more important than scientific determinations. the doctor examined the afflicted girls in 1692 and believed that witchcraft was the cause.
  • Opines that hysteria is a condition caused by physical or psychological distress. the salem witch trials produced one of the darkest and most debated parts of american history.
  • Analyzes how godbeer explained to students why accusations of witchcraft made good sense in seventeenth-century new england.
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