After 19 executions, it is believed the people of Salem began to feel the trials had gotten out of control. Reverend Parris, Cotton Mather, and some jurors conceded to errors in judgment (Linder, 2009). Spectral evidence was no longer permissible, which meant that no one else could be accused of witchcraft based on hear say or opinion. Even with the admission of poor judgment and errors, none of the accuser or elders ever stepped up and accepted responsibility for the hysteria or apologized. The Salem witch hunts which were generated by fear, social, political, religious, and economic issues probably set the stage for a the American judicial system and eventually the separation of church and state.
The Salem Witch Trials was probably considered the darkest time for the New England Colony. This was a mass murder of women and a few men that were supposed witches. All of this started from two little girls and a bacteria in the bread that affected the brain.
Many of the American colonists brought with them from Europe a belief in witches and the devil. During the seventeenth century, people were executed for being witches and follower of Satan. Most of these executions were performed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Mostly all of the accused were women, which makes some modern historians believe that the charges of witchcraft were a way of controlling the women who threatened the power of the men. During the witchcraft trials, hundreds of arrests were made, and some were even put to death on Gallow’s Hill (Karlsen 145). In 1698, the villagers of Salem won the right to establish their own Church. They chose the Reverend Samuel Parris as their minister. Many of the villagers were then sorry that they had done so because of his harsh demands. They then vowed to force him out. There was much pressure surrounding the Parris family. The children of the family would entertain themselves by listening to stories told by Tituba, their slave (National Geographic). January of 1692 is when the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials first began. The Puritans of this time were very harsh, unyielding, and quick to judge. They condemned innocent women on the basis of intangible evidence, confessions, and such things as "witchmarks" (Hill). As Dorcas Hoar said, "I will speak the truth as long as I live" (Salem Home Page). Nine year old Betty Parris and eleven year old Abigail Williams, the daughter and niece of Reverend Parris, were the first to start to display signs of strange behavior. Some of this behavior included profane screaming, convulsive seizures, trance-like stages, and unexplainable animal-like noises. Shortly after this, other Salem girls began to demonstrate this same behavior. (Salem Home Page). The girls’ torment "could not possibly be Dissembled", stated Cotton Mather (National Geographic). Unable to determine any physical cause for the symptoms and behavior, doctors concluded that the girls were under the influence of Satan. Prayer Services and community fasting were organized by the Reverend Samuel Parris in hopes of relieving the evil forces that supposedly plagued the community. Efforts to expose the witches were also performed. The first three women to be identified as the source of the problem were Tituba, an Indian slave, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osbor...
The colonists of Salem village were Puritans, and the preachings of this religion played a major role in the cause of the trials. The religion in the colony was based upon Puritan theology. Puritan theology was influenced by John Calvin, who believed that the “elect” would prosper (Burner 43). All of the Puritans believed that God set up the social classes in each community. If someone was meant to prosper during their life, God was the reason that person was born into a wealthy class. Every person lived their life the way God intended them to live it. The felt resentment towards any people who went against this belief. For example, the Nurses were a family that had gained wealth during the course of time, and were not originally born into a high social class. The resentment that many colonists had towards the Nurses influenced why the Nurses were accused and held as suspects in the courts of Salem (Starkey 65).
In 1962 everything went wrong when two girls became very ill. The Puritans were becoming very worried they had very strong belief in god and they feared the devil. A couple of weeks later and the girls went to see a doctor to see if they could figure out why they were so ill. The doctor said that they had to be under an evil hand. So the Puritans believed that all witches could use the devils power to harm other people. Since they thought all witches had power to harm other people they went around and found people that they thought or they were doing witchcraft. They would blame other people for doing witchcraft and they wouldn't even be doing it. They had said that if you wrote in the devils book you have the power. These girls were asked by many people if they had came in contact with the devil. If you were accused of doing witchcraft you had to go to trial. If you don't confess that you have done or you do witchcraft you will be hung. At the end of May there were more than 60 people that were accused of doing witchcraft. The Salem Witch Trials was the biggest American witch hunt ever. There were 19 people that were killed and hung as witches. The witch hunt started in a small farming community of Salem. At one point there was 150 people in prison for being accused. There was one man that was pressed to death with stones because he didn't confess. In New England there were 16 people hung before 1962. Still in 1963 one year later there were still many people in prison waiting for their trial. They believe that the witchcraft had came from New England. The Salem Witch Trials are a series of hearings and prosecutions of people being accused of witchcraft. Many of the people that were accused of witchcraft was in Colonial Massachuse...
Salem Villages, who had a strong belief in the devil. A town not too far from
Who were the first three accused witches in Salem? What do we learn from examining their lives?
Nineteen men and women hanged and one pressed to death on account of heresy. These were the results of the ever-famous Salem Witch Trials. These staggering facts were found on November twenty first 2013 from the website http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projectts/ftrials/
One reason religion played such a strong part in the Salem Witch Trials is because the whole system of the witch trials was highly centered on religious points. In the examinations of Tituba, Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, Mary Easty, Bridget Bishop, and other people who were accused of witchcraft, most of the interrogation questions were centered on the Devil or other religious points. In the trial of Sarah Good, March 1st, 1692, the prosecutor asked her questions such as “Sarah Good what evil spirit have you familiarity with” and “have you made no contract with the devil,” which clearly shows the religious base these trials have been built on. Also in the examination of Mary Easty, April 22nd, 1692, John Hathorne asked “how far have you complyed w’th Satan whereby he takes this advantage ag’t you,” another example of the strong religious base of these witch trials. Another important point showing the Salem Witch Trials’ strong base in religion is the lack of physical evidence and the strong reliance on intangible evidence that had only spiritual value. Most evidence supporting that a person is a witch were merely convulsions, spasmodic fits, and “witch-marks,” a sign that the devil had interacted with that person.
Salem Village, a small town in Massachusetts, is a very peaceful society. There are small fights, like when half of the village agreed to have a church there and half of the hoi polloi who doesn’t like the idea. Still, it was a very tranquil village. People there are Puritans. Puritans are strict Christian believers. They believe that women and children are to be seen, not heard. They believe that the devils and witches have specters, and specters can attack people. Puritans blame bad crops, death of others, and dreadful events on witches. It was still a halcyon village, until in 1692, when madness arrived in Salem Village, Massachusetts.
deliberate, formal pact with Satan and would do all in her in power to aid
First, the Puritan values and expectations were strict, and those who had defied their teachings would have been at a much higher chance of being accused as a witch. Second, economic struggles within Salem Town and Village had further divided the two, by crop failure and livestock death. Ultimately causing economic damages. Third, personal opinions and disputes had contributed to the trials and accusations. The law system was unfair during the trials, so when or if someone was accused the court would side with the accuser, unless of course, they were a witch themselves. In conclusion, the people who died and who were accused of witchcraft were not really witches, Salem and it’s inhabitants were under the influence of mass hysteria, personal beliefs and grudges that eventually became the chaos of the Salem witch hunts of
In the textbook, religion is portrayed as the main cause of Salem’s witch hysteria. In America Possessed, however, the main reason is told to be a result of social conflicts and a power struggle between the main groups of Salem. Although the textbook addresses different causes, as does Salem Possessed, there is never a mention of the two most influential groups of Salem having an impact on the witch trials. Perhaps this is due to a time limitation of the book, as including that much detail would require the textbook and course to be much