“A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials.” Smithsonian. 24 Oct. 2007. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a brief-history-of-the-Salem- Witch-Trials-175162489/. Boyer, Paul.
The Salem witch trials transpired in the late 1600’s and caused uncertainty and controversy throughout the society. The town of Salem is where most of the trials occurred, and practicing witchcraft, and our American government forced over a dozen citizens to pay with their lives. The witch trials happened because of conflicts dealing with religion, fear, and feuds. The trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of adolescent girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and they accused several local women of witchcraft. A wave of hysteria spread throughout Massachusetts, and a special court place was set up to hear the cases.
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).
"Understanding the Salem Witch Trials." EDSITEment. 26 Nov. 2013 . "What Caused the Salem Witch Trials." What Caused the Salem Witch Trials.
This verdict triggered an investigation that took 25 lives and more than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft; prisons filled with wrongly accused people, and concerned the people of the community of Salem, Massachusetts. In the year of 1692 a group of several young girls, some being, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Mary Easty, Betty Parris and Sarah Hubbard, were arrested, who were claimed by other colonist to be possessed by the devil. Later in February of 1692 arrest warrants were made to three women; all of them were accused by the group of young girls with the symptoms of the sickness, that they bewitched them. These three women names were a homeless beggar, Sarah Good, an elder Sarah Osborn and a Caribbean slave, Tituba. These three women were brought to court to be trialed for using witchcraft.
During the years of 1692 and 1693 the fear of witchcraft swept through Salem, Massachusetts like a plague. Witchcraft strongly defied Puritan beliefs, and the Puritans executed any accused witches. Throughout the hysteria in Salem, 185 people were accused of practicing witchcraft. Rumors of witchcraft put many people’s lives in danger. Witchcraft was defined as entering into a compact with the devil in exchange for certain powers to do evil.
The Salem Witch Trials: a Primary Source History of the Witchcraft Trials in Salem, Massachusetts. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2003. Print. April 2011.