The fairness of the Salem Witch Trials was anything but what you would think. The trials, held in Salem, Massachusetts, were a tragedy in the 1600s where dozens of innocent people were accused and hung for supposedly using witchcraft. The very young (mostly 9 year old) girls accused witch after witch across the town of Salem. The book, Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem, by Rosalyn Schanzer, gives a historical account of the trials and of those accused. The unfairness of the Salem Witch Trials is revealed through the use of spectral evidence, false evidence, and the underlying reasons some were accused. First of all, accusers stating spectral evidence is one example of the unfairness of the trials. Spectral evidence is evidence accusing someone’s apparition while their human body was some other place. For instance, one …show more content…
“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” was the Puritan leaders’ standpoint, as they fervently trusted the Bible and this perspective comes straight out of the Bible (The DBQ Project Document 1). So by this standpoint, they thought it was better that if there was a chance that someone was a horrid witch, then they should be killed. This encouraged the leaders to abolish all possible witches, which eventually took the lives of dozens. Also, “...the minister George Burroughs as their scapegoat because they disapproved of his unusual religious views” clearly shows that the people accused could have a strong part in personal disagreement or controversy(Shanzer 114). Finally, “ if the Putnam family, Reverend Parris, and Lewis were out for revenge, they were about to get it” reveals that the accusers were clearly out for revenge on Nurse’s mother, and took it out on Nurse herself over a family controversy (Shanzer 51). Clearly, the reasons of why people were accused should be considered when discussing the fairness of these
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The Salem Witch Trials took place in the summer and into the fall of the year 1692, and during this dark time of American history, over 200 people had been accused of witchcraft and put in jail. Twenty of these accused were executed; nineteen of them were found guilty and were put to death by hanging. One refused to plead guilty, so the villagers tortured him by pressing him with large stones until he died. The Salem Witch Trials was an infamous, scary time period in American history that exhibited the amount of fear people had of the devil and the supernatural; the people of this time period accused, arrested, and executed many innocent people because of this fear, and there are several theories as to why the trials happened (Brooks).
The Salem Witch trials were when hundreds of citizens of Salem, Massachusetts were put on trial for devil-worship or witchcraft and more than 20 were executed in 1692. This is an example of mass religion paranoia. The whole ordeal began in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris. People soon began to notice strange behavior from Parris’s slave, Tituba, and his daughters. Many claimed to have seen Parris’s daughters doing back magic dances in the woods, and fall to the floor screaming hysterically. Not so long after, this strange behavior began to spread across Salem.
The use of spectral evidence is currently illegal in court, in part because of the Salem Witch Trials and how a number of lives were wrongly lost based on flimsy, unverifiable evidence, or lack thereof. Although spectral evidence was used throughout the entire trails, it was challenged by Cotton Mather. He argued that it’s “dubious value,” was not suitable for the courtroom but nobody decided to listen to his thoughts until it was too late (Salem Witch Trials,
The Salem witch trials happened in Colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were suspected of being involved with witchcraft or the “Devil's magic” and more than 19 were executed. Ultimately, the society confessed the trials were an inaccuracy and remunerated the families of those who were found guilty. Since then, the tale of the trials has become indistinguishable with fear and discrimination, and it remains to lure the general mind more than 300 years later. These rare trials intensely change the way that people look at their world. These witchcraft trials in Salem during the summer of 1692 did just that. The misfortune of Salem, which saw nineteen alleged witches hanged and some more accused witches die in prison, caused colonists to reconsider both their association with the supernatural world and the sort of procedural devices necessary to protect accused persons. It is commonly assumed that madness similar to that seen 308 years ago in Massachusetts could never again poison our justice system.
The Salem Witch Trials were a horrible event in the history of the United States of America. The Salem Witch Trials happened in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. During this event over 200 people were accused of being witches and the ones found guilty or would not confess were executed 20 people ended up being executed. The court finally admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted (Blumberg).
Some may believe that the Salem Witch Trials were completely honest and fair, but most come to realize all of the unfairness behind it. The Salem Witch Trials occured in 1692, and now most look back on it as a foolish mistake that lead to the death of many innocent people. The reliability of the accusers, the evidence allowed in determining guilt or innocence, and methods of punishment were just three things that were completely unfair.
Salem 1692, two girls ,Betty Parris, age nine, and her eleven year old cousin Abigail Williams, had a dream. They wanted to be the best actors in the village. They worked very hard to do that and they got twenty people killed. Betty and Abigail were Puritans and they are not supposed to lie or they would end up with the devil in the afterlife, but it seemed like they didn’t care. That’s why we ask, why were people blaming the innocent for being witches in Salem, 1692? The Salem Witch Trials were caused by two poor, young girls who acted possessed. There were also other people who took the risk of lying and accused other people. Most of the accusers were under the age of twenty and woman. The little girls caused the Salem Witch Trials hysteria by pretending to be possessed. Most of the accusers were poor and lived in the western part of the town.
...in their family to become sick and possibly die. Many people were accused of witchcraft. More than twenty people died all together. One person was flattened to death because he was accused of witchcraft. When people were accused they had to go to jail, which the conditions were terrible. Then, they had to get a trial from the Court of Oyer and Terminer. After an accused witch had their trial, and went to jail, they would be carted off to Gallows Hill. This was the hill where all the witches were hanged. After a witch was hanged, later that night, their family would usually take the body down and give it a proper burial. The Salem Witchcraft Trials were one of the most terrible times in the history of America. As you can see the chaotic Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 were caused by superstition, the strict puritan lifestyle, religious beliefs, and hysteria.
The first arrival of the Puritans was in the 1600s. They came within a large number of English immigrants arriving in New England. Puritans traveled this far way across the Atlantic Ocean to practice Christianity in pure ways. The land in New England was hard and rocky, but they were committed to living here and had help from God, as spoken in the Bible. The Bible stated that the Puritans believed, but another subject that was spoken from the Bible was the Devil. They said he could enter a person’s body and turn that person into a witch. If your under his power, then you would make all kinds of trouble, like cause a cow to run away. Soon later in the late 1600’s witchcraft was a popular, serious, crime and many
Between June 10 and September 22, 1692, 20 people were hanged in Salem after being accused of witchcraft. The trials began with a group of young girls claiming to be possessed by the devil, accusing local women of being witches and conducting their witchcraft on them. Within Puritan societies, there were very strict gender roles and religious beliefs, along with extreme economic tensions all contributed into the chaos of the Salem Witch Trials.
One strong way to defend themselves was having others sign a petition claiming he/ she was innocent (Uschan pg. 21). One famous line used was “I have nothing to do with the witchcraft or the Devil and would never harm a soul.” This usually never worked. Another common lie from women to be “I am a mother and would never harm another child.” (Reis). It would cause the judge to think about them hurting someone else's child, but it also usually never worked. A really famous claim used by a lot of people was that they weren't in the state at the time and couldn’t be the accused witch they were claiming (Uschan pg. 21). To support their claims, they would bring in a supporter to agree with whatever statement they had claimed. The supporter
The Puritans were notably fearful of the devil. The traumatic event that triggered this was possibly the epidemic and the removal of the royal charter. If it was not that, it could have been a different disease that struck the Puritans. “Another possibility is that the girls contracted encephalitis, a disease carried by mosquitoes. Encephalitis can cause fever, headaches and confusion” (Krystek). The confusion could have lead them to think that they were indeed witches or that they witnessed witchcraft. When the accused were interrogated by some of the people in the community, it was not a peaceful encounter. They forced a false confession from innocent people, it was a smart way of interrogation. A way the examination went was, “And then they would try to push the person to see, ‘Well, haven't you done some sin? Haven't you let the Devil in the door even just a little bit?’ Then these women who were good Puritan women kind of had to admit that, ‘Yeah, okay, maybe a little bit I let Satan in the door’” (Reis). The people from the community manipulated the accused. These women were vulnerable, and were clueless. When they questioned
Eight months in a prison cell without sunlight, starved for days, and alone, this was like for four year old Dorothy Good. Her mother was accused of Witchcraft and she went down with her. A child lost eight whole months of her life due to the Salem Witch Trials. Fortunately today the United States has the Constitution that prevents any more children like Dorothy Good from losing their childhood and mother due to the Salem Witch Trials. The Witch Trials took place in Salem Village, Massachusetts from February 1692 until May 1693. They consisted of multiple hearings and several prosecutions of people accused of Witchcraft. The Salem Witch Trials was a tragic part of history that twenty unfortunate victims lost their lives to. Luckily, in present time the United States has a Constitution that has various laws that make sure the count of victims will not go up due to them being “witched”. The Salem Witch Trials are not likely to recur because of the First, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
The Salem Witch Trials all began on January 20, 1692, with nine-year-old Elizabeth "Betty" Parris and eleven-year-old Abigail Williams, daughter and niece of the village reverend Samuel Parris, beginning to exhibit strange behavior, such as blasphemous screaming, convulsive seizures, trance-like states and mysterious spells. Within a short period of time, several other Salem girls began to illustrate similar behavior; physicians resolved that the girls were under the control of Satan. Reverend Parris conducted prayer services and public fasting in hopes of relieving the evil forces that tormented them. In an effort to expose the "enchantress", one man baked a "witch cake" made with rye bran and the urine of the ill girls. This counter-magic was meant to reveal the identities of the "witched" to the ailing girls. Pressured to identify the cause of their misfortune, the girls named three women, including Tituba, Samuel Parris' slave, as witches. On February 29, warrants were dispatched for the arrests of Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne. Although Osborne and Good sustained guiltlessness, Tituba confessed to seeing Lucifer, who appeared to her "sometimes like a hog and sometimes like a great dog." What's more, Tituba certified that there was a collaboration of witches at work in Salem.