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The Salem Witch Trials

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In the year 1692, many important events occurred; Aesop’s Fables, a certain form of calculator, but may be most notably known are the Salem Witch Trials. There are multiple factors that are thought to be cause to the infamous Trials, yet religion plays a strongly dominant role amongst the plethora of reasons. The events of Salem Village affected the colonies immediately following the trials, yet they had a lasting influence on the development of the ideals of the United States.

The mass hysteria that accompanied the accusations in 1692 had been seen before in Europe, but it was fresh to America. Witchcraft and trials in Europe had preceded the events in the New World by over 300 years. According to Exodus, “Thou shall not tolerate a witch to live.” This gave Pope Gregory IX grounds to impose an inquisition in 1231 to punish heresy, and Pope Innocent declared witchcraft as an act of heresy. Accusing an individual of Witchcraft was often seen as a tool to get rid of one’s enemies; the community would purge itself. The catch to this act was that concrete evidence must be provided; as addressed later, concrete evidence eventually fell away from trials. It was often said that torture was good for confession and this was justified by the law because witchcraft offended the church and the state. Not only was witchcraft an act of heresy, it was an act of treason.

The text Malleus Maleficarum was one of the best known witch-hunt manuals. The manual consists of 35 “questions” (chapters) that describe what to be done in the cases of witchcraft. The book specified rules of evidence and court procedures for torturing and putting a witch to death. One infamous reason mentioned in the book as grounds for accusing an individual as a witch...

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...“witchcraft practicers”.

Works Cited

Exodus, King James Bible

Laux, John Fr. Church History. Rockford. Tan Books and Publishers

“Malleus Maleficarum Index.” Internet Sacred Text Home. http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/mm/. (Accessed February 17th, 2011)

"Chronology of Events Relating to the Salem Witchcraft Trial of 1692." UMKC School of Law. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/ASAL_CH.HTM (accessed February 17, 2011).

In Search of History: Salem Witch Trials, directed by The History Channel. (2005; A&E Archives, 2005.)

In Search of History: Salem Witch Trials.

In Search of History: Salem Witch Trials.

In Search of History: Salem Witch Trials.

In Search of History: Salem Witch Trials.

Chronology of Events relating to The Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Chronology of Events relating to The Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
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