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The Significance Of The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem witch trials is possibly one of the most controversial events in early American history, where many innocent individuals were wrongly accused of witchcraft. Even though the trials occurred over three hundred years, ago, they still continue to be studied with great interest; however there is still not a conclusion to what truly caused the hysteria. Although the settlers in Salem, Massachusetts were superstitious, they could have prevented the trials from occurring, a possible similarity to our modern judicial system. The recent British war with France, a smallpox epidemic, and fear of Indian tribes helped encourage the witchcraft hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts, by creating tension among the settlers as well as a fear of outsiders (Staff). In January 1962, 9-year-old Elizabeth Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams began having fits, including violent contortions and outbursts of screaming. Soon after William Griggs, a local doctor, diagnosed bewitchment,…show more content…
They are still taught in American History courses, possibly because of the lack of certainty that surrounds the controversy; however, there are still many plausible theories such as ergot poisoning as well as sheer boredom of the settlers. Even though the villagers at Salem had many suspicions about witchcraft, they could have prevented the trials from happening; the least that the settlers could have done was to give them a fair hearing with the use of a quick trial, utilize a jury that did not favor one specific group, and ignore the public’s opinion in regards to the trials. Bottom line, The Salem Witch trials, although incredibly controversial, rightfully deserves to be studied in American History and needs to be considered as one of the pivotal parts of early colonial history: helping us as a culture our previous mistakes and how not to make the same, or similar, mistake
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