“A WITCH! A WITCH!” (20) common knowledge may let people to believe that Salem was the only place where witch hunts took place, but as Godbeer explains in his book, Stamford and other towns also experienced cases of witchcraft. The author not only demonstrates that the locations may vary, but also the methods of prosecution. The ministers of Stanford tried to bring the case to justice using the proper procedures. Instead of using force or other alternative methods to make the witches confess, Goodbeer destroys the stereotypical witch hunt.
The rest of the accused were thrown in jail for months with out trials . The Salem Witch Trials were brought up by the belief of the supernatural, a recent smallpox epidemic, and fears from being attacked from the Native Americans, and longstanding rivalry with other town’s people. They were also fueled by their fear of outsiders and the suspicions and resentment of their neighbors. The trials were the start of something bigger that happened. The events that took place in Salem in 1692 are a part of a greater pattern throughout our history to persecute innocent people, especially women, as "witches."
Puritanism was a religious reform movement that arose within... ... middle of paper ... ...lenged due to their relationship with the accused. Thus, is someone were to be accused, the person was basically found guilty until proven innocent. In trials and cases nowadays, more care is taken in what could be accepted as concrete evidence, referring to the admittance of spectral evidence during the Salem Witch Trials. This event has also proven to us that hysterias and tragic events can be caused if we are blindly religious, superstitious etc. The unfairness of the trials led to an improvement of the rules, which did not allow the use of spectral evidence in a trial.
The Red Scare is reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials in that people were accused of doing something they did not do, they were only given the choices of condemn or confess, and more harm was done than avoided as a result of the scares. Of the many similarities between the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare, one of the most obvious examples of these similarities is that people were accused of doing something they did not do. Not only were they people falsely accused, there was no physical evidence that they ever did anything wrong. The only “evidence” against them was what other people claimed they saw them doing (Miller). Florida International University’s Richard A. Schwartz wrote an essay regarding the Red Scare, and in it he says that during the HUAC hearings, companies, “...listed 151 men and women who the editors claimed were linked with a variety of past or present Communist causes.” This further supports the idea that “spectral evidence” played an important role in both the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare.
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
He doesn’t seem to think that the people deliberately accused their rivals of witchcraft and not committing fraud but involuntarily fed into the lies they were told and had strange reactions when told to convey what they saw. He talks about how all of their problems were solely intertwined to create the Salem Witch Trials and only discussed after the fact. His point of view seems to think they were inherently hysteric about witchcraft, seeing as how over 40,000 people were executed for it in England, and only amplified their worries of life surrounding them. In summary, his points are saying that the outbreak of witchcraft gave an explanation on how these tragedies might have seemed unavoidable.
Witchcraft Hysteria in Puritan New England In 1692, the problems following Massachusetts’s change from Puritan Utopia to royal colony had an unusual increase in the witchcraft hysteria at Salem Village (now the town of Danvers). Although the belief in witchcraft had started a huge problem in Salem, almost 300 New Englanders (mostly lower class, middle-aged, marginal women – spinsters or widows) had been accused as witches, and more than thirty had been hanged. With this issue in Salem all superiority in its scope and intensity. The general colony’s way of life was experiencing some problems. These problems lead the community to believe that the devil was at work in the village.
According to the article “Witchcraft in Salem,” “a confessor would tearfully throw himself or herself on the mercy of the town and court and promise repentance.” Even though many people did confess to witchcraft, many would not because they wanted justification. However, there were only a few to confess, but were still punished in jail. Reverend Samuel Parris was the town’s minister during the trials, and two of the main accusers Betty and Abigail lived in the Parris’s household. However, once a person was accused of witchcraft, Reverend Samuel Parris had no interest in believing otherwise in the person’s innocence. Reverend Parris was very imprudent, and careless to the hangings.
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. More than a few centuries ago, many practicing Christians, and those of other religions, had a sturdy belief that the Devil could give certain people recognized as witches the control to mischief others in return for their loyalty.
This man, along with many others, were given two options: refuse to admit they had been a part of witchcraft in some way and be executed, or confess to save their own life and lie about being a part of some sort of witchcraft. These choices given to the accused by Danforth were unjust. According to the law at the time, what happened twenty years ago was politically correct, but in no way was it just. When I was looking back at the trials I looked hard for some good that can come out of it. I concluded that within the trial two people stand out to me and highlight the clearest lessons that can be uncovered.