Salem Witch Trials Salem Witch Trials - Gender and Power in the 17th Century The year 1692 and early 1693 saw the prosecution and execution of nineteen witches, an old man stoned to death, several accused witchcrafts dying in jail and close to 28 being cast out of the infamous Salem Village (present day Danvers, Massachusetts) on the belief they possessed power to sway people into doing what they wanted (Goodbeer, 2011, p. 2). Early 1692, the daughter; Elizabeth and niece; Abigail Williams of first Salem Village ordained minister; Reverend Parris experienced and had frightening episodes of screaming, uttering voices and throwing things around. Another girl Ann Putnam also experienced the same and under magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hawthorne influence, the girls blamed their conditions on three women: Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne for performing witchcraft on them (Goodbeer, The Salem Witch Hunt , 2011, p. 14). Richard Godbeer’s ‘The Salem Witch Hunt’ puts into account the proceedings of several accused cases with most of the accused being women and the McCarthyism paranoia that gripped Salem Town. Two of the accused women; Good and Osborne pleaded not guilty but Tituba confessed practicing witchcraft and that there were many more witches in Salem.
The Salem Witch Trials is a well-known topic taught in history classes and in English classes. It was a time in which numerous, innocent people (mostly women) were killed because they were believed to be partaking in witchcraft. There are many possible causes as to why the Salem Witch Trials occurred. These known causes stemmed from the belief that Satan is acting in the world whether it be through giving a disease or recruiting new witches to work for him, kids that were bored and brought it upon themselves to lie that they were witches to have fun, and confessions leading town officials to believe that their belief that witchcraft may exist is true since people are coming forward and confessing.
During the time of the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692, more than twenty people died an innocent death. All of those innocent people were accused of one thing, witchcraft. During 1692, in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts many terrible events happened. A group of Puritans lived in Salem during this time. They had come from England, where they were prosecuted because of their religious beliefs. They chose to come live in America and choose their own way to live. They were very strict people, who did not like to act different from others. They were also very simple people who devoted most of their lives to God. Men hunted for food and were ministers. Women worked at home doing chores like sewing, cooking, cleaning, and making clothes. The Puritans were also very superstitious. They believed that the devil would cause people to do bad things on earth by using the people who worshiped him. Witches sent out their specters and harmed others. Puritans believed by putting heavy chains on a witch, that it would hold down their specter. Puritans also believed that by hanging a witch, all the people the witch cast a spell on would be healed. Hysteria took over the town and caused them to believe that their neighbors were practicing witchcraft. If there was a wind storm and a fence was knocked down, people believed that their neighbors used witchcraft to do it. Everyone from ordinary people to the governor’s wife was accused of witchcraft. Even a pregnant woman and the most perfect puritan woman were accused. No one in the small town was safe. As one can see, the chaotic Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 were caused by superstition, the strict puritan lifestyle, religious beliefs, and hysteria.
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).
What caused the Salem Witch Trials? This question has been asked for hundreds of years, yet the world still isn't sure of the answer. The only statement that can be proven is that there were multiple causes (salemwitchtrials.com). No one factor pushed the trials into existence. Even simple things, like fear, took a part in the overall cause. To this day, scientists and researchers alike still argue over the answer to this riddling question.
During the time of the Salem Witch Trials the intertwining of religion and government did not allow citizens of Salem, Massachusetts the right to a fair trial, so it was the states responsibility to separate the two. In the 1600’s the Puritan religion was greatly enforced by the government. It wouldn’t be until many years later that separation of church and state became a law.
In Rosalyn Schanzer’s Witches! The Absolutely True Disaster in Salem, the author discusses how the Salem Witch trials started and how the Puritans believed the witches should be tortured or killed for being a witch. Many people were accused of being witches. Many people thought the accused should die but some were somewhat nice and didn’t think they should die just in prison. Every puritan believed them because the dad was a reverend and everyone believed him so they all accused people. The causes of the Salem Witch Trials were disease, revenge, and attention.
The Salem Witch Trials took place in the year of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, in a time where people had so much fear they hunted people, accused them as witches, and killed them. Some of the townspeople saw an opportunity like no other. They accused people for being witches and used the fear of the townspeople to get them murdered so they could claim their property. A witch hunt is when people try to uncover disloyalty or dishonesty, most of the evidence is usually irrelevant and the whole event is based off of fear. A great example of a modern day witch hunt is the story of Ahmed Mohamed. Ahmed just happens to be a muslim boy that loves technology, but unfortunately got in trouble a lot in school. The Dallas Morning News described Mohamed
1692 was a tragic year for the people of Salem. The events that took place in 1692 would prove to be a turning point for not only the people of Salem but the rest of pilgrim towns in The New World. What set the trials in motion is still partially a mystery. Whatever the cause, it is known that the results of the trials were inhumane and brutal. Over thirteen people were sentenced to death during the witch trials. These trials were a set of accusations and arguments set in rapid succession, resulting in mass hysteria and the conviction of over 200 men and women. For this paper, I will be delving into the causes and results of the brutal Salem witch trials, and what affect it had on the pilgrim towns in early America.
During the early winter of 1692 two young girls became inexplicably ill and started having fits of convulsion, screaming, and hallucinations. Unable to find any medical reason for their condition the village doctor declared that there must be supernatural forces of witchcraft at work. This began an outbreak of hysteria that would result in the arrest of over one hundred-fifty people and execution of twenty women and men. The madness continued for over four months.