Reactions of witch-hunts were based on misconceived panic and anxiety of anything outside of the common religious beliefs. Because of poor record keeping, the exact numbers of men and women persecuted on the account of being witches may never be accurate enough to decide if it was an issue of misogyny. Citation Anne Llewellyn Barstow, “On Studying Witchcraft as Women History,” pp. 279-288 in J. Mitchell, Helen Buss Mitchell (2010) Taking Sides. Clashing Views in World History.
The Salem Witch Trials began when Betty Paris, Abigail Williams, and some of their friends began to act strange with odd fits (Hall 1). Because many mental and emotional disorders were not understood, the people of Salem believed it was the work of witchcraft. When sickness or even misfortune came, the most Bednar 2 sensible reason was witchcraft (Godbeer 28). The Salem Witch Trials were a prime example of the prejudice in early America with the different personal lives and beliefs (Adams 26). The prejudice and panic caused much instability in the Salem comm... ... middle of paper ... ...n in Salem.
She agrees that the belief in the Puritian culture, that women were evil, existed because they were seen as a potential threat to the order of the society. That is why women were generally seen as witches. When witchcraft was initially seen, it was uncertain of wether or not it would benefit the New England society, because of the fast changing conditions of the early settlement. By the late 1640’s, New Englanders believed that a witchcraft belief system as integral to their society. The Puritian rituals, myths, and symbols from then on were seen perpetuated to the belief that women were a danger to their society.
As fear of Satan grew, the Puritans became obsessed that the devil was trying to infiltrate their community. The Puritan religion did not allow them to question God’s law, and they believed only bad things happened to those that were not following a Christian or pure lifestyle. When doctors could not explain illnesses, they deemed it the doings of a “supernatural origin” (Linder, 2009). In addition to religious quandaries, there were also ... ... middle of paper ... ...m community several years prior to the witch hysteria is a profound example of the extent of revenge the Putnam’s and other elders would go to gain power. Conclusion After 19 executions, it is believed the people of Salem began to feel the trials had gotten out of control.
Abigail had to lie because she was scared of society and she began to bring other girls into this craze and got her and them into deep lies they could not get out of. It would be a reasonable statement to say that the girls were pressured into doing it by Abigail and once they were in it there was no getting out of this lie. Society had a big say on who was accused as witches, like the people who did not go to church were to be seen as people that could work with the devil. This was my interpretation on social pressure in society (Salem Witch Trials Edition).
First, the Puritan values and expectations were strict, and those who had defied their teachings would have been at a much higher chance of being accused as a witch. Second, economic struggles within Salem Town and Village had further divided the two, by crop failure and livestock death. Ultimately causing economic damages. Third, personal opinions and disputes had contributed to the trials and accusations. The law system was unfair during the trials, so when or if someone was accused the court would side with the accuser, unless of course, they were a witch themselves.
The Witch Trials were a sign of rebellion from the people; it was something to believe in. In the Crucible, the girls were previously God’s representatives in a strict town where there was no other choice but to follow God, but in the presence of the witch trials, these girls are suddenly treated as though they have a direct connection to a divine power. In a political cartoon, it shows a witch on trial saying, “It makes no difference what I say. You’ve already decided I’m guilty.” The man replies with, “Gasp! The witch can read minds!” This example proves how much power the people think the witch obtains, when in reality the witches were just not naïve or oblivious.
Randomly accusing innocent people of being devilish, atrocious witches is extremely far fetched and unusual for people to do today. However, in the 1690’s in Salem, Massachusetts, it was a daily occurrence. After seeing people do odd things happening at the time, people got scared and accused them of witches to get rid of them, send them to jail, and possibly kill them. Even worse, the accusers may have actually been sick or insane, or they could of been faking it to get revenge on their enemies. Why would these people randomly accuse innocent people of being witches?
They also feared one more thing, Witchcraft. (Magoon 7) Religion played a big part in this hysteria. The Puritan religion believed that bible was gods law, and it also provided a plan for there life. The people of Salem believed that witches and witchcraft was a big threat. The thought that witches could control their mind and body and make them do crazy things.
Common witch lore and costumes around the time of All Hallows Eve depict witches as evil beings, doing unspeakable things with malicious intent. This is a very common occurrence and is unfair to all that practice the ancient religion. Granted, uneducated people could easily place Wicca in the same category as Satanism; however, these two religions are completely different from each other and Wicca is obviously the better of the two. Because of the Catholic churches attempts in the medieval times to make more pagan worshipers join, they have made the pagan’s religion into something that was evil and sinister. Anybody who was practicing a religion that was different from their point of views, especially any religion practiced by people they were trying to convert, was evil and they needed to bring to the light of Christ.