This brief essay describes the origins, consequences and legacy of the Salem Witch Trials.
The Salem Witch Trials traumatized the Massachusetts Bay Colony, irrevocably changed lives and revealed the dangers and consequences of mass hysteria and panic.
Origins and Dimensions of the Salem Witch Trials
Puritan immigrants in the 17th century struggled to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They endured hardships such as small pox epidemics, Indian tribal threats, business losses, pirates roaming the coastline, “starvation, war, [and] political struggles.” Changes in English rulers created political instability and threats to religious practices that “created a feeling of uneasiness and discontent” in the colony (Brooks, “History of the Salem Witch Trials”).
Fear and suspicion eventually developed in the late 17th centu...
... middle of paper ...
... surrounding the trials help historians and sociologists “understand the issues of that time and apply our understanding to our own society.” The early 1950s House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and McCarthy hearings identified alleged communists in government and the entertainment field. These accusations and their consequences mirror the temperament, incidents, accusations and consequences displayed in the 1692-1693 events (“The 1692 Salem Witch Trials”). In both instances, innocent people were accused of offenses they did not commit. The evidence against both groups of the accused was sparse and often unsubstantiated. The ridicule and rejection that resulted echoed down the years. If the Salem Witch Trials had not occurred it is likely the lives of the accused would have been saved and the torment and satanic cult that developed would have been avoided.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Accusations of witchcraft ran rampant in the 17th century colonial settlements in the United States. The individuals accused, mostly women, were put on trial and punished, if found guilty. The most well-known of such cases on public record are the Salem Witch Trials. Between February, 1692 and May, 1693, hearings and prosecutions were set up to deal with those accused of dabbling in the dark arts in the cities of Andover, Salem, and Ipswich, all in Massachusetts Bay. These trials came to commonly be referred to as the Salem Witch Trials because some of the most notorious cases were heard in the Oyer and Terminer courts in Salem.... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]
2209 words (6.3 pages)
- In 1692 the town of Salem, Massachusetts was home to one of the most controversial upsets in judicial history. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions in which several people in colonial Massachusetts were accused of performing witchcraft. The supernatural was a commonplace observance in 17th-century North America. “:Witchcraft cases were hardly unknown in New England in the 1600s—more than a hundred were recorded before 1692—but they were mostly isolated, widely separated in time and space, scattered around the colonies”(Brandt 38).... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Puritan, Salem]
727 words (2.1 pages)
- Throughout history, there have been many phenomenal occurrences that are directly relatable to religion, and therefore hold a special place in the pages of the history books. In this case, the Salem Witch Trials, which occurred in Massachusetts in and around 1692 created an everlasting legacy of witchcraft and magic within the United States. The Salem witch trials are commonly heard of around the entire world, as they in some way set a precedent when it came to witchcraft and dark magic, which was assumed to be seen during this time.... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Magic, Salem]
1267 words (3.6 pages)
- The Salem witch trials of 1692 were one of the bloodiest witch-hunts in America colonial history. The event started in the house of the new minister of Salem, Samuel Parris, when his daughter, Betty, suffered from mysterious symptoms, and later she accused her slave, Tibuta, for using witchcraft on her. Later, two other women, Sarah Goode and Sarah Osborne, were accused of using witchcraft on other girls; right after the accusations, they were arrested (Lecture 9/13/2016). As a result, the hunt of witches began which led to hundreds of arrests, and nineteen accused were hanged (Text 190).... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]
921 words (2.6 pages)
- Research on the Salem Witch Trials Before the Trials “Belief in the supernatural–and specifically in the devil’s practice of giving certain humans (witches) the power to harm others in return for their loyalty–had emerged in Europe as early as the 14th century, and was widespread in colonial New England. In addition, the harsh realities of life in the rural Puritan community of Salem Village (present-day Danvers, Massachusetts) at the time included the after-effects of a British war with France in the American colonies in 1689, a recent smallpox epidemic, fears of attacks from neighboring Native American tribes and a longstanding rivalry with the more affluent community of Salem Town (prese... [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible]
1748 words (5 pages)
- The Salem Witch Trials were a series of gruesome trials that began in Salem Massachusetts in 1692 and lasted until 1693. During that year, more than 200 Salem residents were accused and convicted of witchcraft, 19 of whom were hung for the crime (List of 5…). This was a bloody time for Salem that left many of its citizens broken and scared. Although the main cause for these trials seems to be fear from breaking the Partisan religion, Greed and revenge come in a close second. Not to mention, cold weather and disease which contributed highly to the outcome of the trials.... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]
738 words (2.1 pages)
- 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 severa... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]
1060 words (3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Jury, Salem]
1131 words (3.2 pages)
- Do you want your life resting in the words of your worst enemy. Before the formation of the American legal system, accusations determined outcomes. In the late 1600’s the Puritans in New England were just starting to build civil resolutions to village disputes. A notable conflict was based on their strong belief in the devil and witchcraft creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion. Instead of seeking justice of those accused of witchcraft, the inexperienced magistrates were led to presume guilt simply because of odd behavior.... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, The Crucible]
1291 words (3.7 pages)
- Tituba: Salem’s Resident Witch The Salem Witch Trials were a monumental moment in American history. They began in Salem in 1692 when two girls and a village slave named Tituba attempted to look into their futures (“Salem witchcraft trials” - American History). Shortly after, the village girls began to behave in a peculiar manner by crawling under things and making abnormal noises. Eventually, the girls started to screech exclaiming that they were being tortured (“Salem witchcraft trials”- World Book Advanced).... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Sarah Good, Salem]
1036 words (3 pages)