The Salem Witch Trials Essay

The Salem Witch Trials Essay

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The Salem Witch Trials

Have you made no contract with the devil?
No.
Why do you hurt these children?
I do not hurt them. I scorn it.
Who do you imploy then to do it?
I imploy no body.
What creature do you imploy then?
No creature. I am falsely accused.
Dialogue based on the examination of Sarah Good by Judges Hawthorne and Corwin

Even though Sara Good claimed that she was wrongly accused, the judges did not take her word for it. Instead they trusted the testimony of children, children who had no proof or evidence of any kind. To understand why one must look into the society in which the trials took place.
It was a society where Puritanism ruled. The extreme Protestant movement who sought a purification of the English church, which of curse meant a swift and thorough elimination of all that threatened their beliefs, including witches. One must also remember that the power of superstition and hearsay can distort the truth. And indeed it was a time of rumors and an almost unquestionable belief in the supernatural.
For Salem Villagers, Satan was a living, supernatural being who could and did appear to people, either in his own form or that of another. He could converse with mortals, bargain with them, even enter into agreements with them. The witches who submitted to such devilish compacts bargained their souls in return for special powers or favors: money and good fortune, perhaps, or the ability to revenge themselves on others.
Demons at that time was as real as TV is today, and maybe that was why the ministers was so quick to believe the testimony of the children. If the demons was real then just as real was the church, and of curse the ministers could not believe that the children woul...


... middle of paper ...


... turned another way, lest instead of curing, she should make him worse, by her looking on him, her hand being guided to take hold of his.
Most of the accused witches was women J.W. Davidson and M. H. Lytle writes:
… out of 178 accused witches who can be identified by name, more than three out of four were female. And if the backgrounds of accused men are examined, it turns out that nearly half of them were husbands, sons, or other relatives of accused women… [examining] the trial records in more detail, [one finds] that the authorities tender to treat accused women differently from men. Magistrates and ministers often put pressure on women to confess their guilt.
The given texts suggest different explanations, it is suggested that it would be most beneficial to accuse and convict the women, because the women's economical status in the 17th century.

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