Reason And Significance Of Salem Witch Trials Essay

Reason And Significance Of Salem Witch Trials Essay

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To understand the reason and significance the Salem Witch Trials hold, it is important to know what life was like in the sixteenth century. The Salem Witch Trials occurred due to tension reaching its peak in Salem, Massachusetts that effected women even to this day. In the year 1629, Salem was officially established located on Massachusetts north shore. Most of the settlers were English or of English decent and as a result they carried over many English laws. Also in the year 1629, England issued a charter that allowed young Salem the right to self-govern. Salem was primarily filled with Puritans, and their religion effected Salem’s autonomy. English emigrants left their home to escape political and religious oppression, but ironically the Puritans implemented certain oppressions of their own. Puritan’s wanted to escape royal authority so they could undermine Roman Catholicism and replace it with Protestant beliefs.
Tension between England and the people of Salem increased in 1630, when England threatened to revoke the charter that allowed Salem to self-rule. Just like England, Puritan’s did not accept any other religious beliefs besides their own. Puritan’s had a strong belief of god and the devil, which greatly contributed to the hysteria of witchcraft. Every action they made was to prove that they lived a life devoted to god’s work. Puritans saw the devil as the reason for misfortune and thought women to be weaker to temptation. The fear of being persuaded by Satan was accompanied by the paranoia of Indian raids. At this time Indians were allies of the French and had a very negative reputation among the colonies of Massachusetts. The year 1692 was not an easy year for the women of Salem. Tension over load caused by English...


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...omen than men for their involvement with witchcraft and the devil, “185 people were accused in Salem, 141 women and forty-four men.” The idea that women were weaker to Satan’s temptations contributed to their trials.
The year 1692, mark the official date of the Salem Witch Trials when a young girl by the name Betty Parris started to portray particular behavior. Men and women accused of witchcraft occasionally would confess to obtain freedom; however, in return they were expected to identify other witches. During this time the Salem Witch Trials enforced a negative view of women’s place in society. Women played an important role in the trials that contributed to a false reality of witchcraft. This experience for Salem did not mark the first appearances of witchcraft or possession but this two year experience greatly influenced change in Salem’s judicial system.

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