The Salem Witch Trials : A Dark Time Period For American History Essay

The Salem Witch Trials : A Dark Time Period For American History Essay

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The Salem Witch Trials is a dark time period for American history that is full of mysterious confusion on the reasons for why it occurred. Today there are many articles by authors with their depiction on the possible reasons for the Salem Witch Trials. However information on the records on accused witches varies, as Richard Latner explains in The Long and Short of Salem Witchcraft: Chronology and Collective Violence in 1692 in the “Journal of Social History” states, “Legal documents do not exist for everyone who was accused of witchcraft, and the case records that exist are often incomplete” (138, 2008). The number of accused varies from article to article between 144 to 300 people accused for practicing witchcraft. The trials occurred over the time period of the year 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, with nineteen victims hanged for being guilty of being a witch. However in situation for the case of Lydia Dustin, she was found not guilty in 1963, but still died in jail for not being able to pay her fees (Latner 147, 2008). Victim’s accused of witchcraft went beyond Salem Village and town, and reached over twenty-five communities in New England such as Gloucester, Boston, and Andover (Latner 138, 2008). The witch-hunt craze, as rapid as it started, fizzled out just as quickly. The witch-hunt began in approximately February of 1692 and lasted till about October of 1692 with villagers being accused of witchcraft, meaning that it lasted for less than a year. Today there are several different theories as to why the Salem Witch hunts and trials occurred. In “Here are No Newters” Witchcraft and Religious Discord in Salem Village and Andover by, Richard Latner, in “The New England Quarterly” explains;
Adapting approaches from psychology...

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... scope, geographic range, and magnitude of suffering justifiably mark it is a unique episode in American history” (149, 2008). Historians have digested the research for generations, and reinterpreted it for new study. These studies have shown the other sides of the stories that are possibilities of what could have happened psychologically, gender influence, and geographically along with many other possibilities. Some evidence of the event is known facts however the world will probably never know exactly what happened, or why the witch-hunt occurred. The Salem Witch Trials is a part of history that hopefully will never repeat itself in the future. In the case of the Salem Witch Trials I believe have shown an understanding of why it could have started with Parris’s religious form of teachings, Tituba’s role in the trials, and how they identified witches of witchcraft.

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