In colonial Massachusetts between February of 1692 and May of 1963 over one hundred and fifty people were arrested and imprisoned for the capital felony of witchcraft. Trials were held in Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town of Essex County of Massachusetts, but accusations of witchcraft occurred in surrounding counties as well. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem Village. Hysteria had swept through Puritan Massachusetts and hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft. Why these accusations came about might account for a combination of an ongoing frontier war, economic conditions, congregational strife, teenage boredom, and personal jealousy among neighbors.* The colonial era was dangerous and the settlers were exposed to much hardship, not only with other inhabitants of the land, but with themselves as well.
The Witchcraft crisis began in mid-January of 1691, when a young girl named Betty Parris living in the household of the Reverend Samuel Parris of Salem Village, Massachusetts, became strangely ill. She had suffered from fits of hysteria and delusions. The Reverend called upon the local physician, William Griggs, whom could find nothing physically wrong with her and ultimately concluded that she had been bewitched. (It is now believed that Betty Parris may have been suffering from stress, asthma, guilt, boredom, child abuse, epilepsy, and/or delusional psychosis.)* Three women were accused of the bewitching of Betty. She accused Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, the Reverend Samuel Parris’ slave. Both Good and Osborne claimed their innocence, but Tituba confessed to witchcraft – possibly for feeling guil...
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...ent that the Indian Wars had much to do with the trials at all. Only that people were anxious and fearful because of them. I also find it interesting that women, usually under the age of 25, were the ones accusing others of witchcraft and why they were believed by the colony’s magistrates. I believe that witchcraft offered a valid excuse to the colonies misfortunes and the unexplained “Invisible World”. The Puritans strict religion created much fear in the people, and the idea of Satan and witchcraft was a way of keeping people in order, since there wasn’t really a police system at the time.
After much research I became rather fascinated by the events surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. Since there is still much mystery and debate about the subject, it makes it even more interesting.
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- 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)
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- In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy gave a speech at the Republican Women’s Club of Wheeling in West Virginia, in which he claimed to have a list of 205 Communists in the State Department. A man by the name of Arthur Miller saw some similarities between this event, known as McCarthyism, and the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Arthur Miller was able to subtly protest the rise of McCarthyism through his literary works, especially in his play The Crucible, because he understood the universal experience of not being able to believe that the people have gone insane.... [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Witchcraft]
1065 words (3 pages)
- Salem Witch Trials of 1692 Events that began in late 1691 may have been escalated due to religious discord, economic failure or fear of attack by local Indians that allied with French and Canadian communities. Is there a scientific reasoning behind this or was the puritan lifestyle and fear of the French and Indian wars raging less than 70 miles away elevating the communities fear of the devil infiltrating their small community. I will show how politics, social acceptance and the constant fear of attacks may have escalated the pursuit and conviction of these “so called” witches. Looking at this puritan society, we may learn how small fractures in the community may be construed as an atta... [tags: The Puritans]
1663 words (4.8 pages)
- The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 In colonial Massachusetts between February of 1692 and May of 1963 over one hundred and fifty people were arrested and imprisoned for the capital felony of witchcraft. Trials were held in Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town of Essex County of Massachusetts, but accusations of witchcraft occurred in surrounding counties as well. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem Village. Hysteria had swept through Puritan Massachusetts and hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft.... [tags: Witch Salem History Hunt]
1056 words (3 pages)
- The Salem witch trials of the 17th century, was an event that took place in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts which spread mass hysteria that centralized around the idea of witchcraft and reflected religious persecution. This tale of events provoked the fears of Puritans whom at the time hated and believed witchcraft to be evil, the practice of committing ill acts on the innocent, the aid of demonic spirits and conveying with Satan. Therefore, the idea of Devil worshipping and witchcraft became a central scapegoat as a reason to exterminate those who were outcasts and did not practice in the Puritan faith accordingly to the rest of the town.... [tags: U.S. History]
2155 words (6.2 pages)
- Cotton Mather and the Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 took place in the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts. Cotton Mather, a clergyman in Salem, emerged throughout the course of the trials as a pillar of support and, ultimately, as a witch-hunter. However, his motives at the beginning of the trials were driven by his Puritanical reasoning which holds a strong belief in Biblical Law. Cotton Mather used his Puritanical faith to find reasoning in God that allowed the Salem Witch Trials to occur.... [tags: Puritan Community Salem, Massachusetts]
2277 words (6.5 pages)
Comparing Salem Possessed by Paul Boyer, The Story of the Salem Witch Trials by Bryan Le Beau, and Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol Karlsen
- Comparing "Salem Possessed" by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, "The Story of the Salem Witch Trials" by Bryan Le Beau, and "The Devil in the Shape of a Woman" by Carol Karlsen The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 spread just about as fast as the Black Plague. This epidemic caused chaos among neighbors in a community. The chronology of events describes an awful time for colonists from June 10th to September 22nd of that year. The books "Salem Possessed" by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, "The Story of the Salem Witch Trials" by Bryan Le Beau, and "The Devil in the Shape of a Woman" by Carol Karlsen all describe these events and provide varying explanations for the epidemic that plagued Sale... [tags: Salem Witch Trials 1692]
1814 words (5.2 pages)
- When one evokes The Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the image that comes to most peoples minds are that of witches with pointed hats riding broomsticks. This is not helped by the current town of Salem, Massachusetts, which profits from the hundreds of thousands of tourists a year by mythologizing the trials and those who were participants. While there have been countless books, papers, essays, and dissertations done on this subject, there never seems to be a shortage in curiosity from historians on these events.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Sources]
835 words (2.4 pages)
- Godbeer, Richard. Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. Print. While most people are familiar with the notorious Salem Witch Trials in 1692, many people are unaware that similar events were taking place in other parts of New England in the very same year. The book, Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692, takes readers through an intriguing narrative of a young girl with claims of being bewitched. Although I was concerned at first about the book being in a narrative style, the author was very concise and used actual evidence from the trial to tell an accurate and interesting story.... [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Witch trials]
1234 words (3.5 pages)