The Salem Witch Trials Essay

The Salem Witch Trials Essay

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Superstition--The belief in supernatural causality, has been a driving factor behind pivotal historical events throughout the early years of the documented human existence. Unexplainable disasters and phenomena were once commonly attributed to displeased gods by many an ancient civilization. Humans have always had a burning desire to understand why things happen. Remarkable and seemingly unexplainable events occurring in civilizations where the sciences are lacking, leaves the masses to credit that so badly desired explanation to magic and unearthly powers, allowing superstitious un-backed accusations and assumptions to run rampant. Even the more enlightened ancient Greeks that birthed modern logic, reason, and philosophy believed sacrificial offerings would please their gods. (PBS, 2014). In American history, the Salem witch trials of the revolutionary time period, exemplify the mass hysteria that can grasp a superstitious society.
The Witchcraft Accusations
The deeply rooted fear of the Salem populous during the 17th century showed that their beliefs and religion played a very big part in day to day life. Law, logic, and reason all seemed to have their foundation in religion. The main downfall with their faith first mentality is shown by the inherent misdirection caused by paranoia in the masses. In 1692 Salem Massachusetts bias, prejudice, superstition, and selfishness prevailed:
"Belief in magic, astrology, and witchcraft was widespread in [the] seventeenth-century....God's will [was defined as] such events as lightning that struck one house but spared another, and epidemics that reduced the population of their Indian enemies." (Foner, 2012. pg. 111-12).
War was also a major part of Colonial Salem life. A battle between the...


... middle of paper ...


...mmitment among prominent colonists to finding scientific explanations for natural events like comets and illnesses, rather than attributing them to magic.”(Foner, 2012, pg 112-113). As a result, science and logic would soon prevail in the American legal system. Out of the ashes of the wrongfully executed rose change and progress.


Works Cited

Foner, E. (2012). Give me Liberty! (3rd Edition). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company

George Burroughs. (2011). Retrived January 19th 2013 from:
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SAL_BBUR.HTM

Linder, D. (2009). "The Witchcraft Trials in Salem: A Commentary." Retrived January 19th 2013
from: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SAL_ACCT.HTM

Public Broadcasting Station. (2014). "Socrates." Retrived January 19th 2013 from:
http://www.pbs.org/empires/thegreeks/characters/socrates_p12.html

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