The Salem Witch Trials Essay

The Salem Witch Trials Essay

Length: 1155 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


The New England Colonies of seventeenth century America were quite different from the other colonies in North America at this time. The climate was colder and the rules of religion much stricter, thus having an impact on the colonists living in this colony. The physical and cultural environments of these colonies were without question a factor that played a major part in the Salem Witch Trials.
John M. Murrin’s essay Coming to Terms with the Salem Witch Trials helps detail the events of these trials and explains why they might have occurred. The witch trials happened during a “particularly turbulent time in the history of colonial Massachusetts and the early modern atlantic world” (Murrin, 339). Salem came to be in 1629 and less than seventy years later found itself in a mess of witch craft.
“The trials were not representative of the overall Puritan experiment, as commonly thought, but rather marked a significant deviation from the group’s standard legal practices” (339). Traditionally when someone in the community fell ill or a pet or farm animal became sick or died suddenly it was due to the practice of witchcraft. Typically an older women would be accused of maleficium or evil deeds by only men.
Looking at Salem we can see that the process for accusing someone of witchcraft changes significantly. Women started to accuse other women and they also accused a few men. Murrin details that this caused a challenge in the local judical system: “…a number of judicial irregularities, including an unusual heavy dependence by the courts on spectral evidence ( when an accused witch’s spirit or specter, supposedly tormented the victim) and the use of open confessions by the accused to escape punishment” (339). New England had a organ...


... middle of paper ...


...in late 1688. Very likely, as Norton argues, they were quite prepared to blame the devil and his witches for their own failures” (348-349). There were many problems after these Indian attacks occurred. The magistrates of this town decided to use witchcraft to place blame on others instead of taking responsibility into their own hands.
In closing,the Puritan culture in New England and in Massachusetts was much stricter than in the other colonies in the country. The way the Puritans lived called for a plain and religious way of life. Members of the church who slipped from this way of life were ostracized from the community and often named as witches. When things turned bad in Salem, witchcraft immediately came into play. The Salem Witch trials were a difficult time in history. That showed a time severe intolerance and caused the lives of many people to end in tragedy.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- The Salem Witch Trials took place in the summer and into the fall of the year 1692, and during this dark time of American history, over 200 people had been accused of witchcraft and put in jail. Twenty of these accused were executed; nineteen of them were found guilty and were put to death by hanging. One refused to plead guilty, so the villagers tortured him by pressing him with large stones until he died. The Salem Witch Trials was an infamous, scary time period in American history that exhibited the amount of fear people had of the devil and the supernatural; the people of this time period accused, arrested, and executed many innocent people because of this fear, and there are severa...   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]

Better Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

The Trials Of Salem Witch Trials Essay examples

- The Salem Witch Trials were a series of gruesome trials that began in Salem Massachusetts in 1692 and lasted until 1693. During that year, more than 200 Salem residents were accused and convicted of witchcraft, 19 of whom were hung for the crime (List of 5…). This was a bloody time for Salem that left many of its citizens broken and scared. Although the main cause for these trials seems to be fear from breaking the Partisan religion, Greed and revenge come in a close second. Not to mention, cold weather and disease which contributed highly to the outcome of the trials....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]

Better Essays
738 words (2.1 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- Do you want your life resting in the words of your worst enemy. Before the formation of the American legal system, accusations determined outcomes. In the late 1600’s the Puritans in New England were just starting to build civil resolutions to village disputes. A notable conflict was based on their strong belief in the devil and witchcraft creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion. Instead of seeking justice of those accused of witchcraft, the inexperienced magistrates were led to presume guilt simply because of odd behavior....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, The Crucible]

Better Essays
1291 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Trials Of Salem Witch Trials

- Salem witch trials The Salem Witch Trials were a series of harsh, unconstitutional, and even chaotic trials that killed several innocent people and harmed others. There were several reasons different sources have come up with that are said to have cause in the trials and the way they played out. Some of the reasons that cause the trials to go how they went is the weather, religion, and lust. Through out my research over the topic I learned that the judges in charge of the trials let fear and conspiracy control their judgment in the trials and caused several innocent people to die....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, The Crucible]

Better Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay example

- The Salem witch trials is possibly one of the most controversial events in early American history, where many innocent individuals were wrongly accused of witchcraft. Even though the trials occurred over three hundred years, ago, they still continue to be studied with great interest; however there is still not a conclusion to what truly caused the hysteria. Although the settlers in Salem, Massachusetts were superstitious, they could have prevented the trials from occurring, a possible similarity to our modern judicial system....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Jury, Salem]

Better Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- In 1692 the town of Salem, Massachusetts was home to one of the most controversial upsets in judicial history. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions in which several people in colonial Massachusetts were accused of performing witchcraft. The supernatural was a commonplace observance in 17th-century North America. “:Witchcraft cases were hardly unknown in New England in the 1600s—more than a hundred were recorded before 1692—but they were mostly isolated, widely separated in time and space, scattered around the colonies”(Brandt 38)....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Puritan, Salem]

Better Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- The Salem Witch Trials began in 1692, and over the course of only one year, over 200 people were accused of witchcraft and 20 were executed. The trials created a panic among the people of Salem as religious leaders and afflicted girls furiously accused their fellow man of witchcraft. At the center of all this chaos stood Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris. The girls screamed out in pain, had horrendous fits, and cried that they were being possessed by the devil. Local religious leaders took immediate action against these so-called witches....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Samuel Parris, Schizophrenia]

Better Essays
1362 words (3.9 pages)

The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- The Salem Witch Trials has been a well-known topic and known for how tragic it was and all the wrongful deaths it brought; but what caused all of this to occur. It was a time in which numerous, innocent people (mostly women) were killed because they were believed to be partaking in witchcraft. There are several possible causes as to why the Salem Witch Trials occurred. The Salem Witch Trials stemmed from the belief that Satan is acting in the world, whether it be through giving a disease or recruiting new witches to work for him, kids that were bored and brought it upon themselves to lie that they were witches to have fun, feuds between those in the community, and confessions leading town of...   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Witch-hunt, Salem]

Better Essays
1251 words (3.6 pages)

The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- The Salem Witch Trials is a well-known topic taught in history classes and in English classes. It was a time in which numerous, innocent people (mostly women) were killed because they were believed to be partaking in witchcraft. There are many possible causes as to why the Salem Witch Trials occurred. These known causes stemmed from the belief that Satan is acting in the world whether it be through giving a disease or recruiting new witches to work for him, kids that were bored and brought it upon themselves to lie that they were witches to have fun, and confessions leading town officials to believe that their belief that witchcraft may exist is true since people are coming forward and confe...   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Witch-hunt, Salem]

Better Essays
1246 words (3.6 pages)

The Salem Witch Trials Of 1692 Essay

- In the sixteenth century, witchcraft accusations were more prevalent and somewhat common than they are in modern society. One of the most popular witch hunts of American History of the sixteenth century, that has received popularity amongst modern culture and scholars, was the Salem witch hunts otherwise known as the Salem witch trials of 1692. But, Salem was not the only town in New England that had witch trials in 1692. Richard Godbeer’s book, “Escaping Salem, The Other Witch Hunt of 1692,” is one of the very few books that talks about the other witch trials that took place in New England....   [tags: Witchcraft, Salem witch trials, Witch-hunt, Magic]

Better Essays
967 words (2.8 pages)