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Witches of Salem Essay

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In Boston on October 17, 1711, an act was “made and passed by the great and general court or assembly of her majesty’s province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.” This act was to “reverse the attainders of George Burroughs and others for witchcraft.” In other words, the act was to restore honor or civil rights to those accused and prosecuted for witchcraft by proclaiming them as innocent. This act added to the interpretation of going to extreme lengths to accuse people of things and trying to get other people in trouble for crimes they may or may not have committed. It shows historians that there are several religious connections that could be drawn from this document, especially in terms of punishment since witches were considered to be devils or the workers of devils which would be considered the enemy of god. Issues rose during the winter of 1691, in the home of Salem Village’s minister Samuel Paris, where two girls fell strangely ill. Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, where two of a group of girls, which gathered to choose the type of men they were to marry in the future by conjuring a spell. With this ambition they gathered creating an imitation crystal ball with the white of a raw egg suspended in a glass of water. Unfortunately, their conjuring backfired as many of the girls began to feel abnormal pain and fell ill. Despite attempting to cure the children of whatever problem they may be encountering, doctors suggested the possibility of witchcraft. Once this accusation was proved by an experiment preformed by the household, it was assumed that witchcraft existed and the girls were possessed by a witch. Not a single person at that time had the thought that maybe the girls had something to do with these misfortunes t...


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...ing to rid the world of or may it be that she was earnestly attempting to restore the honor to those many people that lost it and had their lives destroyed due to this conflict. This act reminds historians and society of the New Englanders inhabitation of a supernatural universe in which magic and sorcery exists but is sustained from sexism, jealousy and inequality.



Works Cited

Davidson, James W., and Mark H. Lytle. "The Visible and Invisible Worlds of Salem." After the Fact: The Art of Historical Dedication, Vol. 1. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 52-73. Print.
General Court of Her Majesty’s province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, “An act to reverse the attainders of George Burroughs and others for witchcraft,” (Boston 1711), 1-2.
Linder, Douglas O. "The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692." The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. N.p., 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.



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