Nearly anyone from the New England has heard of the famous Salem Witch Trials. A year of persecution, leading to the accusation of nearly 200 citizens of all ages. No one was safe; men, women, children, even pets stood trial and 20 were hung for the supposed crime of witchcraft (Blumberg). 1692 was a year of witch hunting. Most today blame the trials on hysteria, or perhaps a bad case of paranoia. It is viewed as the time a town was foolish enough to believe a group of crazed teenage girls. Witchcraft is considered fiction, reserved for fantasy novels and television shows. What must be remembered, however, is that despite the current view, the trials were a very serious matter to those of Salem 1692. To the people of Salem, they had every right to believe that what they were doing was justified. Through analysis of the event and its causes, one can conclude that the citizens of Salem had significant evidence to back their belief in witchcraft.
The Salem witch trial hysteria of 1692 may have been instigated by religious, social, geographic and even biological factors. During these trials, 134 people were condemned as witches and 19 were hanged. These statistics also include 5 more deaths that occurred prior to their execution date. It is interesting to look into the causes of this stain on American History, when as shown in document B, eight citizens were hanged in only one day.
It is stated in the Bible, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’’ (Exodus 22:18 King James). This is presumably the reason that the town of Salem first thought of the idea of witchcraft when the girls were ill. Salem was a very religious town, following the Bible in every way they could, so when there was talk of witchcraft, they followed what they were taught and what they believed in which was not allowing a witch to live.
Do you want to be hanged because you are practicing witchcraft? The Salem Witch Trial Hysteria happened in the year of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. The story is that the people of Salem, Massachusetts were Puritans. The Puritans thought that they were going to be like a “city upon a hill” which meant they thought that they were going to make it look like they were more perfect than everyone else and they were closer to God. They made it like this because they believed that every word in the Bible was the true word of God and was to be followed to the exact letter of every word. But do you want to know what caused the Salem Witch Trials hysteria? There was three causes of the salem witch trials hysteria. These were, the people of Salem, Massachusetts were practicing witchcraft, the devil was possesing people, and there were people in Salem, Massachusetts
Arthur Miller’s main purpose in writing The Crucible was to show the similarities between the Salem Witch Trials and the McCarthy Trials and to warn against government propaganda. At the time that The Crucible was published, America had a huge fear of communism. Anyone accused of having ties with the communist party was shunned. It much resembled the Salem Witch Trials in how the government, or leader of the time, used fear against the people to gain power. For example, Joseph McCarthy can be compared to Reverend Parris in how they both lead the people into the belief that there were intruders in their mists that had plans to sabotage the community.
The belief of witchcraft can be traced back centuries to as early as the 1300’s. The Salem Witch Trials occurred during 1690’s in which many members of Puritan communities were accused and convicted of witchcraft. These “witch trials” were most famously noted in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. Many believe this town to be the starting point for the mass hysteria which spread to many other areas of New England. Bridget Bishop, a resident of Salem, was the first person to be tried as a witch. Surprisingly, Bishop was accused of witch craft by the highest number of witneses. After Bishop, more than two hundred people were tried of practicing witchcraft and twenty were executed. Many of these accusations arose from jealous, lower class members of society, especially towards women who had come into a great deal of land or wealth. Three young children by the names of Elizabeth, Abigail, and Ann were the first three people to be “harmed” by the witches. They claimed that spectral beings in the form of Tituba, a slave, Sarah Good, a beggar, and Sarah Osborne, an elderly woman who suffered financially, assaulted them. These girls were put under pressure by the magistrates
Three deranged girls, from 1692 Salem; Massachusetts, precipitated the mass hangings of twenty innocent people accused of witchery for the reason that of their adept prowess at acting, their marital status and jealousy of the newfound eastern wealth.
Witchcraft is the practice of magic and the use of spells and the invocation of spirits. According to Salem Witch Trials, 2015, the Salem witch trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem, Massachusetts claimed to have been bewitched by several adults in the town. More than 150 people were accused and hung, including men, women, and children (Salem Witch Trials, 2015). There were three girls in particular that sparked the trials: Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, and Ann Putnam. Also stated in Salem Witch Trials, their behaviors changed drastically; they began to hallucinate, shout in church, have fits, not eat, not wake up, attempt to fly, and feel as if they
In Stacey Schiff’s, List of 5 Possible Causes of the Salem Witch Trials and Shah Faiza’s, THE WITCHES OF SALEM; Diabolical doings in a Puritan village, discuss in their articles what has been debated by so many historians for years, the causes of the Salem Witch trials. Schiff and the Faiza, purpose is to argue the possible religious, scientific, communal, and sociological reasons on why the trials occurred. All while making word by word in the writer’s testimony as if they were there through emotion and just stating simply the facts and theories. They adopt the hectic tone in order to convey to the readers the significance, tragedy, logic, loss, and possible madness behind these life changing events,
This was more commonly found in women more so than in men, this is able to be seen in (Document N and E). While looking at the two tables in (Document E) it is divided into two subjects The Accused and The Accusers, in each table we see the majority of each table is centered around women. A majority of the people that consumed bread and showed the symptoms could be seen as a witch, the symptoms were usually a crawling of the skin sensation, hallucinations, delirium, etc. If you were seen in public seeing things that weren 't there or scratching your skin as if things were on your body you could potentially end up being seen as a witch and killed. This evidence helps explain the hysteria and the hangings because it showed that everyone was on high alert at all times everyone around them could be seen as a someone to blame or as a
In the summer 1692 the town of Salem, Massachusetts spiraled into a witchcraft epidemic, 19 people were hanged and 1 person was pressed to death. People started to get marks and rashes on their body and when a doctor couldn 't even explain it they started accusing people of witchcraft. Bridget Bishop was the first victim of hanging during the epidemic. Then after that it went downhill. People started to take advantage of witchcraft, and accuse people they wanted gone, and it worked they could get away with it with no punishments. The main cause of witchcraft is people taking advantage of it for their own purposes.
More than 80% of Americans have Puritan ancestors who emigrated to Colonial America on the Mayflower, and other ships, in the 1630’s (“Puritanism”). Puritanism had an early start due to strong main beliefs that, when challenged, caused major conflict like the Salem Witch Trials.
The religiously motivated Salem witch trials of 1692 left a permanent stain on Massachusetts’ history, but one overlooked factor could have sparked the tragic ordeal. The trials are best summarized as an inexplicable and unforeseen frenzy of accusations, aimed at the social pariahs of the community, that led to multiple deaths in a previously tranquil place. An intense type of food poisoning known as convulsive ergotism provides a seemingly simple, yet understandably deceptive to the ignorant, explanation. Due to optimum conditions for the disease, the correlation between the bewitched and the expected symptoms, and the religious fanaticism of the time, one can conclude ergotism was an influence on the Salem witch trials.