What Caused the Salem Witch Trials of 1692
In Salem, Massachusetts there were Witch Trials held during the summer months of 1692. Throughout the seventeenth century in New England, witchcraft was said to be a crime punishable by death. Puritans came to New England in the early 1600’s to practice their Christianity in the purest form possible. They believed every word in the bible and that the words of God were to be followed down to the last sentence there was. Havoc started occurring around the town and 19 women along with men were hanged for witchcraft. Over 100 individuals were suspected to be witches in result to weird behavior before a disaster happens.
The puritans set fairly high standards on themselves and others. True puritans could show their commitment by going to church and working their hardest. They also believed God was not the only powerful force among their community. There was a dark and evil force lurking around, known as the Devil. He could enter the body of a potential recruit if they happen to be weak-willed or practicing witchcraft. The recruits were called witches if female and wizards if they were a …show more content…
This was merely a rivalry between the divided sectors of the Salem Village. The village was divided by the Porter and Putnam families along with their supporters. The Porters lived in the eastern sections of the village that contained rich soils. The rich soils helped the Porters benefit and have long periods of prosperity in Salem. In comparison, the Putnams got the short end of the stick with less fruitful soil in the western half of the Salem Village. With that being said, the Porters had major political influence on the town unlike the Putnams. This would cause resentment between the divided sectors with the want for revenge on one another. The Porters would have the upperhand with the political influence they obtained when rivalries played
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In 1692, the people in Salem, Massachusetts went on a hunt accusing people of being witches. This was a hysterical time in history known as the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Trials led to many distraught people and false accusations. The famous trials started with two sick children and then led to discrimination manly towards women of a lesser class. The accused people were tortured and eventually killed.
Puritans are known for being extremely religious they practice strictness, simplicity and severity in how they live and conduct themselves; they are strong supporters of modesty, propriety, and decorum but strongly oppose any forms of pleasure (6). The community of Salem considered anyone who practiced witchcraft a felon, it was a crime in the 17th century and they saw it as going against the government (1). Puritans believed the devil could provide you with supernatural powers to harm others in return for loyalty (4). After several incidents that occurred in the town people believed that the devil was roaming the streets of Salem, numerous outbreaks of small pox and fights with the Native Americans led the townspeople to believe so (9). Witches
Throughout history there have been many instances where people were put in jail and even killed for no reason. Two examples of this would be The Salem Witch Trials and The Holocaust. These two events have their similarities and differences, but is ultimately the same situation. The Salem Witch Trials started in 1692 in the town of Salem,Massachusetts (Miller,1124). It all started with a group of young girls(Miller,1124).
Most puritans believed in witchcraft (American Eras vol. 2) which caused a problem in Salem. In Salem some teenage girls in accused a west indian slave woman named Tituba. You couldnt be safe in Salem during this time from being accused of being of a witch. Puritans would accuse other people for doing something suspicious or if they had hate against them. Puritans would also accuse those who did not show up church on Sunday.
The Causes of the Salem Witch Trials Much of modern America’s fear and infamous interest in witches has been derived most likely from the profound Salem Witch Trials. “The infamous Salem witch trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft,” stated History.com authors. However, many historians still deliberate how such events occurred in the first place. Based on several presented documents, some conclusions suggest that there was a prominent cause to the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials. All in all, the cause of the Salem Witch Trials was the attempt of Salem citizens to either defend or create family
During the late 1691 several young girls began to suffer fits and nightmares, attributed by their elders to witchcraft (Foner 106). Tituba who was a slave from Barbados that lived with two of the girls that were having fits as a servant. The girls invited several friends to share this delicious, forbidden diversion. Tituba’s audience listened intently as she talked of telling the future. Villagers sat spellbound as Tituba spoke of black dogs, red cats, yellow birds, and a white-haired man who bade her sign the devil’s book.
He lived with her and the two later married. Commiting fornification was not the only unusual thing she did. Sarah tried to claim her late husband’s estate to use for Alexander and herself, denying her two sons of their inheritance. This was considered very unorthodox for a woman at this time. The Salem witch trials Documentary Archive and Transcription project points out that Sarah would be affecting the progress of the community here “By aspiring to deny her two sons of their wealth and social position, she threatened the growth and stability of Putnam family alliances in Salem Village” (Carroll).
The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and 1693 were among the most surprising and violent episodes in the history of America. It wasn’t violent due to a lot of people dying, in fact, only 19 people were killed due to this event. However, hundreds had their lives changed forever. Some, without any hope of it ever going back to how it was prior to the Trials. No, it was violent due to the fact that it was neighbor turning on neighbor.
In Salem, Massachusetts, Puritans were strong believers in the Bible. The Bible states, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” The Puritans beliefs led to them accusing 20 innocent people of being a witch, this resulted in their deaths in 1692. Even though the Puritans couldn’t see it at the time, their accusations were really based off jealousy, lies, and Salem being divided into two parts. One cause of the Salem witch trial hysteria was jealousy.
The Salem witch trial was a time about accusing your fellow neighbor or being accused yourself, this all began in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. During this time many people were being accused of being a witch, a majority of the time it was because either someone truly believed that you were a witch and were reeking havoc or they were trying to find someone to take the blame if they were to being accused. So this leads us to question, what began the Salem Witch Trials? There were at least three causes of the Salem witch trials hysteria. These were Betty Parris and Abigail Williams story, Ergotism, and the acknowledgment of hysteria.
Religion was a very strong influence in the lives of Puritans as they followed a very strict moral code and based their entire lives on their faith. Most Puritans were taught from the Bible that "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Doc. A), which explains why the witch scare was taken so seriously and why the accused were punished so harshly. They believed and feared that "evil spirits were all around" (Doc. C) as noted in Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions by Cotton Mather, who at that time was a reputable expert in the "invisible world. " It seems strange to 21st-century dwellers that people believed that witches could be identified by marks of the devil, as portrayed in an 1853 painting by T.H. Matteson (Doc. D).
Not many people know much about what actually happened in the Salem Witch Trials. Maybe someone would think that it was just about witchcraft and crazy people being hanged, but it is a lot more than that. The Salem Witch Trials only occurred between 1692 and 1693, but a lot of damage had been done. The idea of the Salem Witch Trials came from Europe during the “witchcraft craze” from the 1300s-1600s. In Europe, many of the accused witches were executed by hanging.
The Puritans ran from persecution but then used the witch hunt to persecute innocent people based on the word of the women and men who had ulterior motives. The women used this opportunity to punish people they long had problems or resentment for. These women- Abigail, Tituba, and Mary- were aware of the power they felt when they were being heard by people in their community who were deemed Godly, upstanding citizens. So, they loved the sense of power they felt. Although the townspeople of Salem used religion as the reason for the witch hunt, the witch hunt created chaos because people started using it a revenge mechanism.