Puritanism In The Salem Witch Trials

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Introduction The aim of this research is to investigate the extent to which Puritanism is responsible for the accusations of witchcraft brought upon approximately 120 people during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 and the reason why these accusations persisted for eight months. The inhabitants of Salem were Puritans who believed strongly in Satan and his power. It was believed that Satan could give a person the power to hurt others in return for their loyalty, which was to be signed in their blood in Satan’s black book. Anyone who consorted with Satan was a witch; a sin that was punishable by death. Witchcraft persecutions became popular in Europe in the 15th century and spread to North America with the British Colonisation. Witches had the ability…show more content…
In this article, Sutter names probable causes leading up to the accusation of witchcraft in Salem Village in 1692, and details the events and aftermath of the Trials and executions. In terms of causes, Sutter focuses primarily on the politics of Salem Village in and before 1692, and the divide between the families who wished to separate from Salem Town (the Eastern side) and those who did not (the Western side). Sutter explains the politics and warring religious ideals of opposing factions, paying special attention to the Putnams and their establishment of a new congregation in Eastern Salem Village under Reverend Samuel Parris. Sutter mentions the strain created by Rev. Parris’ generous contract on “already weakened relations between the two factions” and the anger it generated in the ‘Salem Town supporters’. (Sutter, 2003). The article also touches on another cause: the lack of entertainment for, and pressure put on, Puritan children. Sutter goes on to thoroughly explain the events leading up to the accusations, and details the Trials and hangings, focusing on the first few cases and the last. He also briefly mentions the events leading up to the end of support for the Trials and the releasing of all accused prisoners. The article ends with an in-depth explanation of the aftermath of the Trials on the land, the parish, the families, the afflicted girls and futures of Salem Village and of religious witch hunts in
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