Salem Possessed: The Salem Witchcraft Trials

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Between 1692 and 1693, in Salem Village, Massachusetts, the Salem witch trials were taking place. In the event, many were accused of witchcraft and some were even executed. This event had left many curious as to what caused the people to accept witchcraft and treat it as a crime. To explain the trials, Paul Boer and Stephen Nissenbaum wrote the book Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft in which they analyzed and broke down key components of the witch trials. In the book, Boer and Nissenbaum argues that the underlying cause of the tension between the Salem Town and Salem Village is that Salem Village wanted to make a separate town and church. That is because Salem Village felt that they were abandoned by Salem Town. During the whole witch trials, economic changes were taking place in both Village and Town of Salem. The Salem Town were changing into a more commercially involved Town. …show more content…

Boer and Nissenbaum believed that he could be one of what caused the witch trials because he was given wealth by Thomas Putnam, his father, who did not give any to his children from the first marriage after he had died. This caused resentment by Thomas Putnam Jr. and his siblings towards Joseph Putnam and his mother. Reverend Parris is partly to blame for this mass hysteria. His role as a minister was greatly debated as the whole village split into two factions that were the Pro-Parris and Anti-Parris. Boer and Nissenbaum argued that the witch trials could have begun because of the social tensions between the Pro Parris and Anti Parris. Adding to his sermon about Judas as a devil in the form of a man may have influenced the Salem Village people, especially close members of the church, mostly the Pro-Parris faction, to accept the notion that witchcraft was

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