What Caused the Salem Witch Trials Hysteria of 1692? In Exodus 22:18, it proclaims, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live!” In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, the Puritans believed every word that the Bible said, causing the death of twenty people because they were accused of witchcraft. What caused the panic and alarm that lead to the death of twenty people in Salem? There were three causes: conflict between young girls and older women, lying teenagers, economic and political power divided between two sides of town. One possible cause could be the conflict between young girls and older women, which involved age, gender, and marital status.
The Salem Witch Trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft between 1692 and 1693. It occured in colonial Massachusetts, relying on a theocracy. The government and religious authority inseparably rule together, and individuals who question authority are accused of questioning God and his authority. There are multiple characters who played major roles in The Crucible but each of them contributed to the play in different ways. Abigail Williams is a major character who was one of the main reasons the Salem Witch Trials took place.
Elizabeth Procter was married to John Procter who supposedly had an affair with Abigail Williams. John Procter went to break things off with Abigail Williams because his wife found out about the affair and she accused Elizabeth of witchcraft hoping that Elizabeth would no longer stand in the way of their “love”. The only problem that interfered with her plan was that John didn’t feel that strongly for Abigail. He cared more deeply for his wife. Whenever John went to testify against Abigail, she accused him as well.
In Rosalyn Schanzer’s Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem, there is a catastrophe in Salem, Massachusetts, in the 1690’s. There were accusations after accusations after accusations about witchcraft. Also, people weren’t satisfied with just accusing one person. In the end, 25 lives were lost.
Such similarities include the false imprisonment of innocent people based off of prejudice beliefs and heavily biased justice systems. The Salem Witch Trials began in the year 1692 when several young girls in Salem, Massachusetts were acting so strange that they were believed to be under a witch’s spell (Schiff). When confronted, the girls began accusing others of practicing witchcraft (Schiff). Many people were soon accusing others or being accused of witchcraft; they were being accused for various reasons such as unexplained illnesses, failed crops, or a woman could even be accused if she could open something a man could not (Brandt, p. 38). As stated in Anthony Brandt’s article, An Unholy Mess, “Legally, spectral evidence was not grounds for convicting a witch.
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.
Tituba’s story really made me wonder why she said everything that she did. Did she simply make stuff up or is there some truths behind some of her words? Did she have a motive for outing Sarah Good and Sarah Osbourne as witches and confessing to the tormenting of little girls? Could it be possible that pretending to be involved in supernatural powers or witchcraft provided thrill and excitement in an otherwise sad, boring, and oppressed life? The witch trials, as wells as Anne Hutchins trial prove how important and powerful religion was at the time.
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.
However, when taking a closer look at the time period in which the Salem Witch trials occur and just how close it is to the scientific revolution the reasoning behind the witch trials does not make sense or add up. Historians have done loads of research and very many have come to the same conclusion as they uncover the social control behind the unexplainable, horrific acts. Ultimately the Salem Witch trials were an indirect, discreet, disguised way of keeping women in Puritan society subordinate and under the control of men. From reviewing research done by multiple historians, firsthand accounts of what took place and court records of the trials it is evident that control of the social hierarchy is the real and true reason behind the Salem Witch
The Salem witch trials proved to be one of the most cruel and fear driven events to ever occur in history. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and while some got out of the situation alive not everyone was as lucky. Arthur Miller the author of The Crucible conveys this horrific event in his book and demonstrates what fear can lead people to do. But the reason as to why Arthur Miller felt the need to write The Crucible in the first place was because the unfortunate reality that history seemed to have repeated itself again. In the article “Are You Now or Were You Ever”, Arthur Miller claims that the McCarthy era and the Salem witch trials were similar and he does this through his choice of diction, figurative language, and rhetorical questions.