The Causes Of The Salem Witch Trials Hysteria Of 1692

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What caused the people of Salem to go into a hysteria and accuse each other of witchcraft in 1692? It could have been a number of factors could have caused the Salem Witch Trials Hysteria of 1692. A hysteria is when a group of people experience something with a heightened emotional state, often leading to fogged decision-making skills or inability to see logic. These factors would not have caused such an extreme situation on their own, but when together they created the worse case scenario for the people of Salem. These factors were local feuds, jealousy, religion-based anxiety, a case of hysteria, and upset over a fast economy change. There had been feuds happening in Salem long before the trials even began. For example, the Putnams had accused Rebecca Nurse of using witchcraft against Ann Putnam Jr. and Sr. The Putnams were very powerful in Salem Village. Nurse was born into a wealthy family, but over time lost all her money, and lived on the edges of the town (Document L). Nurse was originally from Topsfield, a neighboring town. For years, Topsfield had tried to claim the land of the Putnams, leaving some animosity between the Putnams and Topsfield officials. Rebecca’s husband, Francis, had also gotten into a dispute with the father-in-law of Ann Putnam Sr. (Document M). It is also worth noting that most of the accused were married women, while most of the accusers were single women (Document E). Although these records do provide valuable evidence, there are 134

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