What Are The Causes Of The Salem Witch Trials

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Do you have a neighbor that you really just don’t like? In 1600’s Massachusetts, there was a solution! You could tell everyone that they were a witch. Sure it might ruin their life, but hey, they’re out of yours. The Salem Witch Trials were a series of trials that occurred during Colonial America where many people, mostly women, were falsely accused of and wrongly punished for performing witchcraft. There is a well documented history of these accounts, including the causes, the results, and similar cases throughout history. During the end of 1692 and the beginning of 1693 there were a series of court cases where over 100 members of the town of Salem, Massachusetts were accused of being witches. Witches are defined as people with special powers…show more content…
One prior instance occurred no too far from Salem. The Massachusetts Bay colonists accused and convicted Margaret Jones of witchcraft is 1648 (Brooks). One reason this didn’t cause a mass hysteria, she didn’t plead guilty. Nobody in the colonies had ever heard someone claim guilty to witchcraft and state other community members were witches working for the same goal as themselves. In Europe during the sixteenth through the eighteenth century there was another witch hunt that is almost synonymous to the one in Salem. There was a widespread moral panic suggesting that malevolent witches were trying to bring down the church for three centuries. These trials were heavily concentrated during the Wars of Religion in the seventeenth century, though sporadic trials occurred toward the end of the eighteenth. This could be due to the Witchcraft Act of 1735. The last known trial was 1782. These trials were on a much more massive scale as 40,000 to 60,000 people are estimated to have been killed. One of the biggest and most remembered events in history could even be related to the trials; the Holocaust. From January 30, 1933 to May 8, 1945, Jews in Europe were constantly subjected to horrible mistreatment by the Nazis. This eventually led to the deaths of over 6 million Jews. Just like the “witches” of Salem, European Jews were the scapegoat for the Third Reich of Nazi Germany. Both groups, the villagers of Salem, and the people of Germany, blamed one group of people for social issues happening during their respective period of time. A less known incident would be the Los Angeles “zoot suit” riots. A zoot suit is a style of suit popularized during the 1940’s by African, Chicano, and Italian American communities. By the beginning of 1943, the riots would begin. Sailors would beat and strip anyone wearing a zoot suit. They got away with the crimes. This could be compared to the people of Salem,
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