Analysis of the Salem Witch Trials

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History generally regards the period of Salem witchcraft trials as a radical instatement of religious zeal which favored superstition over reason and targeted a large number of women over a much smaller number of men. Admittedly, the 1692 witchcraft crisis is a very complex historical episode, yet seeing as the majority of the people involved were women, it can be perceived as a gender issue, and illustrative for the definition of the role of women in New England. The present work's aim is to outline the colonial mindset concerning women and present relevant theories by means of analyzing three cases of witchcraft accusation together with delving into the accusers' perspective. The Puritans that comprised the colony of Salem, Massachusetts, were extremely religious, attributing biblical meaning to all aspects of their lives and being accustomed to personify the devil (Kocić, 2010). Specifically, church elders strongly believed that their congregation was superlatively righteous and for this reason the devil would try to target it with attacks in all forms, hence it was impressed upon the community to be vigilant against any signs of his presence. Such signs were subject to interpretation, yet they were generally concentrated on negative events which occurred unexplainably in the colony, for instance in the eventuality of a crop failure, stillborn children, or serious disease of an unknown nature. Common perception identified a witch as someone who bonded their body and
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