In 1692, 20 people were executed for being witches or warlocks during the Salem Witch Trials. There was rumors from neighboring towns of witchcraft as there was in Salem. The main contributing factors for those 20 people being killed was the religion, superstitions, rivals, boredom, economics, rumors, and how women were seen in that time period. These people were Puritans, a form of Christianity. Part of their superstitions was the ability for someone to be possessed by the devil or in cahoots with the devil or practicing witchcraft. The women in this time had a status almost as low as slaves. Rivals between Salem Village and the Town of Salem were big as the village tried to break off and the town would not let them. When little girls are bored they make up games, this may have been just one big sick game. The rumors would spread around from the other towns and fuel the accusations as proof that there was witchcraft. Their religion played a big part in the chaos that reigned on Salem. A Puritan is someone who believed that that the Church of England was not complete and wanted a simple way to worship. They had strict laws and they believed anyone who didn’t follow the laws must be working with the devil. The first people to be accused were outcasts and didn’t follow the laws perfectly, making them the perfect people to accuse of witchcraft. Even if the accused, like Sarah Cloyce, proved they believed in God the accusers would just act out in fit and say her spectrum
The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were a series of prosecutions of people who were accused of acts of witchcraft or of being a witch in Salem, Massachusetts through the time period of February 1692 through May 1693. This was a dark time in history as more than 200 prosecutions took place and at least 20 people were killed during this time of fear and hysteria. The accusations began as three girls Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne were accused of witchcraft from other young girls in the community. During this time period, fear of the Devil was common as people in Salem were very devoted to their religion and religious practices. As one of the accused girls, Tituba, confessed to working for the Devil and admitting to being a witch, this caused panic and hysteria as a massive witch hunt took place to find more of these witches. This confession was the main reason behind months and months of fear and mass panic as it triggered more accusations.
It all began in 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, a Puritan town. Ironically, this supposed religious town, put 20 people to death for witchcraft. The invisible crime had made itself prevalent in the town through two girls, Betty Parris, age nine, and her 11 year old cousin Abigail Williams. These two girls, in order to escape punishment for witchcraft, accused two local white women and the slave Tituba (What Caused the Salem Witch Trial Hysteria of 1692?, Background Essay). It was this first accusation, that set forth the next turn of events. From here, the number of accusers grew. Suddenly, everyone’s neighbors became witches and the jails began to overflow. A special court was built to hold trials, however, the judicial system was biased along with the rest of the town. They allowed their set religious beliefs interfere with logical reasoning and evidence. Hence, the bias. The court proved all for not though, when it ordered a mass hanging on September 22, ending the witchcraft epidemic in Salem. To this day, historians still don’t fully understand what caused the hysteria in Salem. Thus, it could only be theorized the causes of such an event. Taking a gander at probability, the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were likely rooted in scapegoating, greed, and bias.
From the time of the 1690’s the entirety of Salem, Massachusetts were Puritans. “The Puritan lifestyle was restrained and rigid: People were expected to work hard and repress their emotions or opinions. Individual differences were frowned upon.” (Salem Witch Trials, The World Behind the Hysteria). These people believed that doing anything sinful would result in punishment from God. Just as much as they believed in God, they also believed in the Devil. Keeping up with the Puritan code, it led to the first women being accused of witchcraft. They were viewed as pariahs, and seen differently. Had the Puritan government let the afflicted defend themselves, not be so dependent on religion, not investigating the facts or scrutinize the trials the killing of many could have been prevented. The hangings from the trials would ultimately be the last in America.
I am writing this report today to explain the major reasons behind the horrific witchcraft trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in the years 1692 and 1693. For years this event has been ignored. However, after analyzing the evidence in this case, I have some startling news to share. First, I will share with you the various theories that make the most sense. Then I will explain what I believe caused the Salem community to respond in such a cruel and violent way.
In 1692, in the small village of Salem, Massachusetts, 20 people were hanged for offenses they did not commit. But what was the charge against the 20? The answer would be witchcraft. The charges deeply affected the small community. Neighbor turned on neighbor. Every act that a person made would be carefully scrutinized, dissected, and repeated to others. This would lead to the question. What caused the Salem Witch Trial Hysteria of 1692? The 3 main factors that would cause widespread panic in the town of Salem were gender, marital status, and age, actors and attention seekers, and neighbor conflicts within the village of Salem.
Puritans settled in the Massachusetts town of Salem in 1630, with their leader John Winthrop. Winthrop claimed that Salem would be “As a City Upon a Hill,” meaning that the Puritans coming to the New World would set a religious and civilized example among other colonies. However, this wasn’t the case. The Salem Witch Trials were a series of accusations and persecutions due to what was thought to be witchcraft among Salem townspeople. King Philip’s War played a role in the trials. It caused regional mass hysteria which lead to the accusing of witches in Salem. Samuel Parris was the local preacher of Salem and in 1691 he started preaching about the devil and focused more on hell instead of more positive things which also played a role in the crafting of the witch trials. Rich versus poor feuds, the desire to feel around and inspect women, and easily being able to have someone punished by accusing them of being a witch, fueled and motivated the Witch Trials of Salem in 1692.
The Salem Witch Trials were a time of paranoia and mass hysteria. In this small town of Massachusetts hundreds were accused of witchcraft and 19 people were executed. Salem was home to very devout Puritans. The worries arrived when young girls would become sick with no explanation or cure. The doctors not knowing what the cause of the illness was, quickly pronounce the girls bewitched. It spread terror through the town. The girls, as well as other residents, started accusing others of witchery. Many accusations were because of vengeance or self-interest. There were rivalries between families over land or wealth. Neighbors started accusing each other in order to gain their land. The religious community had an intensified sense of fear that the Devil was walking among them. They believed witches were out to destroy the Puritans. In order to purify the village of evil they had trials for the accused.
In 1692-1693, the Salem Witch Trial Hysteria occurred, resulting in 20 deaths out of the 200 accused of practicing the Devil’s magic, a practice that women were commonly accused of. Salem, Massachusetts, was a colony that consisted of Puritans, both Separatists and non Separatists alike. From the start, the Puritans believed that the Bible was true in all aspects: every word, every idea, every thought--was true. The Puritans also had minimal understanding of science, which led them to believe that phenomenon was an act of the Devil. Thus, when three young girls admitted to seeing demons and started behaving strangely, the Puritans grew progressively hysterical because they became more convinced that witches existed within Salem as they had little scientific knowledge. In a nutshell, the cause of the Salem Witch Trial Hysteria were Puritan fundamentalism, misogyny, and hysteria.
1692. The year of ill children, women fits of convulsion, and hallucinations. The year also consisted of swimming tests and prayer tests for women with English Puritan backgrounds. The Salem witch trials occurred in Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 300 people were accused of practicing witchcraft (the Devil 's magic). 20 woman were executed. Before all of this happened, life in Salem was like any normal day. Women and children had expectations as well as men did, you did not disobey God nor go against him, or act out of character. Life in the 1690’s was more of a man’s world and which always gave them the upper hand. Women were always looked down upon which gave men greater power. Unlike God’s followers (men), women were considered evil worshipers of the devil. During the trials, men proved that they really did have the upper hand.
Since there never was a spurned lover stirring things up in Salem Village, and there is no evidence from the time that Tituba practiced Caribbean black magic, yet these trials and executions actually still took place, how can you explain why they occurred?
Salem, Massachusetts, the new English settlement for 17th century Protestants who wanted to purify the Church of England, was and is known for the atrocity that rattled the land. This atrocity, or The Salem Witch Trials, began around 1692, several years after the Puritans settled in Salem. During the Trials, an absurd amount of women, men, and even dogs were accused of being possessed by the Devil, thus making them perform witchcraft or wizardry on both townspeople and the townspeople’s valuables. Many women were found guilty of being witches and were executed by either hanging, stoning, or being burned at the stake. The Puritans made these women out to be horrible creatures, who followed orders from the Devil to reign havoc and terror
After going to Salem Massachusetts I am investigating the Salem Witch Trials. There are four main theories. In the next paragraphs I will explain to you the theory that i believe in and also think they make sense. There are four main theories there is the Disease theory,the Jealousy theory,the Strict Rules theory,and the Strict Adherence theory. Let’s get one out of the way I believe that the Strict Rules theory which talk about how puritan children had harsh strict adult live was the cause of the trials. I personally don’t believe this one even has anything to do with the trials.
Even though witchcraft was thought to be the cause of the chaos ensured by the two young girls, could their symptoms have been caused by something else entirely? Although it is stated throughout history that witchcraft was the cause of the Salem witch trials there is some speculation on whether something else could have begun the trials. At the time of the Salem witch trials there was knowledge of a type of mold that grew on grain but was thought to be harmless by farmers. However, the year of the Salem witch trials the harvest was lacking in most ways. The previous winter had been cold followed by a wet and cold planting season and a hot, stormy summer. In these conditions mold grew easily on the grain that was used to make their bread.