What caused the Salem Witch Trials Hysteria of 1692? 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.
Firstly, the conflicts were caused by the factors of gender, age, and marital status. When looking at the total number of men and women who were hanged, the women far outnumbered the men, 13 women to 7 men (Source A). Of the 24 males who were accused of witchcraft, 15 were married, while of the 110 females accused, 61 were married. This shows that the number of females accused outnumbered the men and the majority of those accused were married. Of the male accusers, all 5 were single, ranging from the ages of 11-20, whereas off the 29 females accusers, 23 were single (the other 6 were married). The ages of the accusers ranged from under 11 to over 21, with the majority being 16-20 years of age. There is a distinct pattern that stands out in the accused and the accusers. The accused were mainly
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.
Many people were accused of being witches in 1692 and hung or pressed to death for their crime, many others were thrown in prison for life. When the Salem Witch Trials Hysteria of 1692 swept Salem Village and surrounding areas, it was not a happy time. Many of the people living in Salem at the time were Protestants seeking religious freedom. Protestants were very religious people and looked to the Bible for help as God’s words were all true. One of the subjects that the Bible addressed was the Devil and how he possessed people to make them witches. When two young girls asked a West Indian slave woman be the name of Tituba to show them their fortunes, they begun to get more curious about her abilities. Tituba showed them the “magic” she knew from her former tribe, but when the young girls started acting strangely, she was accused for being a witch along side two other local white women. Instead of pleading guilty, Tituba confessed that she was a witch and told the audience of her trial that there were 6 more witches amongst them. This lead to a hectic frenzy to find the remaining witches and it turned neighbors onto each other, husbands on wives and entire families were thrown into prison for their crime. The three main reasons for the Salem Witch Trials Hysteria of 1692 were a group of young girls looking for attention, neighbor conflicts and gender/status/age.
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.
Many lives were lost in Salem Village during the summer of 1692. Twenty people, primarily married women, were executed for alleged witchcraft. Many individuals, primarily historians, continue to ponder the causes of the Salem Witch Trial hysteria of 1692. Clearly, there were a few possible causes of the hysteria; however, envious, young women; lying girls; and sexism stand out as the main causes.
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.
In 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, hysteria broke out throughout the town in an event that later became known as the Salem Witch Trials. They were the largest account of witch hangings ever in America, as 20 women and men were put to death for being accused of practicing witchcraft. Historians have been debating about how these trials were caused. The frenzy in Salem happened because at first, young girls were afraid of punishment and wanted to avoid it so they blamed older women and accused them of being witches. These accusations began to spiral out of control when the religion of the town supported the allegations, which causes paranoia and panic to spread throughout Salem, which blinded the townspeople from clues revealing that the
Between June 10 and September 22, 1692, 20 people were put to death in Salem Massachusetts for witchcraft. Neighbors turned on neighbors, women turned on women. Nobody was necessarily safe from being accused of witchcraft. During the time of the 1600s many English immigrants arrived in New England, a number of them being Puritans. They came to New England to practice Christianity in ways they felt were pure. To help guide the Puritans through life, they read the bible. Whatever the bible said, they believed and one subject was about the Devil. One of the tricks the Devil used, was to enter a normal person’s body and turn that person into a witch. A witch could cause terrible damage. Of course, the Puritans believed it, so every bad act they saw, they often accused the person of being a witch. What
The year 1692 is remembered as one of the most scandalous times in American History. Throughout the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, over a hundred people were accused of practicing witchcraft (the majority of them being women). 14 women were hung, and 5 men were accused leading to a total of 19 people dying due to these trials. One man was even pressed to death by substantial weights for declining to enter a plea (Linder 1). No less than eight individuals passed on in jail, including one baby and one child; and more than one hundred and fifty people were imprisoned while anticipating trial. The primary reasons for the witch trials were clashes over managing governmental issues, religion, family, financial aspects, and apprehensions of the citizens. The Salem Witch Trials reflect the harsh and rigid judgements of the Puritans and citizens of Salem. It is one of the most intriguing story in American History.
The panic began in 1692, during a raw Massachusetts winter when a minister’s niece began to writhe and howl, exhibiting strange behavior that caused many to believe she was bewitched. Fear was rapidly gaining momentum in Salem Village, as neighbors accused neighbors, husbands accused wives, parents accused children, and children, parents. More than two hundred colonists were accused and called to trial. It ended less than a year later, but not before nineteen people were hanged on Gallows Hill and one was pressed to death under a pile of field stone— their alleged crime: witchcraft. In the wake of the trials, people began to wonder just how the volume of accusations and convictions got as big as it did. Although Puritan belief in witchcraft
For decades, opposing perspectives of different people and groups has led to contention in society. In communities around the world, this contention has built up fear and prejudice. However, as conflict is an inevitable part of any society, it can be expected to develop the greatest consequence possible. The Salem Witch Trials are an example of such conflict, as they resulted in many people being falsely accused for crimes, arrested, and killed. But what provoked this mass hysteria? Scholars have attempted to answer this question, but the most common idea is that it was due to a variety of economic, social, and physiological problems within the Salem village.
In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts had the first accusations of witchcraft. Trials were held and concluded in 1693, where many women and children were tried for witchcraft. Many other trials were held in different towns, the most famous being in Salem. It all began when a group of girls made false accusations toward older women, that they were interacting with the devil. “Wherefore The devil is now making one Attempt more upon us; an Attempt more Difficult, more Surprizing, more snarl’d with unintelligible Circumstances” Cotton Mather states that the devil is making one more attempt to take over innocent souls, and if they get through it, and enjoy the rest of their days. Relationships between neighbors, friends, and loved ones were all torn apart by these false accusations. The Salem Witch Trials shaped the American society in ways that no one imagined.
During the 1690s an epidemic was swarming through Salem, Massachusetts. This problem was the possibility of witches and or the practicing of witchcraft. The Hallucinogenic mold was clearly the reason for the Salem Witch Trials. First off the women suspected of being a witch would take broomsticks and cover them with ergot ointment which would make them hallucinate into thinking they were riding it. Also farming was very common in many societies, including Salem and many researchers said it was on every plant around making it look like a normal thing to have. Which gave the people no way of knowing what was even happening to them. The last reason why Hallucinogenic mold was the cause is because the molds effect leads to a disease called convulsive ergotism which can make the body have muscle spasms, hallucinations, and most importantly delusions. In which all around if everyone is considered mentally unstable then obviously the Salem people would be practicing bizarre things like witchcraft.
In 1692, in Salem Massachusetts, a group of girls (Elizabeth Parris, Abigail Williams, and Ann Putnam), claimed to be possessed by Satan and accused other local women of witchcraft. They were under pressure by magistrates Jonathan Cornwin and John Hathorn to blame Tituba, the Parris’ Caribbean slave; Sarah Good, a homeless beggar; and Sarah Osbourne, an old poor woman; for afflicting them. It caused mass hysteria and confusion in the town, since they were all church-going people and strongly believed in the Devil. Many people were wrongly hanged and their reputations were ruined by lies. If one did not confess to witchcraft when they were accused, they would be hanged. This caused false confessions and unjust deaths which fueled the hysteria. One thing I think is interesting is that the three people the girls accused of afflicting them were all at a disadvantage; being either a slave, homeless, or old and poor. Those that were accused and survived the trials were compensated, but there was no compensation for the families of those who were hanged. Everyone who had been accused were not officially claimed innocent until October 31st 2001. Witches today face a lot of stigma because of things like the Salem Witch Trials, though those who follow the Wiccan religion do not worship the Devil or even acknowledge his existence, but rather use their religion to celebrate closeness to the earth. “If it was the last moment I was to live, God knows I am innocent…” -Elizabeth How (May