Salem Witch Trials : Legal Proceedings

Better Essays
The Salem Witch Trials, also know as the Salem Witchcraft Trials were legal proceedings which took place of course in the Salem Village of Massachusetts. These trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in the village, claimed to be possessed by the devil accusing several local women of practicing the craft. Victims were prosecuted and executed for reputedly practicing witchcraft, when little to no evidence of the act itself existed. This historical period resulted in twenty people, mostly women, being hung for black magic conspiracies. Neighbors accused neighbors; even church members accused other church members of witchcraft. Others were accused, but fled the area before they could be arrested. During this time…show more content…
In addition, the bible was there sole authority, for they believed it applied to every aspect of daily life. As for their other beliefs, Puritans thought Satan was responsible for everything bad happening in day-to-day living. The Puritans believed that the members of society, weakest at upholding Puritan values and morals, specifically women and children, would be selected to carry out his work. This means women accused as witches were those who strayed from the Puritan lifestyle and were considered to be social outcasts. For the Puritans, religious and political life were completely intertwined. Each Puritan town had town meetings to determine how the town would be run, and only male church members were allowed to vote on these issues. This is probably the reason why the women were seen as the weakest society member’s maintaining Puritan values. "The Devils have sometimes represented the Shapes of persons not only innocent, but also very virtuous" (Salem Witch Trials). “…And I cannot but tell you that my faith is strong concerning them, that they are deluded, imposed upon, and under the influence of some evil spirit, and therefore unfit to be evidences, either against themselves or anyone else” (Salem Witchcraft Trials). Although the Puritans beliefs were very important to them, it did seem as though they were accusing specific people. This mainly included young women, usually belonging to wealthy families.
Get Access