Salem Witch Trials Essay

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Salem Witch Trials

Throughout history millions of people have been scorned, accused, arrested, tortured, put to trial and, persecuted as witches. One would think that by the time the United States was colonized, these injustices on humanity would have come to an end, but that was not so. In 1692 a major tragedy occurred in America, the Salem witch trials. It all began when a group of girls accused others, generally older women, of consorting with the devil. The witchcraft hysteria in Salem,
Massachusetts resulted from the strict Puritan code which aroused the girls interest in superstition and magic and caused strange behavior.

The Salem witch trials were based on the Puritans and their God versus Satan and his
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“They routinely enforced their concept of moral discipline to unreasonable degrees.” (6)

Christmas and Easter were not celebrated by Puritans because they believed that they were not truly religious and came from pagan ideas.
They occasionally got holidays from school during the harvest time. Toys were forbidden in Salem, they were thought of as frivolous and time-wasting. Dolls were especially harmful because they were supposed to be used for witches to work magic. Any child caught playing with toys would be taken to Parris for a long “talking-to.” In the seventeenth century there was never respect for the privacy of any individual. The community as a whole was expected to bring any deviants to the courts’ attention. Each citizen was expected to report even members of his own family who deviated from the strict Puritan code. People were appointed to walk about every Sunday and take note of those backsliders who did not attend church services. (7) People were familiar with each other’s affairs and willing to interfere at the slightest hint of sin or scandal. (8)
Any deviant behavior was criminal. The Puritans did not take into account the myriad of shadings between various forms of misbehavior; everything not white was black. No distinction was made between persons who flatly violated the law and those who infringed on prescribed customs. The court took instant notice of anyone who
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