The Controversy Of The Salem Witch Trials

1380 WordsOct 27, 20146 Pages
Colonial Massachusetts in the late 1600s was very complex. The small colony consisted of mainly puritans, who had come to escape from the Church of England. Puritans believed that those chosen by God to be saved — the elect — would experience "conversion." In this process, God would reveal to the individual His grace, and the person would know he was saved. One of the many issues within the society was religion. A very big problem that would cause a lot of tension and problems later on was witchcraft. The Salem witchcraft hysteria started because of personal jealousies, it targeted those who went against puritan beliefs, and it was an explanation of all the weird things happening. The events which led to the Witch Trials actually occurred in what is now the town of Danvers, then a parish of Salem Town, known as Salem Village. Launching the hysteria was the bizarre, seemingly inexplicable behavior of two young girls; the daughter, Betty, and the niece, Abigail Williams, of the Salem Village minister, Reverend Samuel Parris. The trouble began when two young girls asked the slave, Tituba to help them know their fortunes. They used an old trick of suspending an egg-white in a glass of water to find this out. Over several months, the girls began to exhibit strange behavior, which soon spread to other girls in the town. The girls, under pressure from Reverend Parris, identified two local white women and the slave Tituba as the witches who were causing them pain. The

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