During the 1600’s in the United States there was much economic and religious dissention within the Puritan society: a group of English reformed protestants who pursued the Purification of the Church of England. Among these issues, is the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials that prosecuted women to be found worshippers of the devil. The Puritans found the necessity to exercise this crusade in order to stay by their moral codes of conformity which included witchcraft to be the greatest crime, punishable by death. However, the true reasons of the trials was not to simply follow their religious constitutions. It is mainly in part from corruption of religion and how some had used the trials as a form of personal gain, the influences of the attitudes from the strict Puritan lifestyle, the need for unification between the Salem factions, and the society’s fear of evil.
To learn more about the Salem witchcraft hysteria, Historian Paul Boyer, and Professor Stephen Nissenbaum sought to further understand the accusations of witchcraft. During the late 1600’s life in colonial New England was one led by religion and politics. Salem was broken up into two factions, Salem Village, and Salem Town. Salem Village, which was led by the Putnam family was a rapidly growing
The salem witch trials hysteria of 1692 was caused by the Puritans strict religious standards and intolerance of anything not accepted with their scripture. The largest account of witch trials as well as deaths by witch trials occurred in Salem, a village heavily populated with the Puritans. Because most of the trials were occurring in Salem, this meant that the accusations were happening among the Puritans themselves, which could very well be anything as long as the Puritans found it as contradicting their bible. Not only did the strict religion intolerance fuel the accusations and trials, but also the possible factor of ergot being involved which has been known to cause symptoms leading to hysteria.
The number of different interpretations of the Salem Witch Trials illustrates that historiography is ever changing. The historians, Hale, Starkey, Upham, Boyer and Nissenbaum, Caporal, Norton and Mattosian have all been fascinated by the trials in one way or another because they have all attempted to prove or disprove certain elements about the trials. By analysing their augments about the causes of the Salem Witch Crisis, it is evident that this historical event can be examined from a range of different perspectives and interpreted in a range of
The purpose of this book was to examine the history and social life of Salem Village to try to figure out what was the cause of the events that occurred there. I believe that the authors achieved their objective at least they did to me. Boyer and Nissenbaum's explanation for the outbreak of witchcraft accusations in Salem hinges on an understanding of the economic,
The Salem Witch Trials was an uncanny and eerie event of hearings and prosecutions of people being accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts. Although it lasted from 1691 to 1692, it lead to more than 200 people, including men and women, being accused and arrested of witchcraft and 20 of those people executed. The hysteria began with two young girls: Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams claiming to be possessed by the devil, causing the “witch-fever” among the Salem village. In this essay the circumstances behind poor harvest, sickness and the conjecture of witches and witchcraft being highly considered as a cause in this era will be described. The Salem Witch Trials were caused by environmental factors because the Salem community had limited understanding of natural causes such as poor harvest, sickness and diseases.
The largest outbreak of witchcraft in America took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. A group of girls, including the Parris’s Indian slave Tituba, gathered in the Salem village and were attempting to see the future by decoding “messages”. Shortly after this gathering the girls started showing signs of the possessed (pg. 73). To this day people all over America are still amazed with the events that took place in this time. But why is that? The fear of the village fell heavily onto the judicial system, which later made people focus on the proper separation of government and religious beliefs. Mass hysteria broke out amongst the village and many people were being accused, therefore leading to many innocent deaths. Although there could be many theories as to the reason the witch trials in Salem began, there are two points of view that are very commonly shared amongst people. Some believe that the Salem witch trials were women unconsciously searching for power, whereas others believe it was an encephalitis epidemic.
During the time period of 1691 to 1692 the town of Salem, a small thriving community within the Puritan Massachusetts Bay colony, was struck by widespread hysteria in the form of witch trials. The way these trials and accusations played out are historically unlike any other witch trials found in European and American history. Historians have pointed to a number of economic, political, and social changes of the then existing institutions throughout the Massachusetts Bay area to be the cause of the Salem witch trials, along with the direction they took. If studied closely however, it becomes apparent that the main cause for the Salem witch trials can be found in the way the people of Salem viewed and
The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 was first brought about as a game by young adolescent girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts. The young girls had falsely claimed they were possessed by devilish beings which were innocent men and women of Salem Village causing an uproar of witchcraft in their village. I believe the great hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials was solely out of boredom, meaning it was a break from the norm and caused excitement quite easily. Those who were accused went to “trial” but given the behavior of the young girls who had claimed to be possessed made it impossible to walk free. Those who went to trial were hanged at the hanging tree for the practice of witchcraft whether there was proof or not.
The hysteria, craze, trials, and deaths, still rest an unsolved case. The theories of politics, rivalries, religion and the “circle girls” seem the most believable, in my eyes. However, as the happenings in Salem village still continue to mislead and amaze not only historians, but many others, the witch trials lie a great turning point for Salem, and the lives of many; let alone
The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 were a dark time in American history. There were many possible causes of the Salem Witch Trials. A few major causes that led to the Salem Witch Trials were religion, reputations, and lack of laws.
The events that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 have had historians scrutinizing over the causes for years. There have been several theories about how the situation became so out of control. The haunting story is well known in America, taught to our youth and has been the focus of numerous forms of media. We are familiar with the story but unfamiliar with the origin of its beginnings. The role of religion and the presence of mob psychology were the primary catalyst behind the Salem witch trials.
It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister 's daughter began to scream and convulse, while other girls manifested the same symptoms. Their doctor suggested one cause, witchcraft. That grim diagnosis launched a Puritan inquisition that took 24 lives, filled prisons with innocent people, and frayed the soul of a Massachusetts community called Salem. It ended less than a year later, but not before the hanging of 20 men and women, including an elderly man who was crushed to death. The hysteria spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in Salem. Aside from suffrage, the Salem witch trials represent the only moment when women played a central role in American history. There are many theories as to what caused the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials and the bewitchment of several young girls including the lack of freedom and want of attention from young girls, the role of religion and Satan in Salem, lack of verifiable evidence, economic and social divisions within the community, and the possibility of ergotism.