In January 1692, when a group of juvenile girls began to display bizarre behavior, the tight-knit Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts couldn’t explain the unusual afflictions and came to a conclusion. Witches had invaded Salem. This was the beginning of a period of mass hysteria known as The Salem Witch Trials. Hundreds of people were falsely accused of witchcraft and many paid the ultimate price of death. Nineteen people were hung, one was pressed to death, and as many as thirteen more died in prison. One of the accused Elizabeth Bassett Proctor, a faithful wife and mother, endured her fictitious accusation with honor and integrity.
The Salem Witch Trials officially began in February 1692 when the “afflicted girls” accused Tituba, Ms. Good and Ms. Osborne of witchcraft. Tituba confessed to witchcraft. Not only did she confess, she also said there were many others who were working for Satan. This triggered the beginning and that is when the fears of the Salem colonists were realized.
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. These trials began after a group of young girls in Massachusetts claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several other locals of witchcraft. After this broke out a special court convened in Salem to “hear and determine” (Mather 328)
The Salem Witch Trials began in the late 1600’s and is widely known to this day as one of the darkest periods in American history. In this essay, I will be analyzing the context and origins of the trials, the hysteria that dramatically spread through Massachusetts, and the legacy that we’ve come to know today. (thesis statement will go here I just can NOT think of one and I’m tired of wasting my time trying. Help .)
Kappanadze, Margaret. "Baker, Emerson W.: A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience." Library Journal 15 Sept. 2014: 92. General OneFile. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.
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 Salem witch trials, that occurred in colonial Massachusetts, were a hostile part of American history. People lived in a constant state of paranoia and fear. A great number of people were accused of practicing witchcraft, which was thought to be connected to the devil, and some were even executed. Eventually, the colony realized the faults in the trials. By reading the primary sources ‘A Modest Inquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft Chapter II’ by John Hale and Two Letters by Governor William Phips, we are able to discover a wealth of knowledge about the aforementioned trials. The two sources allow the reader to gain insight into how the trials were flawed by showing the nature of the Salem Witch Trials, the evidence used to find the witches guilty, and the role native americans played in the trials. While also exhibiting how primary sources can be a disadvantage in navigating through historical events.
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, 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
In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, he writes, “We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” (Miller 77). This partially fictionalized tale of the Salem Witch Trials points to one of the causes of the trials, vengeance, but the over dramatized tale 's early stages were quiet. The Salem Witch Episode had humble beginnings in the town of Salem Village, Massachusetts, but evolved into one of the most widely known witch trials in American History. The gallows in Salem claimed the lives of nineteen men and woman during the spring and summer of 1692 due to the accusations of witchcraft with over a hundred people who were accused. After all the terror and the uproar of the trials occurred, everything came to a screeching halt (Linder 1). Due to the unique circumstances of this particular set of witch trials, from the rampant accusations to the discontinuation of the trials mass hysteria does not seem to be fault as with other witch trials, but a variety of factors. The Salem witch trials were not just a simple case of mass hysteria, but a combination of factors ranging from poisons to superstitions to scapegoats, resulting in the outbreak of the Salem Witch episode.
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.
Living as we do in the 20th century, the charges imposed on people throughout New England during the 1680s and 1690s seem preposterous. Any behavior regarded as strange by fellow citizens was sufficient to hold a trial with a sentence of death. Though such scenarios seem unfathomable in our modern culture, it was a reality for hundreds of New England settlers. The causes of the famous outbreak of witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts are rooted in social, economic, and political aspects of the late 17th century Salem community.
During early 1692, in Essex, Massachusetts, a group of girls began to practice “conjuration with sieves and keys, and peas, and nails, and horseshoes”. By February, the adults tried to put into words what was happening to their children: “odd postures,” “foolish, ridiculous speeches”. Local physician William Griggs warned Reverend Samuel Parris, father of two of these girls, that he suspected the “Evil Hand” or more specifically, “malefic witchcraft”. As a result of this bizarre occurrence, rumors and assumptions spread rapidly across the area of Salem Village. The legal system was unkempt and clearly unprepared for something so baffling. As a result, the trials were conducted aimlessly and disorderly, without consideration of the persecuted. Throughout countless records, evidence was slim and weak. This was just the beginning of what is known as the Salem Witch Trials. Due to an unorganized legal system, The Salem Witch Trials exposed Puritan society as unprepared, unlawful, and unethical.
The central issue at stake for people during the Salem witch trials were a series of hearing and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft. It all started in Salem Village, in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. A man by the name of Richard Godbeer, the author of “The Salem Witch Hunt” and several other books is a professor at the University of Miami. Godbeer’s research and teaching interests center on colonial and revolutionary America. Also, his fields of interest are in gender, sex, witchcraft and religious culture.
Many people know of the Salem witch trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1692 spilling over into the year 1693. But for those who do not know, the Salem witch trials were a series of trials against men, women, and children accused of being a witch and or practicing witchcraft. In “The Devils Snare: The Salem Witch Trials of 1692” by Mary Beth Norton, the author recollects the stories of real life accounts of those accusers and the accused in Salem during that time. Mary Beth Norton explains the Salem witch trials differently than other books and articles by giving wide-ranging background on incidents leading toward the trials and how events in history were related to the trials.