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The Murder Of Witchcraft During The Nineteenth Century

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In 1692, witchcraft accusations were prevalent in Salem Massachusetts. Hundreds of innocent people were accused and jailed on charges of witchcraft which stemmed from social class tensions, intense religious beliefs, and adolescent behavior. The accusations began with a group of young girls whose strange behavior caused many to believe that the devil and witchcraft were at play. The charge of witchcraft was considered a capital offense in the seventeenth-century, which ultimately led to the stoning death of an 80-year-old man and the executions of fourteen women and five men. The madness all began in a small town called Salem Village. Salem Village was fast growing farming town who had to depend on the wealthy merchant town of Salem…show more content…
Therefore, another contributing factor was jealousy and fighting between the two towns; with many believing that land was a huge motivator for accusing people of Witchcraft. “The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God, we should neither eat nor sleep, but eat to God and sleep to God and work to God and talk to God, do all to His glory and praise.” (Sibbes 1). The Puritans, a very religious group, came to Massachusetts looking for a new colony free of religious tolerance. They wanted to live in a place without sinners and expected everyone to follow a rigid moral code. Not attending church was considered a sin that would also affect your social standing so we can see how the witch trials came about as many people did not live up to the Puritan’s beliefs. The diagnosis of witchcraft launched the Puritans into a state of hysteria causing them to accuse falsely people of which led to the jailing of hundreds of innocents. Many things contributed to the witchcraft hysteria including the Indian wars of 1622. The Puritans believed there was a connection between the natives, the devil, and witchcraft. So it was not farfetched for this to have a tremendous impact on the people of Salem many of whom were survivors of the war. These people would tell stories of the atrocities that occurred lighting the imagination of those around them
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