It is often difficult to understand the thought process that other people’s might have had many years ago. A college professor and writer, Richard Godbeer attempts to explain the thought process of the people who were involved in witch trials in the year 1692 in his text “How Could They Believe That?”. He often tells students in college and high school that we can relate to how society was in 1692 and how their views on life, and specifically the supernatural forces, are completely justifiable. In this article he explains the social atmosphere, the environment in which the settlers lived in, as well as how thorough the process of persecution was.
During this time, there was no recorded witch craft going on, instead the true root of these problems started because of an issue between two families, the Putnam’s and the Porters. The Putnam’s were a family that was already living in the tow and used to own most of the area’s wealth, that was until, the arrival of the Porters. When the Porters moved into town they began gaining all the wealth and prestige from the people of the colony. Therefore, it was no surprise that the accusers of witchcraft were the Putnam family and the ones being wrongfully accused were the Porter family. The goal of the Putnam’s was to get rid of the porters all together in attempt to bring back wealth and prestige to the family name.
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
Slavery has been an inevitable part of history. Slavery has been around since the Babylonian Empire . Slavery was even, present in Ancient Greece. The Byzantine-Ottoman wars and the Ottoman wars resulted in the enslavement of large numbers of Christians. However, it was during the Middle Ages and moving forward that slavery played a prominent role. Both the Dutch and the British played important roles in the Atlantic slave trade, especially after 1600. When, the New World was discovered, slavery was not based on race until much later.Slaves consisted of a few people brought from Africa and native peoples where the newly discovered land . However, slavery was still present . Slavery in the New World was in many ways inevitable because Europeans
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,
Most observers now agree that witches in the villages and towns of the late Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century New England tended to be poor. They were usually not the poorest women in the community, but the moderately poor. Karlsen tries to show that a woman who was vulnerable was most likely to be accused of being a witch. Even women who had gained wealth because of the death of a husband were prime candidates.
“The Devil in the Shape of a Woman” was an excellent book that focuses on the unjusts that have been done to women in the name of witchcraft in Salem, and many other areas as well. It goes over statistical data surrounding gender, property inherence, and the perceptions of women in colonial New England. Unlike the other studies of colonial witchcraft, this book examines it as a whole, other then the usual Salem outbreaks in the late 17th century.
Many people are aware of the witch hunt that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1692, however these same people may not be as familiar with the other witch hunt that also occurred in New England during the same year. Escaping Salem: the other witch hunt of 1692, written by Richard Godbeer, is a historical monograph that reconstructs the, mostly unheard-of witch hunt, that occurred in Stamford, Connecticut. The book also gives its readers insight into the minds of early American citizens. Thus, the theme of Escaping Salem, beside witchcraft, is human nature and Richard Godbeer’s thesis is that humans demonize others before recognizing their own share of human frailty. It is evident that he is biased toward the witches and sympathizes with them. This, of course, is not surprising since they were irrationally punished because of their neighbours unsubstantiated accusations. Richard Godbeer is currently a Professor of History at the University of Miami, who offers courses on a broad range of topics, including sex and gender in early America, witchcraft in colonial New England, religious culture in early America, and the American Revolution. He is also the author of 11 other historical monographs.
The large-scale witch-hunts that occurred from 1638 to 1651 gathered momentum via major happenings in the political, societal, and religious domains developing at the time. Individuals who had either political, religious or economic power in society, also known as elites, together had absolute control over the pursuit and prosecution of individuals who partook in witchcraft. The clergy played a crucial role in the witchcraft prosecutions and were slower than the state and localities to desert their beliefs in the reality of witches as the prosecution of witchcraft was, in their eyes, an effective tool to eradicate social deviance. Though local authorities and the Parliament did contribute to the witch-hunts significantly, without the kirk of Scotland declaring and encouraging this sanction on witchcraft, both other parties would not have taken the actions they ultimately did. This essay will provide a brief description of events that took place from 1638 to 1651 and then utilize evidence from a multitude of sources to argue that the religious elites were the most influential of these forces during the witchcraft prosecutions that occurred in the 1640s.
In the 1680’s and 1690’s there was mass hysteria in New England over supposed witchcraft. The most famous outbreak was in Salem, Massachusetts, hence the name Salem Witch Trials. In Salem, there were young girls who started acting strangely, and they leveled accusations of witchcraft against some of the West Indian servants who were immersed in voodoo tradition. Most of the accusations were against women, and soon the accusations started to shift to the substantial and prominent women. Neighbors accused other neighbors, husbands accused their wives, etc. and it kept going on for a while. There was this nature of evil and the trials didn’t end until nineteen Salem residents were put to death in 1692, more importantly before the girls
The evidence of witchcraft and related works has been around for many centuries. Gradually, though, a mixture a religious, economical, and political reasons instigated different periods of fear and uncertainty among society. Witchcraft was thought of as a connection to the devil that made the victim do evil and strange deeds. (Sutter par. 1) In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and twentieth century, the hysteria over certain causes resulted in prosecution in the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze, and the McCarthy hearings. These three events all used uncertain and unjustly accusations to attack the accused.
The witchcraft crisis through colonial New England is visualized through the work of Mary Beth Norton and Carol F. Karlsen. The scholars demonstrate deep understanding in the subject, and both present valid information through their overall theses. In order to understand the complete story of witchery in the seventeenth-century, these two books intrigue the reader in what the authors want to present. Although, their research seems bias, both historians similarly delve into the topic with an open mind, and successfully uncover information that has not be presented before. Not only does Norton’s In the Devil’s Snare and Karlsen’s The Devil in the Shape of a Woman both represent the study of witchcraft through feminist ideals, Karlsen’s
Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth century, witchcraft was widespread throughout various areas of the world. In some places, witches were persecuted for crimes such as creating storms which damaged crops, cursing humans to having an illness, killing or devouring children, and most commonly copulating with the Devil. Witches were often seen engaging in conclaves, where they likely discussed harmful plans with the Devil. Nonetheless, there seems to have been more details behind these persecutions of witches. Like author Darren Oldridge points out, there may have been multiple, but merging, factors that affect the continuation of witch persecution.
"Slavery caused racism, but economic motives, not racial impulses, caused slavery.” I completely disagree. This statement suggests that slavery was brought about in hopes of making a living, and money and racism and no play. I personally feel that racism drove the idea of economic motives. I feel this because if there was an idea of making more money why choose black people to enslave? Why not enslave white people, or other races. I feel like that was definitely a hate toward them already, and the question of “What should we do with them?” came to play; and why not make money off them. Windrop D. Jordan suggests that African Americans were targeted because they were cheaper. My thought is then who made the prices, which group put numbers on