The Salem witch trials had a drastic affect on the Puritan religion. The trials helped shape and point the direction for the New England Colonies and the Puritan religion. The Salem witch trials outbreak began in 1692. In the past, there had only been about five convictions of people being accused of witchcraft; none of this resulted in any deaths(Wilborn 16). Usually just a fine was given, but by the end of 1692 there was already 150 arrests (17). Whether you were rich or poor, it didn’t seem to matter, anyone and everyone was being accused. No one felt safe at this time (Trask ix).
The Salem Witch Trials roused numerous pieces of literature, films, a theatrical performance, and changed the outlook of Salem, Massachusetts eternally. Understanding what happened at the trials, the tests accused witches had to go through, the execution of witches, and the victims of the trials is all necessary to better understand the impact the Salem Witch Trials had on modern culture.
The Salem Witch Trials was a very dark period in our history that occurred in the colony of Salem, Massachusetts. These trials began in February 1692 and ended in May of 1693. There were over two hundred individuals who were accused of practicing witchcraft. Of those two hundred accused, nearly twenty innocent souls were lost. This was one of the most severe cases of mass hysteria in recorded history. There was a great effort exhorted by the Massachusetts General Court to declare a guilty verdict, that the framers of the United States Constitution went to great lengths to never let this type of tragedy occur again; commonly known as the eighth amendment. Remarkably so, some may argue that there were similarities in Salem and the
Throughout history, there have been many cases of discriminatory accusations of people, including the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Trials were a string of trials, hearings and prosecutions of many people accused of witchcraft in Massachusetts between the dates of February 1692 and May 1693. The trials ended up leading to the execution of twenty people, men and women, but mainly women. The Salem Witch Trials that took place about three hundred years ago affected the lives of everyday civilians during that time in ways such as politically, religiously, economically, fearfully, mentally, and sometimes in other various other ways.
Introduction - The Salem Witch trials was a time of hysteria and confusion. People were being accused and giving false confessions of witchcraft being performed on the people of Salem, Massachusetts.
The myths surrounding the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 spike the interest of historians and non-academics alike. These trials have been the concern of different historical articles, novels, plays, films, and even religious debates. One issue that is certain, is the hysteria of the community overwhelmed Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 and 1693. A particular primary source, “Accounts of the Salem Witchcraft Trials (1693)” by Cotton Mather, suggests that the actions brought forth provided proof of satanic work. Even though Mather was a contemporary observer, Mather fails to analyze the importance of the real contemporary issues displayed during the time of the trials. Furthermore, historian Kyle Koehler, takes a different approach in his review,
The Salem Witch Trials were a series of accusations, trials, and executions based on the supposed outbreak of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. The trials began during the spring of 1692, and the last of them ended in 1693. It all started when two young girls, Abigail and Betty Parris, began experiencing violent convulsions and outbursts, which were thought to be brought about by witchcraft. Whether they were faking these symptoms, were afflicted with an actual sickness, or were experiencing them because of some sort of psychological reason is widely debated, though it is known that the sisters accused their maid, Tituba, of forcing them to participate in witchcraft with her. Some who theorize about the causes of the trials dismiss the Parris girls involvement in the beginning and instead attribute the outbreak of accusations to judgement upon the members of society who break social or religious rules, or who struck the upright members of society as ‘strange’ and ‘suspicious’, such as the homeless, the poor, and old or widowed women. The cause of the hysteria that went on in Salem after this is what is speculated by so many. There are probably hundreds of theories out there, but a few in particular are more widely known, accepted, and supported than others.
Human beings always have been curious creatures. We are a species that is always searching for answers to unexplainable events. Take aliens for example. To us, aliens may or may not exist (depending on your individual belief of course). Yet we still take such an interest in them that we continuously search for answers and proof of alien. Now that we have modern day technology, we can attain “proof” of alien life-form somewhere deep in outer space. But given the date 1692 in New England, if we were to even come in contact with aliens it would have been considered some supernatural phenomena, and even cause quite a bit of hysteria. That is what happened to the puritans in Salem village during the Salem Witch Trials, in Massachusetts, in the year 1962. The puritans of Salem village were extremely paranoid, and they believed that if something can’t be explained then it had the devils influence. So when a group of Salem girls spoke up about the devil and witches, the villagers of Salem went into a panicked frenzy. Truth of the matter is that there were no witches in Salem nor was the devil at war against Salem; the Salem Witch Trials were only a result of endless lies, conspiracies, and side effects of an illness.
The Salem witch trials were a result of mass hysteria. It was caused by false accusations. On May 1693, fourteen women, five men, and two dogs were executed for supposed supernatural crimes. The Salem trials have a unique place in our collective history today. (" Saxon, V,Procedure Used in...").
Robert Calef was a merchant in Massachusetts during the witch hunts of 1692. The primary source that is being analyzed isn’t about him but is from many stories that he collected and put them together in a manuscript. This manuscript that contains true accounts about the trial and it included the attempted escape of Mrs. Cary of Charlestown Massachusetts told from her husband Nathaniel Cary’s viewpoint. I believe that Nathaniel Cary wanted this account to be written in order to highlight and expose how the puritans handled the witch trials and specifically the trial against his wife and to inform people of what was truly happening in New England at the time. In this primary source analysis, I will be discussing what this document tells us
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.
Brought to the New England colonies by the Puritans was not only a strict theology, but an understanding and fear of the supernatural world they believed was so tightly intertwined with their earthly world. Therefore, it was only natural for the pious colonists to be wary of things they did not understand and suspect denizens that did not act accordingly to the standards of what it meant to be a Puritan. However, even though there were many suspicions of certain individuals associating with the Devil and performing witchcraft, there was usually not enough substantial evidence to indict said individuals. Then, after several Native American raids, a change in government to an Anglican leader, and the arrival of Separatists, Puritans became even more wary and anxious of those around them. This turn of events set off the biggest witch hunt in colonial America, known as the Salem Witch Trials. Due to her personal misfortunes and venomous tongue, Sarah Good was one of the first three women to be accused of witchcraft and was later hung on July 19, 1692.
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 were a prime part of American history during the early 17th century. During this time, religion was the prime focus and way of life within colonies. This was especially true for the Puritan way of life. Puritans first came to America in hopes of practicing Christianity their own way, to the purest form. The Puritans were fundamentalists who believed every word transcribed in the Bible by God was to be followed exactly for what it was. The idea of the devil controlling a woman and forming her into a Witch was originated from people’s lack of awareness on illness, disease or simple hysteria. The Colonists lack of expertise on the methodical approach through sciences, left them concluding to a spiritual phenomenon.
The Salem Witchcraft trials in Massachusetts during 1692 resulted in nineteen innocent men and women being hanged, one man pressed to death, and in the deaths of more than seventeen who died in jail. It all began at the end of 1691 when a few girls in the town began to experiment with magic by gathering around a crystal ball to try to find the answer to questions such as "what trade their sweet harts should be of ". This conjuring took place in the Parris household where a woman named Tituba, an Indian slave, headed the rituals. Soon after they had begun to practice these rituals, girls who had been involved, including the Master Parris' daughter and niece, became sick.