The Salem Witch Trials : Trials

2597 Words Apr 14th, 2016 11 Pages
Maggi Evans
Research Paper
The Salem Witch Trials

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 experts who theorize about the causes of the trials believe the Parris girls were malicious or acting in accordance to instructions from their parents, but others attribute the outbreak of accusations to regular intolerance and societal judgement upon the people 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 also widely speculated on. There are probably hundreds of theories that exist, but a few in particular are more widely known, accepted, and supported than others.

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