The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials

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Massachusetts Bay Colony, first settled into in 1630, was overwhelmingly controlled by Puritans. Their goal was to establish colonies based on the word of God. Salem, like many other towns at the time, had little distinction between church and state and focused all aspects of their society on God. (Roach) Due to these conditions, Salem became the site of the largest and most violent witch hunts in America. The significance of the trials comes from the large impact they had on American law. The conditions before, during, and after the Salem Trials were unlike the witch hunts in any other colonies in the New World or in Europe. However, towns and cities being struck with fear of the Devil were a common occurrence throughout the sixteenth century. The Salem Witch Trials, although probably the most famous witch hunts, were not the first documented in American history. Thirty years before the events in Salem, a similar persecution against witches broke out in Hartford, Connecticut. The results were nearly fifty persecutions and eleven executions for conspiring with the devil. In Europe, witch trials were even more common and led to hundreds dying in places like Scotland and England. Trials and executions in Europe were coming to a close as Salem’s trials were just beginning, and the European trials and had a much higher death toll. (Kallen) In most respects, the hysteria in Salem was not the first or last of its kind. “The Salem outbreak shared important characteristics with

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