The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials

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During the time period of June to September 1692, twenty people were unjustly murdered after trials found them guilty of acts of witchcraft. The series of hearings and prosecutions of the accused witches in colonial Massachusetts marks one of the nation 's most notorious cases of mass hysteria. The reasons behind the trials and deaths are complex and multifaceted. Internal disputes, strict religious lifestyles, accusations from young children, witch hunting methods, spectral evidence, and even some medical theories all stand as causes of the Salem Witch Trials. Political, local, and religious context is necessary in order to understand the mass hysteria that occurred in the 1690s during the Salem Witch Trials. In the early 17th century, English Puritans settled in North America, mainly in New England. Puritans were Christians who “wanted the Church of England purified of any liturgy, ceremony, or practices which were not found in Scripture” (Curtis). When King Charles granted a colonial charter to the Massachusetts Bay Company, the document failed to specify that the governor and officers of the company had to remain in England. The Puritans took advantage of this silence and moved the whole government of the colony to America. They wanted to establish (a) biblical community as an example to England and the world. Their settlements were organized into towns, each with their own meeting house or the church at the center of the town. The church was the center of their

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