Salem, the perfect location to spend the first day of the fall season. Salem brings in one million tourists annually because of its fall foliage and history of the Salem Witch Trials that took place in 1692. My excitement built up as I anticipated being in the same location as the movie Hocus Pocus was based in and for the next 24 hours I would be immersed in a city known for being a Halloween focused town. I dream to live in a place where it is fall every day and where my favorite holiday is publicized, so Salem seemed like the perfect place to spend the first week of fall in.
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Salem, Massachusetts became famously known for the witch trials that took place in the late 1600’s. For the men and women residing in Salem, Massachusetts it was a time in which they lived in fear of allegations and deceit. Twenty men and women lost their lives during what is known as the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria. Socioeconomic tensions within the community are to blame for the witchcraft hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts during the late 1600’s. Factors such as politics, religion, and social status all played a role in the deadly and devastating era.
Salem Village was one of many non-urban inhabitants. They were looked upon as country folk because of their interests and beliefs in the church and growing tobacco to survive in this new land. There was not much for children to do except go to church, work on the fields, or go to school. You can imagine how bored these children can get. In such a secluded lifestyle as this, you would be a crazy person if you were at all different, and this episode would be so different that it would be traumatic to the people of this small village. Traumatic as it was, I believe the people just did not know how to react in such a situation.
The story of Salem began in Salem Village, Massachusetts with girls trying to discover the
In the winter of 1628-1629 Massachusetts was a dark and reveling place. Puritans colonized Salem in 1628. It was the beginning of Massachusetts Bay Colonies. Salem was being considered as the largest trial American history has seen (Hoffer), a place of devil worship and deception. Many English protestants, also known as Puritans were being accused of witchcraft and worshiping the devil. Witchcraft was known as giving the devil permission to go into that person’s body, take their shape and go around harming other people. As hysteria spread, more women were hearing of this matter, a witch-hunt began in the village of Salem.
During the late 1600s, Salem, Massachusetts faced a period of witch trials due to panic stirring among the Puritans in the area. Because of these
Salem was first settled in 1626 by Puritans who were seeking a safe place to practice their strict religious beliefs (Source 1). Over time, Salem grew in size, both increasing their boundaries and population over 500%. As Salem spread, rumors began to emerge, and darkness covered Salem. In February of 1692, three woman were accused of witchcraft, Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne, by girls who were supposedly affected by witches (Source 4).
The Salem village had a very vibrant history before the now world renowned witch trials. Throughout history it has not been known as a mainstay of stillness within New England, and was known for habitations between townsfolk that were for the most part not peaceful. The main reason was because Salem was fairly large for this time period and had over 600 inhabitants and these 600 or so people were divided into two main sects. There were those who wanted to separate from Salem, the town and its townspeople, and there were also those who did not and wanted to continue being associated with the town. The residents who wanted to separate from Salem Town were farming families located in the western part of Salem Village. Those who wanted to remain a part of Salem Town were for the most part located on the opposite side of the town from the residents who wished
In 1626 the town of Salem was first settled in by a company of fishermen. The town was not called Salem at first but was changed to Salem when they shifted leadership from one governor to a new one. Since the switch of leadership went so peacefully, they proceeded to change the name to Salem, which means “peace” in Hebrew. The town continued to flourish for many years after settlement. About 66 years later, the town of Salem, began to spiral downwards all because of a group of young girl accusing people of witchcraft. The Salem Witch Trials were set off by the socially unstable younger generation of the town of Salem. The Salem Witch Trials began in 1692 and ended at some point in 1693 with more than 200 people accused, with 20 people and two dogs executed and one person pressed to death (US History).
In Massachusetts there are two Salem towns. The accusing began at the Parris’s home because of Reverend Parris wanted to accuse people. Then the Putnam's started to get accused of witchcraft. In Salem people were accused to be witches because they were different or an outcast in the community. A slave in the Paris's household, was an easy person to accuse of witchcraft because she had different religions and traditions.
To have a clear understanding of what happened in Salem, one must first understand the Puritans. This group of people greatly disagreed with the ways of the Church of England and desired to “purify” their religion. Their main desire was to be more doctrinally sound in their teaching, and to have more religious freedom. It is from them, that we have modern day Baptists. But to accomplish this, they departed from England and moved to Massachusetts. Originally, they were located in Plymouth, but over the course of time, the group began separating into different parts of Massachusetts. In 1606 Salem was founded, and this is where the Witch Trials occurred.
Salem is an isolated village in Massachusetts where power is one of the main driving forces that contribute to the dynamics of the community and how people interact with each other. Authority and power is dominant in two main areas- The Church and the Males.
From watching the video of the Salem witch trails, I`ve come to see reasons for why Salem was the place for the witch hunt. First off because of the little girls accusing the women of being witches and second because of the confession of one of the witches who was accused. Her name was Tituba which after she admitted to being a witch and using witchcraft. Didn’t turn out well for the town of Salem, it caused paranoia to set in with the neighbors turning against each other. So from then on the accusations of witchcraft started through the town.
Only surpassed by ministers as the most respected profession, magistrates wielded tremendous power in New England. Hand-in-hand with that power came the understanding that they would preserve the puritanical doctrine of the colonists. In the quest to maintain the purity of the colony, haste sometimes led to improper judgments, and the courts infrequently convicted those who were innocent in an effort to maintain the sanctity of the province. This situation manifests itself in Salem, where, in order to further their own personal desires to continue the trials and free Salem, the judges and prosecutors prefer to preserve their own veneer of authority over administering justice, rely on unreliable and easily manipulative witnesses, and fail
The primary fear that is apparent in the philosophy, “In unity still lay the best promise of safety” (5) is the fear of being accused of making a contact with the devil. In the quote, Miller shows that the citizen’s best way to feel safe is to act the same way everyone else is. He reveals that Salem has a strict social standard such as attending church every Sunday. Breaking away from the unity of their standards will make them victim to false accusations of witchcraft and contracting with the devil. In such a small town, the town folks are quick to notice changes and sometimes try to exploit their neighbors or friends for their personal interests. However by being conforming to Salem’s societal standards, it ensures your safety because one
The events that took place in Salem in 1692 are parts of a pattern throughout history. The role of religion, the want of attention from young girls, and different classes from the community caused a mass hysteria of witchcraft going on in the community causing the persecution of innocent people, especially women, as witches.