The Salem Witch Trials History Essay


The Salem witch studies of 1692 occurred in Salem, Massachusetts. Overall, 141 people were imprisoned as 19 were hanged and one individual crushed to loss of life. Researchers illustrate the Salem witch tests as some court trials which were aimed at prosecuting persons who had been accused of witchcraft. The trials occurred between 1692 and 1693.

Prior hearings of the Salem witch trials were completed in several different cities. The major trial was conducted by the Courtroom of Oyer and Terminer located in Salem town. Several individuals were rounded up and charged with witchcraft. Some of those arrested passed away in prison. Of the accused, 14 women and 5 men were hanged.

There were concerns about religious extremists as many critics recognized witchcraft as being counterproductive. Many problems within the world were attributed to the witches living in the city of Salem. During their arrest, the majority of them were found with things thought to be used to propagate their activities.

Causes of the trials

There were about 600 residents in Salem town that conflicted with one group arguing that they had the to remain in the town as farming individuals and the other to settle on the eastern area of the rich suburban town of Salem. The thriving current economic climate of Salem town that was mainly a farming community made it to be perceived as being individualistic.

The individualism was clashing with the communal nature of Puritanism. The Putnams noticed that the top farming households were completely isolated from all of those other town and amassed a huge quantity of wealth. The Putnams were recognized leaders of your separatist group. This separatist group had most of the farming land in Salem community. The Putnams thought the necessity to form a congregation that could indeed unite them within Salem. In 1689, the religious congregation was created under the business lead of Reverend Parris.

This spiritual congregation only displayed a small group of the populace in Salem as the majority of the customers were Putnams. Two factions experienced surfaced within the spiritual congregation. These factions were in essence divided based on the deal under which Reverend Parris was employed to carry out the church affairs.

Ministers in the religious groups at the time were often granted a lot of fringe advantages to go along with their heavy earnings, such as free residences and use of firewood. It really is thought that Reverend Parris received this and much more, hence creating questions as to why he had been accorded such kind of treatment. Reverend Parris salary was paid by the neighborhood tax payers. Critics who didn't support this, often mumbled in silence hence creating and deepening the already existing crevice with the religious organization in which Reverend Parris was the key leader.

Most Puritans believed in witchcraft as the foundation of power to harm others. They further thought that the witchcraft was going into collaboration with the devil in trade for certain bad powers in order to propagate their evil activities. Therefore, the spiritual sect who lived in the same town of Salem was against witchcraft as they considered it as a sin. Additionally it is believed that most Puritans were up against the Church of Britain and opposed the majority of their doctrines. Because of this, enmity was made between your Puritans and the Church of England at the time. This culminated into repeated conflicts between the Puritans and the church customers who often level accuses against one another. The puritans didn't buy any of the traditions that the chapel was conducted.

It was this spiritual separate that fueled the Salem witchcraft trial of 1692 that resulted in the getting rid of of several witches within the town, most of who have been Puritans.

There was a huge political divide in Salem between your English settlers in the east and their competitors who were large farming family members. They made several episodes on each other with considerable casualties being reported. In 1692 when the new Governor was elected, he previously many issues to settle. He initiated the commission rate of special courtroom known as the court of Oyer and Terminer that was charged with the duty of controlling the increasing amount of people who had been accused at that time.

Farming was often the key cause of dispute between neighborhood friends and young families. As individuals grew in proportions, so do their farming land. A lot of the farming land pressed forward into the wild, thus triggering pressure to the issue that was already brewing. Drought or change in weather could easily get rid of a year's crop without much factor. This led to tension. Religious anxiety made this worse as much Puritans thought that God acquired advanced his wrath on man due to his sinful character. This notion made many people fear the actions of these who have been against God. Therefore, many religious groups like the Church of England advocated for the removal of witches from the Salem contemporary society in order to take pleasure from a good bumper harvest and experience rainfall.

Moreover, the communal position that the Puritans accorded to the women did not help much as the women were thought to be devil's servants. The Puritans' understanding about women increased the tension that acquired already built within the community leading to conflict in values, one of the foundations that the Salem tests were based upon.

Children were discouraged from playing and generally living a cultural life one of the Puritans. They were the least respected. Similarly, women were limited from sociable groupings and activities in the fact that they would be utilized by the devil at a tender years. Women were generally not allowed to possess land and in most cases land reverted to the prior owner if the man perished. Witch-hunting became a sport and an everyday norm on the list of Puritans to be able to obtain property. The effects of this on the population were far reaching.

Preconceived ideas of witches

There were several preconceived ideas about withes in the Salem community. Most people assumed that witches were the primary cause of crop failing and drought. This was because, witches often performed certain serves which could reverse the type of environment change and create rain. The Puritans were revered because of their activities concerning witch-hunting. Witches were thus believed to poses the energy to ill other folks and even make their lives difficult.

Furthermore, there was a wide notion that the witches were often in contact with the devil and may order any kind of destruction after their targets with impunity. Actually, most of the illness and attacks through the 17th century were related to the forces of the witches.

In addition, witches were believed to be anti-Christian in mother nature since they produced their power from the devil and destroyed other's lives. The Salem population assumed that witches should be wiped out. Therefore, the offence of witchcraft taken the death word automatically and without the option of appealing.

Analysis of the accusers and their motivations of focusing on certain people

Most of the accusers of witches were mainly the religious organizations which indeed were against the activities of the witches in Salem through the 17th century. The Puritans were increasingly becoming ambitious and threatened the very existence of humanity due to their social beliefs about women and children. In addition, the Puritans were resistant to the traditions practiced by the chapel. The witches often laid accusations after the church's carry out hence creating pressure whenever they were lighted within the Salem town.

In addition, most of the large farming households also accused the witches of crop failing and drought. The powers of the witches were believed to cause deaths in children and livestock. Farming was the primary economical activity that the people of Salem employed. Therefore, it farming failed then life became eventually very difficult to them considering that they often times had very large families.

Reverend Parris who was simply a cathedral minister was also an accuser of the witches. His child and niece experienced epileptic fits which were beyond any normal understanding. Following this, three witches were caught and arraigned in judge to be incurred with inflicting such bad upon the kids. The imprisoned individuals were Puritans and were priced with witchcraft.

On February 1692, Betty Parris, the girl of the leader of the spiritual covenant organization, became strangely sick. Critics were quick to indicate that was due to witchcraft that were directed into the minister's home. What made the belief worse was the actual fact that Reverend Parris' cousin and niece also dropped strangely ill.

Strange disease were often attributed to witchcraft and the accusers who were often family members cannot compel with the theory that weird diseases were therefore of a combination of stress, injury and other physiological triggers. These odd diseases mainly attacked children. There is a wide idea that witches often targeted children since they were susceptible to the witches' activities. This made witches to be accused of any bizarre disease like symptoms as most households ignored the analysis of the doctors.

This was fueled by the peculiar disease that was exhibited by Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis and Mary Walcott all who were juveniles. The remedy to the weird behavior had not been understood as the kids continued to wriggle on the floor suffering from this unusual disease.

The accusers were mainly determined by the necessity to curb bad within the Salem community by stopping the witches from getting rid of and depressing people in the population. For instance, women and children were accorded the cheapest social school in the Salem community among the list of Puritans. This was seen as a counter-development move and was thus fought by the higher farming community as well as the religious Christian world.

When the reverend's child and niece, Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams fell ill, these were taken to medical center. Because the doctor could not establish anything in physical form wrong with the girls, it was concluded that that they had been bewitched. Tituba, an Indian witch was accused of bewitching both girls. This found a number of several other witches arrested in 1691with many people condemning witchcraft.

Analysis of the accused

The accused witches were mostly Puritans. Trouble started out when Cloyce and Proctor were imprisoned. These individuals were people of the covenanted chapel. After days and nights of interrogation and research, more arrests were made and the suspects arraigned in court docket to be priced with witchcraft. The majority of those who had been named went into covering for concern with being imprisoned and priced in courtroom.

The prosecutor found the demonstration of evidence to be most challenging since facts in such cases was merely imaginary. The Judge of Oyer and Terminer was responsible for prosecuting and charging the witches. The judge convened on June 2, 1692 where Bridget Bishop's circumstance was been told first. The grand jury indeed recognized all the charges made against her. Several other witches who were caught and totaled 150 were billed before the Judge of Oyer and Terminer with witchcraft. Only one accused who refused to enter into a plea was smashed to fatality using stones. The Courtroom of Oyer and Terminer completed all formal prosecutions of witchcraft. About 36 people were imprisoned on July 2, 1692 following a convening of the new Governor, Chief Magistrate and Crown's lawyer. Local magistrate presided in the cases where they caught, examined and recharged the witches based on the law.

The accused were often people who maintained a higher social position within the Salem environment. They were people who were revered and feared for their evil powers. Most of them lived in eastern Salem. The witches of Salem acquired amassed massive wealth scheduled to witch-hunting. They had been accused at one time of getting rid of innocent people for the benefit of their riches.


The Salem witch trials were hence consequently of the values that the witches kept within the Salem modern culture. The witches were also accused of causing strange diseases among children. Lots of the Salem witches were often prosperous people who appreciated a high social status within the city. Moreover, they were located on the eastern side of the Salem town just next to the farming communities in the Salem town.

The Salem trials resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of over 150 people, 19 of whom were hanged and one smashed to death. These trials were the most questionable in the history of Salem. The trials were done in such haste in order to clear the top backlog of conditions pertaining to witches in the Courtroom of Oyer and Terminer.

Concerns about witchcraft were often muffled under the pillow until when Elizabeth Parris became strangely sick. She was the princess of the Reverend Parris, leader of the religious church. Abigail Williams, a niece to the reverend also dropped strangely sick. Tituba, the Indian witch was accused of bewitching the girls. Critics of the trial of Salem suggest that witchcraft should be death with witchcraft rather than convicting of witchcraft and sentenced to fatality.


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