① Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials

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Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials



Hidden Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials Webarchive template wayback links Articles with Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials description Short description matches Wikidata All articles with Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials statements Articles with unsourced statements from July Words: - Pages: 2. In late MarchJohn and Bethia Kelly grieved over the body of their 8-year-old daughter Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials their Hartford, Connecticut, home. During this time there was Authentic Mexican Food a lot of chaos going on in Salem when some girls started accusing innocent people of Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials witches and being responsible for Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials the trouble that was going on the town. All in all, the cause of the Salem Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials Trials was the attempt of Salem citizens to either defend or create family. Is this a homework question? Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials suffered crop failure and many Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials obstacles that were out Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials their control. I love Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials site! Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials you Comparing Pill Bags And Sow Bodies blame Danforth Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials his terrible judgement or even Hale for his false accusations of witchcraft Chemical Reactions Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials Abigail is to Witchcraft Theory: The Salem Witch Trials for the events that unfolded in Salem.

What really happened during the Salem Witch Trials - Brian A. Pavlac

One of the many issues that divided the villagers was who should be the Salem Village minister. Salem Village had gone through three ministers in sixteen years, due to disputes over who was deemed qualified enough to have the position, and at the time of the trials they were arguing about the current minister Samuel Parris. Rivalries between different families in Salem had also begun to sprout up in the town as did land disputes and other disagreements which was all coupled with the fact that many colonists were also uneasy because the Massachusetts Bay Colony had its charter revoked and then replaced in with a new charter that gave the crown much more control over the colony.

In their book Salem Possessed, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum attribute the witch trials to this political, economic, and religious discord in Salem Village:. Boyer and Nissenbaum go on to provide examples, such as the fact that Daniel Andrew and Philip English were accused shortly after they defeated one of the Putnams in an election for Salem Town selectmen. They also point out that Rebecca Nurse was accused shortly after her husband, Francis, became a member of a village committee that took office in October of that was vehemently against Salem Village minister Samuel Parris, whom the Putnams were supporters of.

Charles Upham suggested this as a major cause and Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum have provided a brilliant analysis of the Salem community to support that argument. Indian warfare and the uncertainties related to the arrival of a new charter and new Governor in the two years before the witchhunt also added to the level of social stress. But other towns in frontier Massachusetts that experienced the same socio-economic-political difficulties did not spark a similar witchscare. Several communities suffering from less stress did suffer from contact with Salem as the witchscare virus spread. This contagion too was a unique aspect of the episode. Baker suggests though that fraud may have been a bigger problem in the witch trials than we realize:. Not surprisingly, there is no agreement on the answer.

Most historians acknowledge that some fakery took place at Salem. A close reading of the surviving court records and related documents suggests that more fraud took place than many cared to admit after the trials ended. In Charles W. Many of the accused also stated that they believed that the afflicted girls were lying or only pretending to be ill. One of the accused, John Alden, later gave an account of his trial during which he described a moment that he believed to reveal fraud:.

The magistrates demanded of them several times, who it was of all the people in the room that hurt them? One of these accusers pointed several times at one Captain Hill, there present, but spake nothing; the same accuser had a man standing at her back to hold her up; he stooped down to her ear, then she cried out. Aldin, Aldin afflicted her; one of the magistrates asked her if she had ever seen Aldin, she answered no, he asked her how she knew it was Aldin?

She said, the man told her so. After the girl made this claim though, a young man stood up in the court and explained that the knife was actually his and that he broke it himself the day before, according Winfield S. Nevins in his book Witchcraft in Salem Village in He produced the remaining part of the knife. It was then apparent that the girl had picked up the point which he threw and put it in the bosom of her dress, whence she drew it to corroborate her statement that some one had stabbed her.

She had deliberately falsified, and used the knife-point to reinforce the falsehood. If she was false in this statement, why not all of it? If one girl falsified, how do we know whom to believe? Bernard Rosenthal also points out in his book, Salem Story, several incidents where the afflicted girls appeared to be lying or faking their symptoms, such as when both Ann Putnam and Abigail Williams claimed George Jacobs was sticking them with pins and then presented pins as evidence or when both girls testified that they were together when they saw the apparition of Mary Easty, which makes it unlikely that the vision was a result of a hallucination or psychological disorder since they both claimed to have seen it at the same time.

Witch Pins, Court House, Salem. Photo published in New England Magazine, vol. Another example is various instances when the afflicted girls hands were found to be tied with rope while in court or when they were sometimes found bound and tied to hooks, according to Rosenthal:. Not only did some of the villagers believe the afflicted girls were lying, but they also felt that the Salem village minister, Reverend Samuel Parris , lied during the trials in order to punish his dissenters and critics. Some historians have also blamed Reverend Samuel Parris for the witch trials, claiming he was the one who suggested to the Salem villagers that there were witches in Salem during a series of foreboding sermons in the winter of , according to Samuel P.

Fowler in his book An Account of the Life of Rev. Samuel Parris:. Parris at Salem Village, it being one of the causes, which led to the most bitter parochial quarrel, that ever existed in New-England, and in the opinion of some persons, was the chief or primary cause of that world-wide famous delusion, the Salem Witchcraft. The Salem witch trials proved to be one of the most cruel and fear driven events to ever occur in history. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, and while some got out of the situation alive not everyone was as lucky.

Arthur Miller the author of The Crucible conveys this horrific event in his book and demonstrates what fear can lead people to do. But the reason as to why Arthur Miller felt the need to write The Crucible in the first place was because the unfortunate reality that history seemed to have repeated itself again. The father noticed his little girls were acting weird. Crawling on the floor making messes, and speaking weird languages. Their explanation… The Salem Witchcraft Trials of was a big part of Massachusetts history.

What caused the Salem Witchcraft Trials? In Salem, Massachusetts, Puritans were strong believers in the Bible. One cause of the Salem witch trial hysteria was jealousy. For instance, many of the accused were important members of the community with moderate wealth. If they were convicted, the law stated the accuser would receive their property so identifying them as a witch would be beneficial to them. Another considered though unrealistic theory was the result of centuries of pent up sexual repression and tension caused them to snap and go after witches who were considered to be promiscuous.

Some Historians believe wealth, difference in religious preferences, family feuds, and property disagreements were the basis. Out of all the characters in the book, there are many that contributed to the hysteria of the witch trials, however, of these characters Abigail Williams contributed the most. In the beginning of the play, we see Abigail and a collection of other girls dancing and making a charm in the woods. Abigail made this charm in order to kill Mr. Proctor 's wife. If Abigail wasn 't so crazy in love with John this scene in the woods probably wouldn 't have taken place. What caused the panic and alarm that lead to the death of twenty people in Salem?

If the accused was indicted, they were not allowed a lawyer and they had to decide to plead guilty or not guilty with no legal counsel to guide them. Another interesting fact about the witch trials is not everyone in Salem actually believed in witchcraft or supported the trials. There were many critics of the witch hunt, such as a local farmer John Proctor, who scoffed at the idea of witchcraft in Salem and called the young girls scam artists.

Critics such as Proctor were quickly accused of witchcraft themselves, under the assumption that anyone who denied the existence of witches or defended the accused must be one of them, and were brought to trial. The trials were held in the Salem courthouse, which was located in the center of Washington Street about feet south of Lynde Street, opposite of where the Masonic Temple now stands. The courthouse was torn down in but a plaque dedicated to the courthouse can still be seen today on the wall of the Masonic Temple on Washington Street.

Bridget Bishop was the first person brought to trial. Bishop had been accused of witchcraft years before but was cleared of the crime. Bridget Bishop was convicted at the end of her trial and sentenced to death. Five more people were hanged in July, one of which was Rebecca Nurse. Although many of the other accused women were unpopular social outcasts, Nurse was a pious, well-respected and well-loved member of the community. When Nurse was first arrested, many members of the community signed a petition asking for her release. Her initial verdict was, in fact, not guilty, but upon hearing the verdict the afflicted girls began to have fits in the courtroom. Judge Stoughton asked the jury to reconsider their verdict. A week later, the jury changed their minds and declared Nurse guilty.

On July 23, John Proctor wrote to the clergy in Boston. He knew the clergy did not fully approve of the witch hunts. Proctor told them about the torture inflicted on the accused and asked that the trials be moved to Boston where he felt he would get a fair trial. The clergy later held a meeting, on August 1, to discuss the trials but were not able to help Proctor before his execution. Another notable person who was accused of witchcraft was Captain John Alden Jr. Alden was accused of witchcraft by a child during a trip to Salem while he was on his way home to Boston from Canada.

Alden spent 15 weeks in jail before friends helped break him out and he escaped to New York. He was later exonerated. Yet another crucial moment during the Salem Witch Trials was the public torture and death of Giles Corey. English law at the time dictated that anyone who refused to enter a plea could be tortured in an attempt to force a plea out of them. The torture consisted of laying the prisoner on the ground, naked, with a board placed on top of him.

Heavy stones were loaded onto the board and the weight was gradually increased until the prison either entered a plea or died. In mid-September, Corey was tortured this way for three days in a field near Howard Street until he finally died on September His death was gruesome and cruel and strengthened the growing opposition to the Salem Witch Trials. As the trials and executions continued, colonists began to doubt that so many people could actually be guilty of this crime.

They feared many innocent people were being executed. Local clergymen began speaking out against the witch hunt and tried to persuade officials to stop the trials. Around the end of September, the use of spectral evidence was finally declared inadmissible, thus marking the beginning of the end of the Salem Witch Trials. On September 22, eight people were hanged. These were the last hangings of the Salem Witch Trials. The 52 remaining people in jail were tried in a new court, the Superior Court of Judicature, the following winter. Now that spectral evidence was not allowed, most of the remaining prisoners were found not guilty or released due to a lack of real evidence.

Those who were found guilty were pardoned by Governor Phips. The governor released the last few prisoners the following May. The others were either found guilty but pardoned, found not guilty, were never indicted or simply evaded arrest or escaped from jail. Refused to enter a plea and tortured to death: Giles Corey September 19th, Escaped from Prison: John Alden Jr. Edward Bishop Jr. Other victims include two dogs who were shot or killed after being suspected of witchcraft.

The fact is, no accused witches were burned at the stake in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem was ruled by English law at the time, which only allowed death by burning to be used against men who committed high treason and only after they had been hanged, quartered and drawn. As for why these victims were targeted in the first place, historians have noted that many of the accused were wealthy and held different religious beliefs than their accusers. This, coupled with the fact that the accused also had their estates confiscated if they were convicted has led many historians to believe that religious feuds and property disputes played a big part in the witch trials.

Daily chores, business matters and other activities were neglected during the chaos of the witch trials, causing many problems in the colony for years to come, according to the book The Witchcraft of Salem Village:. The people had been so determined upon hunting out and destroying witches that they had neglected everything else. Planting, cultivating, the care of houses, barns, roads, fences, were all forgotten. As a direct result, food became scarce and taxes higher. Farms were mortgaged or sold, first to pay prison fees, then to pay taxes; frequently they were abandoned. Salem Village began that slow decay which eventually erased its houses and walls, but never its name and memory.

As the years went by, the colonists felt ashamed and remorseful for what had happened during the Salem Witch Trials. Since the witch trials ended, the colony also began to suffer many misfortunes such as droughts, crop failures, smallpox outbreaks and Native-American attacks and many began to wonder if God was punishing them for their mistake. On December 17, , Governor Stoughton issued a proclamation in hopes of making amends with God.

The proclamation suggested that there should be:. The day of prayer and fasting was held on January 15, , and was known as the Day of Official Humiliation. In , afflicted girl Ann Putnam, Jr. Her apology states:. And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing of Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters, I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humbled for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offence, whose relations were taken away or accused.

Since some families of the victims did not want their family member listed, not every victim was named. At the announcement ceremony, playwright Arthur Miller made a speech and read from the last act of his play, The Crucible, which was inspired by the Salem Witch Trials. On October 31, , the state amended the apology and cleared the names of the remaining unnamed victims, stating:. Everything we know now about the trials comes from just a handful of primary sources of the Salem Witch Trials.

In addition to official court records there are also several books written by the ministers and other people involved in the trials:. Sources: Upham, Charles W. Wiggin and Lunt, Crewe, Sabrina and Michael V. The Salem Witch Trials. Morrisiana, Jackson, Shirley. The Witchcraft of Salem Village. Random House, Fowler, Samuel Page. Samuel Parris of Salem Village.

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