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Essay: The Salem Witchcraft Trials

Salem Witch Trials Essay

❶Salem Witch Trials — An infamous episode in American history, the Salem witch trials of resulted in the execution by hanging of fourteen women and five men accused of being witches.

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According to Boyer and Nissenbaum, there were many worldly reasons for the events that happened so many years ago. In this essay, the authors make their findings based on scientific analysis and much historical research. Paul Boyer and Stephen argued that the Salem Witchcraft Trials took place because of the separation of the east and west, the choosing of the ministers of the church, and the agricultural and merchant interests.

The whole trial episode seems to have come down to the fact that one side of the village accused the other side. As the community grew farther away from the original settlement people began to want their own village. The western part of the village commenced to try to break away and form their own town. This is well illustrated in the map that which Boyer and Nissenbaum drew up. The map showed the location of the accusers and the accused.

Another major reason the Salem Trials took place was the choosing of a minister for the new village. James Bayley was the first selection of the house but had to be relieved after complaints were heard. George Burroughs relieved James Bayley in but had to leave after other numerous problems. The aftermath of the witch trials is a rich essay topic, for Salem and the surrounding lands took a hard hit in several ways.

Crop failures, epidemics and political changes interrupted life around the village. Many villagers were left without a home and without money, due to being forced to pay large sums of money to get their loved ones out of prison. No one has been executed as a convicted witch in America since the trials, as that age marked the end of the religious witch hunts. Holocaust Research Paper Topics. Political System of Europeans in the s. Essay Topics on the Salem Witch Trials.

Accessed 14 September Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. Soon, anyone who was called a witch was jailed, whether it was a man, woman, child, or adult.

Everyone jumped at the mention of a witch, afraid that they would be the next person to become a possessed victim of their mysterious black magic. The villagers went from the four-year-old girl to seventy-one-year-old Rebecca Nurse followed by forty-seven-year-old Elizabeth Proctor.

At this point, anyone who was a family member of an accused witch was most likely to wind up in jail also. Next, John Proctor became the first male to be charged for being a witch because he stood by his belief that his wife was innocent and spoke out against the court. The Salem Witchcraft Trials were completely outrageous, convicting women with no solid evidence other than a villager saying that they themselves had seen the person practicing black magic.

No one in the court bothered to think that the witnesses could be lying and presenting false testimonies. After John Proctor a long list of alleged witches followed. Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyce, sisters of Rebecca Nurse who had expressed their negative feelings about the trials were locked up in jail.

The most shocking was the arrest of George Burroughs, the onetime pastor of Salem Village church. While accusations were occurring as routine events for the people of Salem, some came to think that perhaps this outbreak was not related to witchcraft after all. A few in the village had doubted the validity of the trials from the beginning, and as time went on they felt more confident and sure that their beliefs were true.

Most ministers of Salem warned the government against accepting these testimonies from the very start of the trials. They said the spirits the girls saw could be just hallucinations resulting from their sickness, or they could be the Devil in disguise, but the government officials simply ignored them. Justice Nathanial Saltonstall also apparently disagreed with the ways of the court because he resigned from his position after the first witchcraft trial.

Chief Justice Stoughton, however, thought that the evil spirits would not disguise themselves to people who were willing to cooperate with them. Now that the accusations were flying back and forth in full swing, anybody and everybody came to the court to put their two cents in. Hundreds of these local residents came into the court to help testify against crimes alleged witches had committed years, even decades, before.

Although many people volunteered to come forward and speak out against these witches, they were very concerned about maleficium, the ability of a witch to do harm to another person through supernatural means.

They were afraid that after testifying against the witch that she may put an evil spell on them. Another concern was that the possessed would be forced to sign a Satanic pact, and if they did not do so then the witches would inflict pain upon them until they did.

The number of accusations is what made the Salem case different from any other case of witchcraft. After the executions began in , officials began to deal with the problem of credibility by ignoring any accusations made against the wealthy, well-to-do members of the Salem society. At this point, close to two hundred people had been accused of witchcraft, and more than twenty-five people had died because of the trials.

The trials in themselves were a big contradiction. One form of torture was the accused would be pressed by a heavy weight until they confessed.

Giles Corey, husband of Martha Corey, was pressed to death when he refused say that he was involved with the Devil, and that he was, in fact, guilty. One form of torture, though, was even more absurd. If she came up alive everyone said she had magical powers which kept her from drowning, and then she would be executed.

If when they lifted her up she was dead then she was presumed innocent, but that was completely pointless. Either way the accused were killed. These were a few examples of preposterous tortures against the people. The credibility of these trials was challenged multiple times by many people.

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The Salem witch trials of took place in Salem, Massachusetts. Overall, people were arrested as 19 were hanged and one person crushed to death. Researchers describe the Salem witch trials as a series of court trials that were aimed at prosecuting persons who had been accused of witchcraft.

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The Salem Witch Trials - The Salem Witch Trials The witch trials of the late 's were full of controversy and uncertainty. The Puritan town of Salem was home to most of these trials, and became the center of much attention in

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Salem Witch Trials – An infamous episode in American history, the Salem witch trials of resulted in the execution by hanging of fourteen women and five men accused of being witches. An Essay on Salem Witch Trials. in Salem, Massachusetts was a time of fear, allegation, and deceit. It was the time of the Salem witch trials. Family feuds, eccentric personalities, and even keeping dolls in your home were reasons for accusations.

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Example Essays. The Salem Witch Trials, of , occurred in Salem Massachusetts. This is a case where people accused other people of witchcraft. Salem was a town governed by strict Puritan religion, and to have such a charge labeled against you could cost you your life. The Salem Witchcraft trials in Massachusetts during resulted in nineteen innocent men and women being hanged, one man pressed to death, and in the deaths.