Salem Witch Hysteria Dbq

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Twenty people died from accusations of witchcraft in early Colonial America. All of these accusations must have been false, since witchcraft is humanly impossible. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were caused because of poor social relations between the citizens, the unstable mental conditions of the colonists, and religious beliefs in the Salem village. Poor social relations between the residents played into their thoughts about witches among the crowd. If a Salem girl wanted to “stir the pot,” the girl could simply start a rumor or pass on an existing rumor about another woman in the community. The senselessness and ignorance of the community was the only reason the girls continued to pass along these rumors. The younger population was very jealous of the older generations, who had successful marriages. Of the 134 accusations made against the Salem populous, 110 of the accusations were made against females. Also, 61 of the 110 were against married women (Doc E). In addition, of the 34 accusers, 29 of the accusers were female. 23 of those 29 women were single (Doc E). Salem residents also thought bewitchment was hereditary. The community put only 22 people to death in the summer of 1692. 4 of the people that were put to death were related to another person in the trials. Alice and Mary Parker were both hung on September 22nd (Doc B). Giles and Martha Cory were also put to death within that same week (Doc B). In addition, the unstable mental state of the accusers was cause to more accusations. Ergot, a parasitic fungus that grows on the established New England crop rye, has ten percent of the active ingredients in LSD, giving it harsh hallucinogenic effects (Doc N). This caused different states of insanity. Epidemic records showed that females were more susceptible to the ergot poisoning than men were. This was cause to the numerous accusations made by females in 1692. Ergot poisoning, or Ergotism for short, is characterized by a number...
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