Salem Witch Trials

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Salem Witchcraft Trials

1. In order to make sense of Ann Foster’s testimony we must look at events that were occurring at this time. The prosecution of Witchcraft had been relatively new in America but massive witch hunts had been going on for centuries in England, Italy, Germany, and France. During this time, English Rulers King William and Mary began a War with France in American colonies. The war created strain on Salem’s resources and rivalry between families with ties to wealth of the port and those who still depended on agriculture. Controversy occurred over Reverend Samuel Parris, who became Salem Village’s first ordained minister. Parris' difficulties began at once. He was at odds with his parishioners over salary, his parsonage, church rates, and almost over all matters pertaining to the conduct of his office. This led to bitterness in the community. Apart from church affairs, there were also many disputes as to land rights, and personal animosities became widespread. All this would eventually lead to an emotional breakdown. Many Puritans and Christians villagers believed all the quarreling was the work of the devil. The Puritans were religious group chartered by King Charles. Their desire was to create a new perfect society based on principles of the Bible. They believed witches existed and, that Satin and his forces were very real. They also believed that in an “invisible world” which there was supernatural forces, we just couldn’t see them. In this world there was a God and his angels and a Devil and his demons. Christians and Catholics also believed in witches and the devil. They felt the devil was looking to have an effect of evil on the godly community and it was their jobs to fight him. In 1688, Ann Glover, a Roman Catholic housekeeper for the Goodwin family in Boston, was accused of witchcraft by the Goodwins' daughter Martha. Martha and several siblings had exhibited strange behavior such as fits, flapping of hands, animal-like...
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