Salem Witch Trials

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The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were a series of trials in which twenty-four people were killed after being accused of practicing witchcraft. These trials were caused by different social climates of the area including the very strong lack of a governor, the split between Salem Village and Salem Town, and the strict puritan lifestyle during the time period. Tituba, the black slave, was a foreigner from Barbados. Her role in society was to take care of Mr. Parris’s family. Tituba’s situation contributed to her role in the witch trials because Mr. Parris promised her freedom if she confessed guilty. Tituba also realized that with her false confession of being a witch also helped keep her life, therefore she accused other people in the village to keep her confession legitimate. However, the ultimate cause of the witch trials was due to the extremely strict puritan lifestyle of the time.

One contributing factor that was responsible for the social climate of the witch trials was the towns lacking of a governor. Salem lacking a governor gave them no authority figure, leading to chaos. Since Massachusetts was still under the rule of Great Britain, they had to send over any government officials over to America from Britain. While the colony was waiting for their new governor to arrive, the witch trials took place and “By the time the new governor, William Phips, arrived in Massachusetts, the jails were already filed with alleged witches” (Life in Salem 1692, par. 2). This proves that the fact that Salem was without a governor for a majority of the witch trials was a contributing factor to the social climate because, without an official authority figure, the trials had no real justice to them. If a governor was present during the time of the witch trials, it’s possible that things would have been different in regards to the outcome of deaths due to false accusations. A second contributing factor to the social climate was the split between Salem Town and Salem Village....
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