Preview

Analysis: The Salem Witch Trials

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
448 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Analysis: The Salem Witch Trials
Lyle Koehler argues that the Salem Witch Trials began due to witch hysteria caused by the fits of the young women being affected by witchcraft. They were given power to accuse the witches and used their power to attack their oppressing forces, such as authority figures. The act of accusing people of being witches was a scapegoat in order gain and retain power in a situation where people felt powerless. They also targeted nontraditional women as they were easier to justify. Many people were accused but, as time progressed the difference between witch and bewitched became almost unclear as multiple bewitched girls were later accused of witchcraft. However, as the accusations went from poorer and less reputable victims to people of more reputation and influence in the colonies; the women accusers seemed to had gone to far and witchcraft accusations and hangings were banned and many accused witches were let free.

Laurie Winn Carlson examines the arguments and theories of others such as: community based socio-economic problems, village factionalism, hysteria complex or Mass psychogenic illness, freudian
…show more content…
Like slaves, women did not have a say in government and were not able to own land. Those privileges were rights of white men and most often wealthy white men. Colonial women, besides not having to work harsh unpaid days were much on the political level of slaves. Also, any sort of independent act or stray from the ideal woman was unholy and put the woman at risk. This was shown by nontraditional women being an easy target for witchcraft. Another example would be Anne Hutchinson being exiled to Rhode Island. She was an intelligent and influential woman with religious views which scared the ministers and men of the Massachusetts Bay colony. They later exiled her and her followers, who were mainly women and succeeded in oppressing yet another woman going past her set role of the “ideal”

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Salem Witch Trials begin in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. It was a series of chazak using men and women practicing witchcraft with led to a lot of conflict among the people in the Village of Salem. Many people were scared because they did not want to be accused of practicing witchcraft. This event led to many Family Feud's and religious Fanatics and people constantly living in fear. Although there are many women who are on trial for practicing witchcraft are also men who were accused of witchcraft. Over 200 people were accused of Witchcraft and about 140 to 150 people were arrested. There are 19 people who are hanged and one was tortured to death. If someone is that they would have to go in front of a judge and also tried in court and it…

    • 267 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Between the months of June to September of 1692, the infamous witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts resulted in the hanging of 19 men and women; the deaths of five others, including two children, while imprisoned in jail; the pressing to death of an 80-year old man, and the stoning of two dogs for collaborating with the Devil. Hundreds of others faced accusations and dozens more were jailed for months during the progress of the trials. For over three hundred years these events have not only captured the general publics' imagination, but that of the academic community. Beginning with Charles Upham, in 1867, historians have attempted to explain the mass hysteria that swept through Salem in 1692. These accounts vary both in their interpretation of the events and the aspects focused upon. For example, according to Upham, the afflicted girls, who were the principle witnesses against the witches, had deliberately lied. Succeeding generations of historians, however, had cited mass hysteria, rigors of puritan childrearing and ergot poisoning as explanations for the afflicted girls' behaviors. Furthermore, others have minimized the girls' involvement within the proceedings, focusing instead upon the issues surrounding the trials—political and economic factors, social concerns or interpersonal relationships between the accused and their accusers. Such authors as Enders A. Robinson, The Devil Discovered, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed, and Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil's Snare, all provide compelling evidence as to why the witch hysteria erupted in Salem Village. However, no one narrative can, by itself, adequately explain why the hysteria was allowed to sweep across Salem Village and throughout Essex County virtually unchecked by the Puritan hierarchy or the royal government. In order to truly understand why these events transpired when and where they did, one must examine the witchcraft epidemic in its larger social context. It was not one…

    • 5009 Words
    • 21 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Salem Witch Trials are known as a series of people being accused and prosecuted of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts beginning in February 1692 until May 1693. The trials began after a group of girls claimed that they were possessed by the devil. Several local women were accused of witchcraft and this began the wave of hysteria that would forever haunt Salem and leave a painful legacy for a long time to come. Nearly every major school of historians has attempted to explain the answer to the mystery of the trials, trying to understand why they occurred. From Marxists who blame class conflict, to Freudians who believe in mass hysteria, the more ecologically based historians who put the blame on hallucinogenic ergot fungus, and now more…

    • 322 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Salem Witch Trial

    • 815 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Salem Witchcraft was a series of undesirable events, which was powered by paranoia and fear. Though several witch trials occurred before the Salem Witch Trial, this was the most well known of all. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft which resulted to 19 men and women that were hanged, 17 innocents that died in unsanitary prisons, and an 80-year old man that was crushed to death by putting stones on top of his stomach until he confesses (movie: The Crucible). In some accounts, it was reported that two dogs were stoned to death for cooperating with the Devil. Why did the Salem Witch trial occur? Were these trials appropriate? Or were they truly a Devil's work? The Salem Witch Trials might have occurred for a variety of reasons such as people's ignorance that led to superstitions. It might have also occurred because people's crave for power, or it might also be because of fear.…

    • 815 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Act Three Questions Directions On a separate sheet of paper, please answer each part of each question asked below. Please use complete sentences and please answer the question as asked. 1. As the act opens, who is being interrogated and on what charge Martha Corey is being interrogated by Judge Hathorne on the charge of telling fortunes (witchery). 2. What is interesting about the dialogue at the beginning of this act What was Miller trying to suggest about the tone of the legal proceedings to follow This indirect dialogue (off stage / only heard, not seen) suggests that although people will talk / be heard, the truth will not be seen / acknowledged. 3. What is Mary Warren now prepared to tell the court Mary Warren is prepared to the court that the girls have only been sporting, or pretending. They honestly have never seen or known a witch and theyve only lied to protect themselves by throwing suspicion on others. 4. What two facts about John Proctor does Ezekiel Cheever feel compelled to reveal to Danforth Ezekiel Cheever feels compelled to tell Deputy Governor Danforth that John tore up the arrest warrant for Elizabeth when Cheever served it and that Proctor sometimes plows on Sunday. 5. What compromise, or deal, does Danforth offer to Proctor What is Proctors response Why does he respond this way Because Elizabeth claims that she is pregnant, Danforth offers to not try her until after shes delivered her child if Proctor will drop the charge against the court that the proceedings have been unjust. Proctor said that he could not accept that plea because his friends wives, who are also innocent, have been charged and they need to be freed. He feels that the truth needs to come out to protect all of the innocent people. 6. How do Hathorne and Parris persuade Danforth to respond to the deposition that lists ninety-one supporters of Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Martha Corey Hathorne and Parris persuade Danforth that all of the ninety-one supporters must be…

    • 1850 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    A time of death, fear, witches, scapegoating, and bizarre miscommunications between a community all in one area Salem, Massachusetts. Accusations broke out between the populace and people in 1692. The Salem Witch Hysteria (meaning a chaotic level of fear) of 1692 began with two girls, Betty Parris, daughter of Samuel Parris, and Abigail Williams. The young cousins first accused Tituba, a West Indian brought to assist them in their fortunes. Not too long afterwards, the young girls began acting strange and absurd. They crawled under chairs, kept to themselves but, under pressure, finally confessed to be under the influence of someone else's witchcraft. They claimed Tituba and two other white women to be the cause of their pain and interesting…

    • 1031 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Salem witch trials began when the 9-year-old daughter of reverend Samuel Parris and his niece were diagnosed as being under Satan’s influence. The Salem witch trials were an inhumane and unfair series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, also four other accused and an infant child died in prison.…

    • 818 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The year 1692 marked a major event in history in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. During the year 1692, Salem, a colony filled with Puritans who believe in religion very strongly, but as their beliefs grow, the more the people were starting to die. The problem or question is what caused the Salem witch crisis hysteria of 1692? There were many causes for the Salem witch trial hysteria but the possible three main reasons were the conflicts between young and older women, the “afflicted” girls were acting throughout the trial, and the town’s differences in wealth and power.…

    • 595 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Salem witch trials were caused by jealousy, paranormia,and teenagers. Jealousy was a huge part because of the rich people having better land or have more money so people accused them to be able to own their stuff. Paranormia was a part of it because people were scared that the devil was entering their body to make them do bad things. Teenages were also part of it becsuse teeagers didn’t get a long with everyone, so when they didn’t they acted like the person was put a witchcraft spell on them. This is why the Salem witch trials in 1692…

    • 436 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Breaking the law was no joke back in colonial times. Punishment were extremely harsh. The convict will be punished by physical pain or sometimes death. Do to the poor judgment from the court's most of the accused were innocent. Even the defendants of the accused were punished, if the accused were proven guilty. One of the crimes that were taken really seriously was Witchcraft, which was punished by death. A lot of innocent women died during those year in Salem. The punishments for crime in colonial times were not fair.…

    • 520 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The belief in witchcraft, or supernatural actions and the devil’s ability to give certain humans the power to harm others, in return for their loyalty, had been a part of traditional village culture in Europe since the 14th century. (history.com) The Salem witch trials took place between 1692 and 1693 in colonial Massachusetts. Two hundred people were accused of witchcraft and twenty people were executed. (smithsonianmag.com)…

    • 74 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Overall I think the salem witch trials were caused by ergotism, growing lies and fame/jealousy. Ergotism was causing many problems throughout the colonies which eventually caused innocent men and women to be hanged. Also once the girls started lying, they could not stop because their superstition kept growing. Lastly the girls might have wanted to get famous for their work and to get rid of…

    • 635 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    Salem Witch Trial Theories

    • 2287 Words
    • 10 Pages

    The Salem Witch Trials were a series of infamous events that demand an explanation for their occurrence. The trials that took place in 1692 caused neighbors in the community of Salem Village in the colony of Massachusetts to turn on one another out of paranoia, accusing one another of witchcraft. According to Carol Karlsen, a longtime author of the subject, nineteen people were hanged and about 200 others were imprisoned (40). A few theories have been offered in order to explain the root of this mass hysteria. The theories in question need to be examined to see which holds the most credibility.…

    • 2287 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    I think that there are multiple theories for why the events of 1692 took place. Superstition is the belief in the paranormal connection. In the articles "Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive." Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. "Salem Witch Museum." Salem Witch Museum. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. "The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692." The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. William Griggs, township physician, was summoned. He insinuated that the girls' ailments might have a supernatural source. His analysis was that the girls were bewitched. The people of Salem had a strong faith in the devil, groups among Salem Village partisans and opposition with a nearby Salem Town, a recent small pox epidemic and the intimidation…

    • 330 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    “About 139 people have been falsely accused in 2014, and the numbers have increased since,” according to the Huffington Post. When people are thrown into jail, their lives change and they become a different person; additionally, the ones around them also see them differently. Of the many falsely accused people, Brian Banks was a victim of a modern day witch-hunt that changed his life.…

    • 666 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays