The Salem Witch Trials
The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 forever changed our judicial system. Twenty innocent citizens from Salem all the way to Boston, Massachusetts were killed because they were falsely accused of Witchcraft. Nineteen men and women were hung and one man was pressed to death because he would not “admit” to practicing witchcraft. A lot of these deaths were the cause of ten “afflicted girls” who accused innocent men and women, in one case even a child, of practicing witchcraft and of tormenting them. While these trials were taking place the judges and jurors would torture the accused “witches” until they would confess, once they confessed they would spare their lives and imprison. If they continued to claim to be innocent they were hung from Gallows Hill, just outside of Salem, Massachusetts, changing our judicial system forever. (Goss, 2008)
One of the first women to be accused of witchcraft in Salem was a slave of the Parris family, Tituba. She was the first to be accused and the first to confess to witchcraft after being severely beaten by Samuel Parris. Tituba was an easier target to accuse of witchcraft because she was a slave and not of much importance. After Tituba was accused, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne, who were also of low statute and accused of witchcraft, were immediately arrested, interrogated, and tortured in attempt to get them to confess to dealing with the devil. These women all tried to plea their innocence but the girls all acted out, displaying terrible behaviors such as thrashing themselves on the floor, mimicking the accused, and even screaming out in pain until the accused person would admit to witchcraft. The people of Salem were swallowed up by the impact these young girls, ages twelve to twenty, were having upon finding witches and wizards within the community. The jurors would just falsely accuse these people without any real hard evidence. The judges and jurors would sentence people to death just...
Bibliography: Blumburg, J. (2007). http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/brief-salem.html?c=y&story=fullstory. smithsonianmag.com, 1. Retrieved from www.smithsonianmag.com.
Goss, K. D. (2008). The Salem Witch Trials. In K. D. Goss, The Salem Witch Trials (pp. 1-183). Westport: Greenwood Press.
Sargent, J. (Director). (2002). The Salem Witch Trials [Motion Picture].
Wenkler, P. (n.d.). http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/media/salem-witch-trials-interactive/?ar_a=1. Retrieved from National Geographic: http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/media/salem-witch-trials-interactive/?ar_a=1
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