October 3 2013
The Salem Witch Trials
In January 1692, A hysteria developed in a Salem Village located in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The beginning of the Salem Witch Trials started when two girls, Betty Parris, 9 years old and Abigail Williams, 11 years old began acting strangely. They began by having “fits” that could not be explained by the local doctor. The doctor who had no explanation for the fits or convulsion like symptoms deemed it witchcraft. This was the beginning of the hysteria that developed in the village and the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials. The people of Salem Village, who were Puritans, settled there to escape religious persecution for their beliefs. They wanted to purify their religion by getting rid of the Catholic influence. They wanted to create a sacred alliance with God and a union of church and state. This was the beginning and the founding of the Massachusetts colony. The Puritans all agreed to live according to God’s will and in return that God would grant them a divine endorsement in the New World. The settlers of Salem Village believed in witchcraft, casting spells and that people could manipulate the forces of nature. They believed that witches existed around them and that these witches were in cooperation with the Devil. It was thought that their practices represented the Devil, their way of life and that the Devil could do physical harm to them through the witches. The people that believed in witches were constantly looking for them and accusing others of witchcraft. Many people were accused of being witches because of this way of thinking. Devotion and discipline was the teaching of the Lord and if anyone acted outside of the realm then they were questioned about their conduct. People that were accused or did not follow discipline and devotion in the ways of the Lord were punished and humiliated in front of all to see.
Cited: Hill, Frances, and Karen Armstrong. A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials. New York: Da Capo, 2002. Print.
Linder, Dogulas. "The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692." The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Sept. 2009. Web. 24 Sept. 2013.
Norton, Mary Beth. In the Devil 's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. Print.
Ray, Benjamin. "Academics." Salem State University: Witchcraft Links and Resources. Virginia State University, 2002. Web. 24 Sept. 2013.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document