What Caused the Salem Witch Trials Hysteria?

Topics: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem, Massachusetts Pages: 2 (785 words) Published: September 23, 2014

The salem witch trials hysteria of 1692 was caused by the Puritans strict religious standards and intolerance of anything not accepted with their scripture. The largest account of witch trials as well as deaths by witch trials occurred in Salem, a village heavily populated with the Puritans. Because most of the trials were occurring in Salem, this meant that the accusations were happening among the Puritans themselves, which could very well be anything as long as the Puritans found it as contradicting their bible. Not only did the strict religion intolerance fuel the accusations and trials, but also the possible factor of ergot being involved which has been known to cause symptoms leading to hysteria. The Puritans were a very closely knit group of followers that portrayed themselves as the destined religion, as suggested by Cotton Mather of document C as he implies that evil is everywhere, and it is the Puritans duty as good followers to destroy that evil. Due to the upbringing of the Puritans revolving around their bible, they relied solely to it for guidance and followed what it preached to the word. In document A, we are presented with an exact line from the Puritans book (King James Bible) in Exodus 22:18, which states “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” or simply put, no witch is to be allowed to live. As believers the Puritans must follow what is in their bible, so any accusation of a witch was treated very seriously. Most of time however there was no way to prove innocence of being a witch, so death was likely to follow. The Puritans could not spare someone who had already been accused however, because if it there is a chance that the accused is indeed a ‘witch’, then they would be going against their scripture by releasing that evil. Another thing to note about the Puritans during the Salem witch trials is that they became even more isolated due to the hunting they did. According to document I and J, the Puirtans were mainly gathered in one...
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