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Salem Witch Trials Essay

1312 words - 6 pages

The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials were a series of court hearings and prosecutions of people accused of performing witchcraft and other supernatural abilities in colonial Massachusetts. These occurred between February 1692 and May 1693. Although they are referred to as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings were done in various towns: Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover, and Salem Town. These trials had a lasting effect on a multitude of things in the formation of the United States of America and its colonies. The trials brought about warnings of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, and profiling based off of social class. Thanks to these trials, America ...view middle of the document...

Instead of going towards a reasonable response, they automatically go towards any answer that just seems okay. They are not used to cultural norms and what now may be accepted and what may not be, and since they were out in the middle of nowhere, nobody could stop them. Eventually it goes to tell that the slave was arrested (along with two other women who were assumed to be witches because one had drinking parties and the other had been married three times) and were put on trial for the “horrible crime of Witchcraft”. This isolationism lead to eventually make the United States realize that you cannot leave a town alone because then they would have no idea what is going on. You need communication with everyone to help maintain a healthy and strong community.
Religious extremism most likely had the biggest effects on the trial being that they were the basis of most accusations. Massachusetts’s government was dominated by conservative Puritan secular leaders. Specifically in Salem Village, the church governed their life. Being that they were primarily Puritans, they had a strong tie associating Satan with sickness, misfortune, and anyone going against their religious beliefs. If they then associated you with Satan, they would associate you with witchcraft. They believed that witches had made a pact with Satan and that they should be punished for dealing with the devil. These religious extremities lead to the executions and prison sentences of a multitude of women, men, and children. They let their religious belief overcome them and wouldn’t even resort to common sense to deal with a fairly reasonable problem. The people also wanted to be able to feel comfortable that they had an answer to these problems, instead of leaving it unsolved completely and be worrying about it and being scared of these people. They wanted to prove themselves superior to others. In modern United States court of law, it is highly illegal to base an accusation against someone based off of supernatural and religious powers. This is wise because anyone could go out and completely make up something about someone going against the religion and get that person in trouble for being completely innocent, which is exactly what they did to the people during the Salem witch trials. These religious extremities lead to a lot of hysteria within the colony and caused much paranoia within the townsfolk. Because of these ridiculous religious extremities, it allowed the makers of the constitution to realize not to allow such supernatural constants to take part of a trial in the court of law.

People made tons of false accusations against others stating that he or she were a witch for completely preposterous reasons. These people in the cities were all under the impression that if something bad happened to anyone in the town, it was a deed done by a witch or even the devil. These false accusations lead to much chaos in...

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