The cause of the salem witch crisis of 1692

However, there is little evidence to support any theory, and consequently historians are forced to rely heavily on speculation.

The cause of the salem witch crisis of 1692

Other girls and young women began experiencing fits, among them Ann Putnam, Jr. The publication A Tryal of Witches , related to the Bury St Edmunds witch trial , was used by the magistrates at Salem when looking for a precedent in allowing spectral evidence. Since then, the events of the Salem witch trials have fascinated and perplexed scholars like few other episodes in American history. The girls started acting strangely: throwing fits, shouting, twitching and barking for no apparent reason. The Salem witch trials have been the subject of dispute among historians for many years. Not everyone agrees with this theory though. The role of womanhood and gender in the witch trials poses another question: was it a coincidence that out of the 19 people, who were sentenced to death 14 were women? Some scholars believe that they were of African heritage, while others think that they may have been of Caribbean Native American heritage. And she was afterward followed with diabolical molestation to her death; and so died a single person. Indian warfare and the uncertainties related to the arrival of a new charter and new Governor in the two years before the witchhunt also added to the level of social stress. But due to the strong belief in the occult, the villagers were inclined to the most improbable explanations. There is little doubt that some individuals did worship the devil and attempt to practice sorcery with harmful intent. Lydia Dustin died in jail on March 10, Scientist Linnda Caporael counters by arguing that no eyewitness accounts present fraud as a possibility—and most New Englanders attributed their condition to demonic possession.

Boredom One theory claims that it all started because the girls in the village were bored. All were found not guilty. To escape punishment, the girls pretended to be possessed and accused others, including Tituba, of witchcraft.

salem witch trials timeline

Grand juries were held for many of those remaining in jail. We use cookies to personalize content and ads and to analyze traffic on our website. The girls started acting strangely: throwing fits, shouting, twitching and barking for no apparent reason.

Economic and physiological causes aside, the Salem witchcraft trials continue to act as a parable of caution against extremism in judicial processes. They tended to reach for the Bible for answer in everyday questions of life.

salem witch trials primary sources
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A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials