Salem Witch Trials The Search For Causes - Essay - eNotes

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What Caused the Salem Witch Trials Hysteria? Essay …

What happened to the afflicted girls is not widely known. Surviving information regardingthem has provided only small details as to what happened to them after the Salem witchtrials. Ann Putnam, Jr. raised her brothers and sisters when her parents died two weeksapart from each other. In August 1706, she asked the congregation of her church forforgiveness. The pastor read her prepared statement to the congregation.

I desire to be humbled before God. It was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me inthat sad time. I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill will...I desire to lie in the dustand earnestly beg forgiveness of all those I have given just cause of sorrow and offense,and whose relations were taken away and accused.
She later died unmarried and was buried with her parents in an unmarked grave. Whatever the future held for the afflicted girls, they undoubtedly never forgot theirinvolvement with the witch trials.

Causes of Salem Witch Trials essays

Causes of The Salem Witch Craft Trials Essay

George Burroughs’ flawless recitation did little in impeding the witch trials. The trialscontinued with Giles Corey’s scheduled for mid-September of 1692. However, he refusedto answer the questions asked by the court. Due to his refusal, the court exercised its legal right and ordered the sheriffto pile rocks upon him until he co-operated. He was taken to a field near the SalemMeetinghouse, his hands and legs were bound, and heavy rocks were piled upon his chest. Even with the increasing weight, he refused to answer the court’s questions. "Moreweight." would be his response to the court’s inquiries. On September 19, 1692, aftertwo days of induring the increasing weight, Giles Corey was crushed to death. Why Giles Corey refused to answer the court's questions and suffer this slow death instead is not clear. Some historians feel that he wanted to protect his property for heirs. Since witchcraft wasa capital offense, his property could be sequestered to the government if he was foundguilty. Unfortunately, this does not explain why John Proctor and he both made willsbefore their deaths; neither would have any property to leave because it could be securedby the government. Due to this action by the two men, other historians argue that GilesCorey was not acting on behalf of his heirs by refusing to stand trial. Rather, he chose thisfate to serve as a protest against the witch trials and the methods of the court. Whateverhis reason, Giles Corey chose death over standing trial for witchcraft.

Causes of Salem Witch Trials essaysWhat caused the Salem witch trials of 1692

The aftermath of the Salem witch trials was severe. Even with the witch trials over, manywere still in jail because they could not pay for their release. The law stipulated thatprisoners had to pay for their food and board before being released. Unless the prisonersor someone else could pay for these expenses, they could not be freed. Additionally, thosewho were convicted of witchcraft had their property confiscated by the government. Thisleft their families without money and, in some cases, a home.

Transcript of The Salem Witch Trials: Theories and Possible Causes to the Epidemic


The aftermath of the witch trials is a rich essay topic, for Salem ..

Because of social, economic, religious, and physical problems within the community, Salem Village was present with prejudice and panic causing the Salem Witch Trials....

Sample of The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 Essay ..

is a fictional retelling of events in American history surrounding the Salem Witch Trials of the seventeenth century. Yet, is as much a product of the time in which wrote it - the early 1950s - as it is description of Puritan society. The Salem witch trials took place from June through September of 1692, during which time nineteen men and women were hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem, while another man, , was stoned to death for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of other persons faced accusations of witchcraft and dozens more languished in jail without trials. As the play describes, the witchcraft trials began because of the illness of , the daughter of the Salem minister, , a former merchant in Barbados. Before Betty Parris fell ill, Cotton Mather had published "Memorable Providences," describing the suspected witchcraft of an Irish washerwoman in Boston, and Betty Parris' hysteria mirrored those of the suspected Irish witch. Other girls, including Ruth Putnam and also exhibited similar symptoms. However, actual events diverge from the narrative of the play. The Parris' slave, (who was likely a South American Arawak Indian and not African), immediately came under suspicion. As a form of counter-magic, Tituba was ordered to bake a rye cake with the urine of the afflicted victim and to feed the cake to a dog. This added to suspicions of witchcraft by Tituba, and led to the slave becoming one of the first women accused, along with and Sarah Osburn. Although most of the women first accused of witchcraft were considered disreputable, several reputable members of the community were soon executed, including (featured in the play), and in the most controversial execution, George Burroughs, the former minister in Salem. One of the most flamboyant of the women executed was Bridget Bishop, a woman who had been married several times and was known as the mistress of two Salem taverns and had a reputation for dressing more 'artistically' than the women of the village.

Salem Witch Trials Informative Essay ; Causes and Effects ..

Although Mather was not directly involved in the proceedings ofthe Salem witch trials, he wrote a letter to one of the magistratesin the trials, John Richards of Boston, urging caution in the useof spectral evidence. Mather was also the author of the "Return ofthe Several Ministers," a report sent to the judges of the Salemcourt. This carefully-worded document advised caution in the use ofspectral evidence, saying that the devil could indeed assume theshape of an innocent person, and decrying the use of spectralevidence in the trials, their "noise, company, and openness", andthe utilization of witch tests such as the recitation of the Lord'sPrayer. However, the final paragraph of the document appears toundercut this cautionary statement in recommending "the detectionof witchcrafts". Thus, in Bernard Rosenthal and Perry Miller'sopinions, the courts interpreted the letter as Mather's seal ofapproval for the trials to go on.