America 's Encounter With The Salem Witch Trials Essay

1440 Words Dec 1st, 2015 6 Pages
America’s Encounter with the Salem Witch Trials: Outburst of Hysteria and the Effect on Social Structure, Government, and Religion in the 1690s and the World Today

The infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts forever marked the history of the United States. Much more than pointing fingers at so-called witches, these trials were the result of underlying tensions in the Salem community as well as a product of fear and anxiety produced by the Puritan religion. The trials did not simply die as soon as the last gavel was struck— they left behind a legacy that altered life forever. An intense period of hysteria and paranoia, the Salem Witch Trials had a significant impact on social structure, government and religion in the 1690s as well as influenced American culture today.

The Salem Witch Trials The trials were ignited in February of 1692 by two young girls of Salem Village, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, daughter and niece of the town minister, Samuel Parris. Underlying pressures placed on them by their families caused them to throw fits of hysteria (“Salem Town and Salem Village”). The peculiarness of their behavior caused worry for the people of Salem. As the community became more involved, the girls’ hysterics worsened. They claimed that their skin was burning and that they were being pinched by demons. Doctors, unable to find a medical or physical cause for the girls, adopted the idea of supernatural inflictions and came to the conclusion of…

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