Young Women: The Salem Witch Trials Of 1692

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The Salem witch trials were a terrible time in Salem, Massachusetts between Spring of 1692 and September 1692, during which there was panic and hysteria over accusations of witchcraft. This was a time of great change. The puritans feared that their strictly religious society was crumbling, and that fear allowed for the hysteria to take over. Young women were accusing vulnerable people of the community, mostly older women, of witchcraft. Women of the time were extremely unequal to men. They were thought to be “intrinsically weaker, morally speaking” ("Salem Witch Trials," 2011). This unfortunate factor of society in that time contributed to people’s belief of the girls’ accusations, as it did not seem all that unlikely that the devil could possess …show more content…
She and her brother were both accused of witchcraft and their mother was hanged. In her testimony, she said her mother “brought her a book and commanded her to obedience, “baptizing” her (along with other children) to her service” (“Examination of Sarah Carrier”). This shows an interesting thing about these witch trials. These children claim their mothers, who were accused of witchcraft themselves, made them into witches. This certainly says something about the relationship between children and their parents in that time, and it also sheds some light on how ingrained in society Puritan religious beliefs …show more content…
The eighty-year-old Giles was accused along with his wife, Martha. He was arrested on April 18th, 1692. When he was examined along with the other prisoners who were arrested with him, Mary Warren, Abigail Hobbs, and Bridget Bishop, he refused to speak when asked whether he would plead innocent or guilty. In that time, someone who wouldn’t plead could not be tried in court. The legal solution for this was “peine forte et dure” (French for “hard and forceful punishment”). During this process, you are stripped naked and then a heavy plank of wood is laid upon you. Wood, rocks, and other weights are then slowly added on top of the plank until you die (Peine Forte Et Dure Law & Legal Definition). Giles did not make a plea, and did not even cry out during this. Two days after it began, the Sherrif George Corwin asked him to plead, but each time he simply replied, “more weight”. By the time he died, his eyes were bulging from his head, and his tongue had been forced back in after being held out by the weight. He never uttered a plea. One positive aspect of this terrible incident is that, because he did not plea, his estate was passed down to his sons-in-law, as mandated in his will, instead of being handed over to the

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