The Causes Of Salem Witch Trials Essay

1460 Words Sep 14th, 2015 6 Pages
The Causes of the Salem Witch Trials
Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 was a place where no one wanted to be. Salem was first settled in 1626 by a group of English Reformed Protestants, known as the Puritans, looking for a place to practice their strict religious beliefs. People worshipped at the Salem Village Church ministered by Samuel Parris, though many people did not like Parris and wanted to force him to leave town. During one cold winter in January 1692, “Parris gave a particularly fiery sermon about the devil’s ability to work in and through people. He suggested that the people who refused to join the church were letting themselves be instruments for evil in the world” (Magoon 23-24). A few days after, his daughter and niece, “Betty [Elizabeth] and Abigail began to twitch and choke and contort their bodies into strange abnormal shapes, crouch beneath the furniture, and speak in words that made no sense” (Schanzer 19). Unable to explain the symptoms that the girls were having, a local doctor diagnosed them with bewitchment. Suddenly, people who had lived righteously for the entirety of their lives were suddenly being convicted for witchcraft. There had been previous witch-hunts in Europe that were far more extreme than the Salem Witch Trials where thousands of people were burned or hung. The number of people convicted was not what made the Salem Witch Trials so universally known (Van Der Linde 11). Many historians have come to acknowledge that the Salem Witch…

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