Witchcraft Hysteria In Salem

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Were socioeconomic tensions responsible for the witchcraft hysteria in Salem?
YES
Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum believe that the political and economic tensions among the people of Salem, Massachusetts are to blame for the chaos in regards to witchcraft. They compare the events to a dramatic set piece where the town was in a power battle between political members and clergymen with the common folk and famers. Farmers were adamant about not becoming a part of commercial communism, wanting a new way of life for themselves. The ministers were having difficulties with parishioners and controlling the hysteria and beliefs that the Devil would come for them next. Altogether, the quality of life in the town and corruption in politics were not
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The pace of the accusations in the beginning February 1692 were about a dozen of women. The accusations fluctuated and then soared until it drastically crashed in numbers in the end of the hysteria in October 1692. The amount of accusations went from minimal to sky rocketing and were no longer kept in accurate records because the accusations were flying so freely and were affecting many. The status of a person started as an outcast or deviants due to being socially unaccepted. Then this switched to the more fortunate people due to their wealthy or prestigious status in the community. Geography began with the first twelve accused within the village or direct vicinity. Then the geographic area increased outwards to all villages in Essax county. The different variables lead Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum towards socioeconomic means for the increase in witch craft accusations. Often times, those that were being accused had no idea who their accuser was and vice versa. The surrounding neighbors would often testify in court on the behalf of the accused …show more content…
She brings to light that people and livestock suffered in a similar fashion. The symptoms could include fits, hallucinations, temporary paralysis, prick marks and distracted rampages. There are records of New England colonists who suffered the same ailments forty years earlier than that of the Salem hysteria. People were continuing to show symptoms of the ailments the witchcraft charges brought against the people in Salem well into the eighteenth century in places like Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Boston. The exact epidemic that occurred in Salem also spread throughout the world from 1916 to 1930 with cases still showing up in present

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