Factors and Influence of the Salem Witch Trials Essay

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The Salem witch trials transpired in the late 1600’s and caused uncertainty and controversy throughout the society. The town of Salem is where most of the trials occurred, and practicing witchcraft, and our American government forced over a dozen citizens to pay with their lives. The witch trials happened because of conflicts dealing with religion, fear, and feuds. The trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of adolescent girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and they accused several local women of witchcraft. A wave of hysteria spread throughout Massachusetts, and a special court place was set up to hear the cases. During the Salem witch trials “nineteen were hung on Gallows Hill, a 71-year-old man was pressed to death …show more content…
However, their belief structure provided for God choosing those worthy of salvation. The puritans believed in predestination, they explained that all humans pledged by the agreement of works to obey the divine law and condemned for failure to adhere the law. Even the people predestined for salvation could not escape the tradition of divine law. Faith was significant to the Puritan experience, and the source from which all other traits of their society and values emerged. They resented the persistence of Catholic influence on Anglican doctrine and rituals, but beyond that the movement divided into a number of factions that disagreed over doctrine and strategy. The Puritans dismissed the concept of free will, but during their lifetime, a Puritan could search for clues as to the fate of their soul by performing good works, praying, and attending church services. Puritans encouraged their members to read and interpret the Bible for themselves. Yet this emphasis on individual interpretation of God's word inevitably led to tensions, and even rebellions, within the Puritans' strict hierarchical societies.
In addition, the Puritan religion caused superstition and fear in the society during the Salem witch trials. The belief that Satan was present and active was believed in Europe and eventually spread to Colonial America. This belief revolved around believing in demons and evils spirits in order to confirm the belief of

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