The Salem Witch Trials Essay

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Superstition--The belief in supernatural causality, has been a driving factor behind pivotal historical events throughout the early years of the documented human existence. Unexplainable disasters and phenomena were once commonly attributed to displeased gods by many an ancient civilization. Humans have always had a burning desire to understand why things happen. Remarkable and seemingly unexplainable events occurring in civilizations where the sciences are lacking, leaves the masses to credit that so badly desired explanation to magic and unearthly powers, allowing superstitious un-backed accusations and assumptions to run rampant. Even the more enlightened ancient Greeks that birthed modern logic, reason, and philosophy believed …show more content…
P. 6). It was easy to convince one's peers that evil was afoot, when living in darkness. According to Professor Douglas Linder of the University of Missouri--Kansas City School of Law, the accusers also generally had something to gain from the incarceration and prosecution of the accused:
“Most of the accused lived to the south of, and were generally better off financially, than most of the accusers....[A]ccusing families stood to gain property from the convictions of accused witches.” (Linder, 2009. P. 24).
Linder goes on to elaborate upon points that show in many of the cases brought before the courts the accusers and accused took on different political positions, such as supporting the once Salem minister George Burroughs, or had been previously disputing over property. (Linder, 2009). Politically or economically, most accusations had an agenda driven link to personal gain of some sort from the accusers. Burroughs was rumored to have displayed superhuman strength, and credited at the time with being the leader of the sorcerers within the Salem community, despite being a devout clergyman. (George Burroughs, 2011). Burroughs was a figurehead in the Salem community. He was a Harvard graduate, donated some of his own land back to the townspeople, and served as a minister for nine years before being accused of witchcraft. (George Burroughs, 2011). Despite his previous accomplishments, accolades, and generosity, he was still convicted

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