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After the fact Salem witch trials.

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Introduction

Cynthia Obiozor Dr. Cole History 1311 September 16, 2003 After the Fact Salem Witch Trials To this day the exact cause of the Salem Witch Trials in uncertain. There is much speculation and mystery when it comes to discussing the Salem Witch Trials. People were accused, convicted, and executed all in the name of Witchcraft. After reading the timeline and searching on the internet I believe that the Salem Witchcraft Trials occurred because of the depth of Salem Puritans' belief in witchcraft and the Devil. The Salem Witch Trials began in January 1962 when a nine year old named Elizabeth Parris and an eleven year old named Abigail Williams started behaving strange, going into "trance-like states and mysterious spells," and within a short time other Salem girls began to act in a similar fashion. In this day and age if something like this were to occur a physical and mental examination would take place. The knowledge and technology we have now was not available in 1692 so of course something had to be causing the sickness. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that the reverend allowed the process of making a cake that could reveal witches and went along with the "hunt" for witches also shows that the society was so wrapped up in believing there was really a such thing as witchery. On May 27th Phips, the Governor at the time set up a special Court of Over and Terminer comprised with seven judges to try the witch cases. They based their judgments on intangible evidence. In this day and age it is almost impossible for a person to be found guilty without tangible evidence, but the judges found people guilty on hearsay, "witch marks" and the way the girls acted. They believed that the Devil could assume the "body" of an innocent person, this was also relied upon. The judges were convicting people on evidence that could no really be proven. On June 2nd the first session of the Court of Oyer and Terminer was held. Bridget Bishop was the first to be pronounced guilty of witchcraft and condemned to death. ...read more.

Conclusion

These tavern songs were sung for amusement and entertainment. Even in this part of their lives they incorporated the Devil and witchcraft. In John Hale's "Preface to a Christian Reader" it is easy to see that how the people of Salem incorporated the Devil into society. "There hath been such a dark dispensation by the Lord, letting loose upon us the Devil," says Hale. John also believes that the Devil lives amongst the people in town and believes that witchcraft is a product of it. John and the people of Salem are obviously passionate about their religion. The emotion conveyed by Hale was comparable to the residents of Salem with their religious beliefs regarding what was happening in the town at that time. As depicted in their way of life and the way they behaved the Devil and witchery was very much evident in Puritan life 1600's - 1700's. Because of the Puritan's beliefs and obsession of the Devil many innocent people were hanged, and a society was virtually turned against each other. Extra Sources: The Salem Witch Trials 1692. September 17, 2003. A Chronology of Events. http://www.salemweb.com/memorial/index.shtml ...read more.

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