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Salem Witch Trials - Research Paper Example

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Summary
Salem Witch Trials Salem Witch Trials Causes During the 17th century the hysterical event of Salem Witch Trial occurred. On the surface, it may seem that these trials took place just because of accusations made by two young girls, but the main causes of Salem Witch Trials are quite doubtful in nature…
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Salem Witch Trials

Download file to see previous pages... The causes of Salem Witch Trials resides in why were the girls strangely behaving. According to the theory of Mary Beth Norton, the girls made the acquisitions and were behaving strangely because they were suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and this was because of wars that occurred between the Puritans and American Indians (Goss 2008, p.63). The first individual, Tituba who was accused of witchcraft was a American Indian and due to a grudge held by the puritans against the American Indians, she was accused as a practitioner of witchcraft. Another explanation of the strange behaviors of the girls was provided by Linnda R. Caporael, she asserts that those who were believed to experience strange behavior were experiencing ergotism, which is a disease due to eating of bread that has been contaminated with ergot (Hil 2009, p.257). Individuals suffering from this disease act strangely, for example: they may experience crawling sensation in their skin and even may experience headaches. These were the symptoms exhibited by those who were considered to be possessed. Events The issue experienced by Salem took off as two young girls went to a slave Tituba to get their future sweet hearts predicted. To predict the future Tituba used a trick in which a white egg is drowned in a water glass. While the trick was taking place, one of the two young females saw a coffin. After this event, both girls started exhibit strange behaviors such as hiding beneath chairs and using ridiculous words. The happening of these events were then noticed by the Reverend Parris and he asserted that these events were taking place as the girls were possessed by devils. The similar behaviors were exhibited by several young females and due to pressure applied by adults of that area, the girls accused that Tituba and other white women were practicing witchcraft on them. Due to this, the accused were shifted to a jail in region of Boston where Tibuta accepted that she was practicing witchcraft. During the month of March similar behavior was exhibited by an adult and the number of accusations increased. During the three months of March, April and 50% of May the count of those accused increased and they were all shifted to jails. Later on June 2 special court proceedings took place after which on June 10th, Bridget Bishop was hanged to death and later on July 19th five more accused individuals were hanged and then on September 22nd, eight more of them were hanged (Goss 2008, p.181). Later the trails came to a stop under the order of Governor Phips as his own wife was recognized as a witch. Consequences The main consequences of the special court proceedings that took place as a result of accusations was the hanging and corporal punishment of several individuals who were completely innocent. Individuals who did not practice religion and visited churches were accused for livestock death and ill health that was spreading all over Salem. The second major consequence was the imprisonment of over 200 individuals along with those who were hanged to death for being accused of practicing witchcraft. These individuals were simply imprisoned on the basis of evidence that was spectral in nature. Property of these individuals was seized by the town and their families had to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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