The Salem Witch Trials Essay

In the British colony, Massachusetts, witchcraft hysteria broke out between February 1692 and May 1693, resulting in the execution of twenty people and the jailing of 342 people. The Salem Witch Trials began after young girls in Salem claimed to be possessed by the Devil and started holding local women of Salem accountable of witchcraft. The effects the Salem Witch Trials had on the colony were separation of the church and the state and mass hysteria. In the 17th century, witchcraft was a serious crime, and convicted witches could be put to death. The following will discuss what the Salem Witch trials were, what happened during the time frame, and how it shaped Salem Village after it ended.
The Salem Witch Trials were a chain of…

Only Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne were accused at first, but shortly after the witch hunt grew until some of Salem’s most prominent citizens stood accused. Historians believe that the causes of the witch trials had to deal with social and economical animosity behind the accusations, but mostly mass hysteria was the main culprit. The accusations were not considered unusual because witchcraft beliefs were very strong in this time period. Witches were regular people whose pride, envy, or greed apparently led them to make a pact with the Devil. The people held accountable for witchcraft were claimed to use supernatural powers to torment their neighbors by causing illness, destroying property, or possessing the victim’s body and mind. The fear of witchcraft in the village of Salem overrode doubts about the young girls’ credibility and led local judges to put aside normal procedural safeguards. Judges ignored the law’s ban on “spectral evidence”. Spectral evidence is a spirit resembling the accused had been seen harming a victim. The number of witchcraft accusations rose to 342 witches sitting in jail. More than half of the girls accusing people of witchcraft were between the ages of eleven to…

In January 1697, Massachusetts’ General Court announced a day of fasting specifically for the tragedy of the Salem Witch Trials. The Court deemed the trails unlawful and illegitimate. The ending of the Salem Witch Trials created a good closure in the community. In 1957, the last witches’ names were cleared. The people had realized their mistakes of accusations and made a memorial honoring the deaths of the people accused of witchcraft in 1992. The impact of hysteria is still amongst us today and has not gone away. The Salem Witch Trials have become the focus in many books such as crucible by Arthur Miller. The Salem Witch Trials split apart families, and made life difficult for the accused. Daily chores, like harvesting, were neglected during the Salem Witch Trials. The colonist of Salem, Massachusetts felt ashamed and remorseful about the witch trials. Colonist began to suffer many misfortunes, and thought God was punishing them for their mistake. Out of all the accusers in the Salem Witch Trials only one girl apologized. Ann Putnam Jr. apologized in 1706 for her part in the Salem Witch Trials.
The Salem Witch Trials is a very memorable event in Salem, Massachusetts in the 17th century and also had a very strong impact on American History. Throughout the Salem Witch Trials, hundreds were accuse and most were hung. Friends and families were turned against each other. In this essay I discussed, what the Salem trials…