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Salem Witch Trial Dbq

Autor:   •  February 21, 2018  •  1,060 Words (5 Pages)  •  311 Views

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Nurse, and she did immediately afflict me” (Doc K). Ann Jr/’s deposition is very much similar to her mother. She may have been influenced on what to say by her mother, further validating to the court that Rebecca is a true witch.

Religion played a major role in initiating the Salem Witch Trials. For example, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Doc A). Moses, the author of Exodus wrote it so the Israelites would be a pure group, exemplifying God’s example. Puritans are fundamentalists, so they interpret the Bible literally, which lead to them believing that God wants all witches to be killed. The quote is significant because it “validates” to the Puritans to start the Trials. In addition, “ the atmosphere of our air a vast power or army of evil spirits under the government of a Prince (Satan)” (Doc C). Cotton Mather, a leading minister in New England, warns of Satan being in the midst of a holy people and wants everyone to turn to God. He wrote Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions in 1689 Boston, which sets in place the notion that witches are in New England, further giving a warning to be cognizant.

There were various societal aspects that are believed to have contributed to the Salem witch trials. These societal issues dealt with the afflicted teenage girls, their social statuses and their ideas about society. The first afflictions surfaced in the Parris household, “adolescents, especially in the presence of Tituba, might very well have succumbed to the suggestion of bewitchment”(Doc H). Betty Parris and Abigail Williams interacted with Tituba because they lived a very strict and confined life, with little opportunity to express themselves. They were forbidden by Reverend Parris to play games, since games were believed to invite the devil. To fill the empty void, the Parris girls took to reading material based on fortune telling and divination. The Parris’ servant, Tituba, often shared her own stories from the West Indies about witchcraft and demons. The fact that these girls had such a restricted lifestyle was the reason they began delving in the supernatural in the first place, therefore leading them to come across situations that caused them to act strange. The girls probably did it to “gratify a love of notoriety or of mischief by creating...excitement in their neighborhood......they were great actors” (Doc G). Charles W. Upham is implying that the Parris girls are essentially playing a big joke, by pretending to be witches. According to Document D, all of the men are looking towards the “Witch” intently, trying to find some viable evidence on her body. The source is significant is it describes how seriously accusations are taken.

The Salem Witch Trials were a prime example of the prejudice in early America with the different personal lives and beliefs. The prejudice and panic caused much instability in the Salem community. Like the McCarthyism era in the 1950’s, that accused Americans of being communist without proper evidence, the Salem Witch trials were successful due to the increase of hysteria. There are political, religious, and social causes that either lead to or supported the idea of killing innocent people.


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