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After The Fact: C.3 Salem Review

533 words - 3 pages

The story of Salem Village has been cemented in American folklore since its origins in the latter seventeenth century. Dramatization of the events has brought about many misconceptions of the true events that took place but historians themselves have the ability, due to the conditions and good records of the village and its accounts, to piece together the true life of Salem Village. Thomas Hutchinson, in 1750, was in opposition to the accounts that were alleged in the village basing the accounts on the call for attention by young girls rather than acts of a 'witch-covenanting devil.' Historical record does supply evidence that this view could portray the reality of the situation, with numerous accounts of false pretenses by the cursed young women, but ...view middle of the document...

Social historical analysis of the events that took place in Salem provides insight outside of the microcosms described above providing reasons for why said individuals would choose to act in these ways. Initial speculations of existent correlations between church membership and wealth only left historians at a dead end. Social historians, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, took to analyzing the geographical context of the Salem trials in analyzing the geographical record of the villagers and those condemned. Extensive analysis led the two to uncover a potential quarrel that had existed for many years as one of the main causes of the witch trials themselves. Political and religious institutional quarrels between the Salem village and Salem town provided the two with a solid reasoning for why said events took place, serving as an alternative to more direct methods. Further evidence of this position can be drawn off the correlation that existed between gender and the trials. Women who were put on trial during this time were more likely to be found guilty of accusations brought against them which resulted in heightened pressure, many times leading them to confess to crimes for which they did not commit.Historical analysis of events such as the Salem Village witch trials can produce many different pictures based on ones point of view. The article itself further supports the many claims made in this publication on the inconspicuous aspects of such misunderstood events in history. These instances provide great challenge to historians, of all backgrounds, to unmask the truth which lies underneath many of histories mysteries.

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