The Salem Witch Trials were a prime part of American history during the early 17th century. During this time, religion was the prime focus and way of life within colonies. This was especially true for the Puritan way of life. Puritans first came to America in hopes of practicing Christianity their own way, to the purest form. The Puritans were fundamentalists who believed every word transcribed in the Bible by God was to be followed exactly for what it was. The idea of the devil controlling a woman and forming her into a Witch was originated from people’s lack of awareness on illness, disease or simple hysteria. The Colonists lack of expertise on the methodical approach through sciences, left them concluding to a spiritual phenomenon.
The Puritans believed in the idea of predestination. Predestination is the concept that God elects those who will go to Heaven and Hell by the time they are born into this world. So with this idea that was founded by the Puritans themselves, I think they would shun those who appeared unnatural or different to them. In their eyes, to be elected by God and stay away from the snare of the devil, they would constantly stay at work. Only resting for went they went to bed. So naturally, the Puritans came up with the concept that the Devil overcame the body of someone with weak will and transformed them into a witch. One fact of concern that I found to be interesting was that there was an abundance of more killings in puritan colonies associated to witchcraft as opposed to England. Why were there more killings of civilians in colonies in America as opposed to civilians who lived in England during the witch trials? Was this because of religious differences? Or was this resulting from a need to be accepted by the community, which led to the spreading of lies and rumors?
On the debate of why the whole hysteria over witchcraft even occurred, my stance is on the fact that people of the colony were so consumed on living the perfect life according to the word, that they resulted in telling lies and making accusations on one another just to keep their name out of the inner circle. Today Historians think the idea of local conflicts and disputes over land were prior to, many of the accusations. People more than often spread rumors for their own satisfaction to witnessing the destruction of somebody else or to simply take the light shown on them off. This philosophy was prevalent throughout the duration of the Salem Witch Trials.
In the playwright, The Crucible written by Arthur Miller, one famous story is told of what happened in one small town during the start of the Witch Trials. This story originated in the colony of Salem in the year 1692. Reverend Parris, the lead minister of the town, just relocated to Salem with his daughter, Betty Parris and niece, Abigail Williams. Betty Parris was stricken with a strange illness that left several civilians of the town puzzled. They concluded that it was the working of the devil. They...