The Salem Witchcraft Hysteria Essay

2436 words - 10 pages

The date is October 20, 1692. Over two-hundred innocent people have been accused of witchcraft and are in jail, one-hundred fifty-two are awaiting trial and twenty have been executed (Kallen 53). No solid evidence was existing to convict these blameless souls of that with which they are charged. The accusers were frustrated, discontented, young women acting on their or their parents' grudges and delusions with lethal force. The number of accusers started low and quickly rose to nearly sixty (Kallen 39). Salem, a small town of Massachusetts, amounted to only 90 houses and approximately five-hundred fifty residents (Kallen 51). In a small town such Salem having a grudge which had resulted from confrontations with neighbors or feelings of envy and carnality would be moderately easy and familiar. A disfavor of those who were not the stereotypical man or woman would also be existent. Hostile feelings along with the Puritanical beliefs held by the community led to the onset of the largest episode of mass hysteria in the United States' history. Puritanism focused on instilling a fear of sin, with regard to perpetual condemnation as consequence ("History"). When the crisis known as the Salem Witch Trials or Salem Witch Hysteria began there were three primary driving forces. Social anxieties, irrational fears and misguided theology were the primary motivation for the Salem Witch Trials.Social frustration and bias were often present in seventeenth century Salem. During the Salem Witch Trials women were the preponderance of those that were being persecuted ("Witchcraft"). Women, based on Puritan beliefs, were thought to be more susceptible to the devil ("Witchcraft"). This view could be for a vast number of reasons. Possibly the fact that Eve, in biblical times, was the one to succumb to the serpent's luring deal, not Adam led to the belief in female weakness to temptation. Social reason aside, women were the majority of those being accused. Although, to say that men were not charged would not be true. Almost every man who was associated and charged with witchcraft was either a relative of an accused witch or was her husband or child would be true (Karlsen 3). Another possible explanation for the persecution of mainly women could be land inheritance. Practically all of the women accused were either daughters of parents who had no sons or had sons who had died, were women who were married and only had daughters or sons who had died or were women married without children (Karlsen 101). Having these women arrested and tried or both the women and her husband (if married) arrested and tried then the land that they possess and all of their belongings would be property of the state. As a repercussion the state would have the right to sell the land to the highest bidder. One other type of person that was suspected or charged for the crime of witchcraft was women and men who were either associated with, defended or questioned the proceedings against individual...

Find Another Essay On The Salem Witchcraft Hysteria

The Salem Witchcraft Scare. Essay

665 words - 3 pages The Salem Witchcraft ScareThe Salem witch trials of the seventeenth century was interrupted in many different ways including the opinion of Carla Gardina Pestana in which she writes and believes that the executions where not solely based on the fact of witchcraft itself but also based on the importance of economic and political clause. She also believes in fact and support of other authors that it is also based on the gender, character and

The Salem Witch Trials, Hysteria and Religion

842 words - 3 pages Salem Massachusetts became the center of a horrible tragedy, which changed the life of many people. It was a hard time, because of the bad crops and diseases. The people in Salem had to blame someone or something. This people accused innocent people by calling them witches. They were accused by having contact with the devil, hurting people, to pinch people on their bodies and more. These actions were result of hysteria. Maybe those extraneous

Witchcraft in the Small Village of Salem

1551 words - 6 pages be forgotten. The people of Salem were caught up in a hysteria of accusing many innocent woman of witchcraft, even though it started as just a couple young girls who had acted strangely. In the village of Salem news spread fast, because of its size. The spread of news was an important issue due to the spread of witchcraft hysteria. Present day Danvers, Massachusetts, was called Salem village established in the late 1630s ("A Guide to Witchcraft

The History of the Salem Witchcraft Trials

2806 words - 11 pages neighbors used witchcraft to do it. Everyone from ordinary people to the governor’s wife was accused of witchcraft. Even a pregnant woman and the most perfect puritan woman were accused. No one in the small town was safe. As one can see, the chaotic Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 were caused by superstition, the strict puritan lifestyle, religious beliefs, and hysteria. Puritan Lifestyle was one reason that might have caused the

Salem Witchcraft Trials vs. the Crucible

2066 words - 8 pages Salem Witch Craft In 1962 the penalty of witchcraft was to be hung or smashed. There was a big outburst of witchcraft and spells that were going around among the people of Massachusetts in 1962. Some of the women of Salem began the witchcraft many people started to catch on and fallow them. A lot of these people were hung do to what the bible said about the wrongs of witchcraft. When these women of Salem Massachusetts started to do

The Witchcraft Hysteria in "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller

716 words - 3 pages The Witchcraft Hysteria^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^In 1692, in Salem Massachusetts, the superstition of witches existedin a society of strong Christian beliefs. Anybody who acted out of theordinary was accused of being a witch and then the accuse would actually beforgiven if the blamed their accusations on another individual. This was themain idea of a play entitled, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. In this play agroup of young girls act up and are

The Salem Witch Trials: The Beginning of the Hysteria

858 words - 4 pages ." Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian Institution, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. Linder, Douglas O. "The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692." The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. N.p., Sept. 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2013. Mastin, Luke. "Salem Witch Trails." Salem Witch Trails (America, 1692 - 1693) - Witchcraft. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. "Salem Witch Trials." - Simple English Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013. The Young Reader's Companion to American History. Ed. John A. Garraty. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. 384+. Print.

"The Salem Hysteria" explains the events of the Salem witch trials and why they occured when and where they did.

1375 words - 6 pages September of 1692, most of those charged with witchcraft resided near the road that separated the town from the village, whereas the farmers distant from the economic affluence were the accusers.Now, let's further examine the events that took place, or somewhat started the whole Salem witch-hunt hysteria. With the combination of ongoing frontier war, economic state of affairs, congregational conflict, teenage monotony, and personal, family versus

The mass hysteria between today?s society and the Salem witch hunt

560 words - 2 pages The mass hysteria between today’s society and the Salem witch hunt can be compared through Freedom , Religion ,and the killing of innocent victims. Mass hysteria has caused a lot of destruction in society throughout the years. It has brought about a lot of chaos in both Salem as well as the present society. Mass hysteria has brought out a lot of fear in people in both Salem and present society.      Freedom in today’s

The Crucible. An analysis on the Hysteria in Salem during the Witch Trials.

712 words - 3 pages In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts was a town filled with terror and suspicion. Fear of Indian attacks, oppression from England, and constant land disputes filled this New England town with hysteria. With so much hatred on the outside, how much hatred and evil was lurking amongst them in Salem, they wondered. This never-ending anxiety over what would befall them next led to the tragic blemish on American history called the Salem Witch Trials. Arthur

Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings

1712 words - 7 pages , seventeenth, and twentieth century, the hysteria over certain causes resulted in prosecution in the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze, and the McCarthy hearings. These three events all used uncertain and unjustly accusations to attack the accused. The Salem witch trials in Massachusetts Colony lasted from 1692 to early 1693. Even before the witchcraft trials, Salem Village was not exactly known as a bastion of tranquillity in

Similar Essays

The Hysteria Of Salem Witchcraft Essay

1216 words - 5 pages The Hysteria of Salem Witchcraft Although there has been a long history of witchcraft, the main concentration is from the periods of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the British North American colonies alone there were over 100 witchcraft trials alone, were 40 percent of the accused were executed. Now two professors, Carol F. Karlsen of history and Kai T. Erikson of sociology, examine the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria to see

The Salem Witchcraft Trials Of 1692: The History, Proceedings, And Legal Consequences Of The Mass Hysteria

2045 words - 9 pages Salem, Massachusetts. Before the 1600’s, it might have been regarded as a peaceful farming community, but in 1662, everything changed. A bout of what might have been regarded as religious fervor, but was actually a wave of panic over the fear of witches and witchcraft swept the Christian Puritan-dominated Essex County, located in Massachusetts. The panic originated in the now-infamous town of Salem. During the famous Salem Witch Trials of 1662

The Salem Witchcraft Trials Of 1692: The History, Proceedings, And Legal Consequences Of The Mass Hysteria

2217 words - 9 pages fits and complaints that plagued the girls, the only seemingly logical cause for the girls’ behavior was witchcraft, as Griggs diagnosed (“Salem Witchcraft Trials.”). Strangely enough, more girls and young women within Salem also began to show behaviors that were similar to Abigail and Betty’s fits; most importantly, Ann Putnam Jr., who was only 12 years old, and Elizabeth Hubbard. It grew to be that when Reverend Lawson held sermons within the

The Salem Witch Hysteria Essay

3426 words - 14 pages The Salem Witch Hysteria Hundreds of years ago something, that was considered one of the darkest and most tragic events in all of American history, began in 1692; The Salem Witch Hysteria. In the beginning, before the trials ever began or were even thought of was something every witch is greatly aware of, The Inquisition. It was the catholic tribunal's way of exposing and punishing those that they called 'Religiously Unorthodox'. By 430