A central problem in the trials themselves was the use of spectral evidence. Some scholars maintain that the Puritan villagers felt they had failed God and deserved to be punished for their sins.
In addition, one man was pressed to death by heavy weights for refusing to enter a plea; at least eight people died in prison, including one infant and one child; and more than one hundred and fifty individuals were jailed while awaiting trial. Conclusion and Legacy Though the respected minister Cotton Mather had warned of the dubious value of spectral evidence or testimony about dreams and visionshis concerns went largely unheeded during the Salem witch trials.
The role of the clergy has also been much debated; some historians see them as largely responsible for stirring up the people and making them expect retribution.
Life After the Salem Witch Trials: Indian warfare and the uncertainties related to the arrival of a new charter and new Governor in the two years before the witchhunt also added to the level of social stress.
By the time of the first trials, the town was already facing frequent attacks by the Indians. By this time the witchcraft hysteria had spread not only to Salem Town but to Andover. Strikingly cold winters and dry summers were common in these decades. William Ives and George W.
During the lawsuit, the villagers again accused Parris of lying during the Salem Witch Trials, according to court records: Likely seeking to save herself from certain conviction by acting as an informer, she claimed there were other witches acting alongside her in service of the devil against the Puritans.
When the jury tried to acquit one of them, Rebecca Nurse, Stoughton sent the jury back to deliberate some more.
One of these accusers pointed several times at one Captain Hill, there present, but spake nothing; the same accuser had a man standing at her back to hold her up; he stooped down to her ear, then she cried out. Not only did some of the villagers believe the afflicted girls were lying, but they also felt that the Salem village minister, Reverend Samuel Parrislied during the trials in order to punish his dissenters and critics.
If eaten, the fungus can cause hallucinations and convulsions similar to those that were reported to be experienced by the allegedly bewitched girls. When a new special court convened in earlywith several of the same members and William Stoughton once more as chief justice, forty-nine accused persons were acquitted.
They say that in some towns it has been a usual thing for people to cure hurts with spells, or to use detestable conjurations with sieves, keys, peas, and nails, to learn the things for which they have an impious curiosity. This fungus contains chemicals similar to those used in the synthetic psychedelic drug LSD.
Morrisiana, Jackson, Shirley. In an effort to explain by scientific means the strange afflictions suffered by those "bewitched" Salem residents ina study published in Science magazine in cited the fungus ergot found in rye, wheat and other cerealswhich toxicologists say can cause symptoms such as delusions, vomiting and muscle spasms.
Ergot poisoning[ edit ] Claviceps purpurea A widely known theory about the cause of the reported afflictions attributes the cause to the ingestion of bread that had been made from rye grain that had been infected by a fungus, Claviceps purpureacommonly known as ergot.Logical Causes of the Salem Witch Trials another possible explanation to the crisis known as the Salem witch trials is proposed.
is a very possible and feasible explanation for the Salem. The Salem Witch Trials of were a dark time in American history. More than people were accused of practicing witchcraft and 20 were killed during the hysteria.
The exact cause of the Salem Witch Trials is unknown but they were probably a number of causes. Some of the. MENU. History of Massachusetts Blog Search. Although the. List of 5 Possible Causes of the Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witch Trials were a series of witchcraft trials that took place in in Massachusetts.
Nearly people were accused of witchcraft and by the end of the trials, 19 were sentenced to death by hanging and executed. The causes of the famous outbreak of witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts are rooted in social, economic, and political aspects of the late 17th century Salem community.
Early New Englanders were unable to accept the increase in diversity and the break in tradition that occurred between generations. While the term 'witch-hunt' has become part of our common vocabulary, it has roots in the hysteria that befell Salem Village, Massachusetts, at the close of the seventeenth century.
- Salem Witch Trials Early inthe witch hunt started in Salem, Massachusetts. During this time there were many stresses in the Massachusetts Bay Colony among Salem Villages, who had a strong belief in the devil.Download