"The Salem Hysteria"
How could a society confide in the testimony of young children with no evidence supporting their accusations, such as that as the case with Sarah Good, one of the first of three to be convicted in the Salem hysteria? For anyone to understand this, we must examine the foundation of where this hysteria started. That starting point being the society in which these witch trials took place. With Salem, Puritanism dominated. In the eyes of the Puritans, who sought to purify the English church, believed they must eradicate those who threatened their beliefs, including witches or those such as Anne Hutchinson. Not only that, but the power of superstition plagued the Puritan movement with hearsay and literature that sailed throughout the new world exhibiting stories of witchcraft within other parts of the colonies and England. The Puritans also believed that the devil was just as real as the God they believed in, therefore, witchcraft being a strong possibility to the hardships and what they believed were sins in the society they lived in.
To leave out the fact that a possibility of this witchcraft being the backbone of what really happened, and the fact that children wouldn't lie to the ministers of the church, how could such a devastating part of American history have occurred? Well, the diminishing of Salem's social structure made rash the murders of many innocent people. To better understand this, we must look at the time period this occurred, as well as, the economic and social divisions that took place. Also, to examine why such events of the witch trials occurred.
What most people don't realize is that Salem Town and Salem Village are two separate identities within the same town, sort of. In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts, had split into two diverse areas.