An informative essay on the causes of the Salem Witchcraft Trials.

Essay by dickieschickieHigh School, 11th grade November 2004

download word file, 3 pages 0.0 1 reviews

The Salem Witchcraft trials are commonly referred to the most unnecessary savage prejudices in the history of America. Not only was the whole ordeal made up in the creative minds of little girls, but was actually explored by the population of Massachusetts. Many innocent lives could have been spared if it weren't for such tragic events. After studying the history of the trials, most are left with the burning question: how could a town kill nineteen and condemn countless citizens to jail, only with proof of teenage witnesses? This topic is what I will touch in the essay.

The basis for Salem Witchcraft trials were anything but realistic or factual. What most don't understand are the conditions of such a town at the time. To get a complete understanding of the accusations, you must look at the segregation and turmoil of the small, developing town in the 1690s. The village was torn in two: half of the population on the western side wanting to separate from Salem and the other half in opposition in the east (closer to town).

The eastern half of the population was content, thriving off of Massachusetts' prosperous harbors.

The Western half, however, consisted of poor, conservative farming families. They were opposed to the town's flourishing economy, thinking it made Salem to individualistic, which happened to offend the communal nature that strict Puritanism required. Thus, the group distanced themselves from city life as much as possible.

The foundations of this prejudice can be traced to a particularly large separatist family, the Putnams. The relatives led a large group of separatists in hopes to permanently break away from Salem Town and form their own congregation. Reverend Samuel Parris was elected to lead the worshiping in the Salem Village Meeting House. At this point, there were no objections...