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Salem Witch Trials Essay

  • Submitted by: THARTWIG
  • on November 14, 2013
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,294 words

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Below is an essay on "Salem Witch Trials" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

People’s Views on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692

Imagine, just for a minute, living in a time and place where you are not free to practice your own religious or spiritual beliefs and you are forced to live in fear because of persecution by the church and everyone around you. Persecution back in 1692 in Salem Massachusetts was a horrible thing. Those persecuted were hanged, burned, and even pressed against rocks if found guilty of witchcraft.   Nineteen men and women were carted to Gallows Hill near Salem Village to be hung for practicing witchcraft, from June through September of 1692. One eighty-year-old man was pressed to death, under heavy stones, for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Many awaited trial in jail for months and hundreds more faced accusations of witchcraft, and while waiting in jail there were many that died of hunger and mistreatment by the people of Salem. It was a time of fear and a time of hate in this little town.   The Salem Witchcraft Trials stands as one of the darkest times in American history of religious tolerance.
The church was the basis of 17th century life in New England and most people in Massachusetts were Puritans. But in the strict Puritan system, it was against the law not to attend church. The Puritan lifestyle was reserved and strict: People were expected to work hard and hold back their emotions and opinions. Since Puritans were expected to live by a firm moral code, they believed that all sins should be punished. They also believed God would punish sinful behavior. Puritans also believed the Devil was as real as God. Everyone was faced with the struggle between the powers of good and evil, but Satan would select the weakest individuals, women, children, and the insane, to carry out his work. Those who followed Satan were considered witches. In keeping with the Puritan code of agreement, the first women to be accused of witchcraft in Salem were seen as different and as social outcasts. Some say that...

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