Salem Witch Trials Dbq

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The Salem Witch Trial hysteria of 1492 was caused by a variety of factors including the Puritans of Salem's inability to admit any wrongdoing on their part and tendency to blame all wrongdoing on the devil. This, along with their fundamentalist values, created an environment of paranoia towards witchcraft. Also, people of influence were saying that there were witches in Salem. As teenagers living in as strict of a society as the Puritans had, the accusers would rather have gone to the extreme of accusing innocent people of witchcraft than admitting to any misbehavior on their part. When one accuser cried witch, the others were willing to do the same and in a way began to believe their own lies. The Puritans of Salem failed to see the true motives behind the accusers and were blinded by their obsession with witchcraft. One reason that the Salem Witch Trial Hysteria happened was the Puritan's strict fundamentalism and assurance by respected members of their community that witches existed in their community. The Puritans believed that every word in the bible was the true word of God and that they had to follow everything that the bible said. They thought that the devil had the ability to enter a person's body and turn them into a witch. If something out of the ordinary happened or someone acted in an unsavory matter, they would often blame it on a witch. Cotton Mather, who was the Puritan Church leader and was very respected, made a statement that claimed that there were devils and witches in New England. Anything he said was taken seriously by the majority of the Puritan population. This statement probably influenced them and increased their paranoia that there were witches living among them. Mather published this statement several years before the Salem Witch Trials so it was probably just enough time for his words to sink in. People may have accepted
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