Once witch trials began, women became powerful 1. Abigail became “official” of the court a. Gained power over the girls, Danforth, and community (Source C) (1) Accused many innocent people of witchcraft and had them killed C. Accusers became very powerful 1. Abigail was placed on pedestal by playing victim and lying a. Others followed 2.
Many try to explain or rationalize the bizarre happenings of the witch hunts and the causes that contributed to them. To understand the trials and how they came to be, we must first examine the ideals and views of the people surrounding the events. Although religious beliefs were the most influential factor, socioeconomic tensions, and ergot poisoning are also strongly supported theories The Ergot Poisoning Theory The Salem witch trials have fascinated historians for centuries, largely because of their bizarre nature and the great uncertainty that surrounds them. One of the most intensely debated topics is the question of why the girls began to accuse seemingly random townspeople of witchcraft. However, there is little evidence to support any theory, and consequently historians
Salem Witch Trials In Taking Side, articles written by author Kyle Koehler, (1980), Was the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria a Product of Women’s Search for Power?, and by author, Laurie Winn Carlson, (1999), A Fever in Salem: A New Interpretation of the New England Witch Trials, had very different opinions of what happened during The Salem Witch Trials. Their opinions are based on the judicial process of suspected witches, living in Salem Massachusettes, during the 1690’s. As a woman, and registered nurse, I can relate to both sides of the authors interpretations. Women wanting equal rights, respect, and the same opportunities as men. Understanding of the disease process of encephalitis, and how it affects the mind, body, and spirit.
The belief in witches existed for centuries before the trials at Salem. Over time, a considerable body of folklore developed about how to identify witches. A contemporary writer explains the most popular methods. Perhaps the reason witch-hunting has gotten a bad name is that some practitioners used rather crude methods to separate the guilty from the innocent. The notorious judges of the Holy Roman Empire, for example, simply applied thumbscrews until the unfortunate suspects confessed.
All throughout the 1970’s women are dealing with their lack of equality – may it be within the work area, politically, at home, or with laws. Sexism was very popular, and not uncommon, but these women are ‘at their ends’ with accepting it. The women of the decade begin to bond together – to fight for their rights as people. This will be known as the second-wave of feminism. They discover the power of sisterhood and begin to attract attention to their actions and when the Royal Commission of the Status of Woman steps in to make a report on the status of woman in Canada, laws begin to change, and debates on these new laws begin to occur.
Although the charges brought against witches, during the Salem Witch Trials, were based on religion, there was a deeper cause; economic strain. Many of Salem’s Laws were made based on the bible and therefore, deeply religious. The combination of religion, superstition and the second-class status of women allowed for the large amount of older women, who no longer had their husbands to protect them from accusation, to be tried and convicted of witchcraft. The chief demographic for accusation were women between the ages of forty-one and sixty. These women were often rich because of what they had attained through the death of their spouses and remarriage.
Witchcraft attracts attention, especially at this time of year; everyone "knows" something about it. As a historian, I'm interested to see my subject, the past, being put to all kinds of uses in the present. Here are some ideas about witch-hunting that are distinctly dodgy. It's sometimes suggested that witch-hunting was a more or less conscious male device for repressing women. In fact, although there is a relationship between women and witch-hunting, it's a complex one.
The main factors that started and fueled the trials were politics, religion, family feuds, economics, and the imaginations and fears of the people. The following essay on these causes and the events surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692 is divided into four sections: 1) Salem Politics 2) Cold Winter Days 3) Salem Witchcraft 4) Aftermath. Salem Politics Salem Village had a very colorful history before the famous witch trials. It was not exactly known as a bastion of tranquillity in New England. The main reason was its 600 plus residents were divided into two main parts: those who wanted to separate from Salem Town, and those who did not.
Witchcraft and Salem Witchcraft in general, and Salem in particular, have long been a focus of interest and study in American history. The circumstances triggering witchcraft accusations in the Salem witchcraft trials and the longevity of those trials are a long standing subject of debate. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman, by Carol Karlsen, examines witchcraft as a complicated, religiously lead, male dominated social structure. Women were held in dual roles, subservient to, and agents of spiritual leadership, using events in Salem as one aspect of a global analysis to promote a feminist view of female persecution by a patriarchal and Puritanical social system prompted by fear of social change in gender relationships. In Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft, a study of the events of Salem specifically, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum minutely examine the economic byplay of the Salem Village inhabitants, unearthing social tensions while also detailing the personal histories of the leaders.
The Devil’s in the Details Cellissa Hernandez Portfolio Assignment 2.2: Read Transcripts and Newspaper Article 17751276 Rumor Has It…. In the city of Salem, many have been found guilty of witch craft. They have not all admitted to it but are known to be witches. The accused have been hanged, there is one man who refused to speak and was therefore pressed to death. There is no tan accurate count of how many have been killed but it has been said that at least thirteen witches have been executed.