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
Analysis During the time of the witch trials if someone did something that was odd or uncommon they would be accused of being a witch. Or if someone didn’t like someone they would accuse the person of being a witch using false or exaggerated proof. Abigail and the other girls would accuse people in Salem simply because they got in the way of what they wanted. Accusations were thrown easily into situations and people became paranoid. Abigail and the other girls and Parris accused Tituba of being a witch.
Nine-year old Elizabeth Parris and eleven years old Abigail Williams started having fits, strange behaviors and would scream with anger. A doctor looked at the girls and decided that the only explanation was spells caused by witchcraft. Despite the fact today we know it wasn’t logically true, but the town had a strong belief of the devil. Hysteria and chaos took over the town, soon enough when girls all over town decided to take part in it, and began accusing the townspeople without a reason. This is one reason why this is the worst thing that happened to America.
The Salem Witch Trials started by little girls acting strangely and then accusing others to have bewitched them. The defendants during the Salem Witch Trials took desperate matters to avoid being executed. Sarah Good resorted to saying the other accused “witch”, Sarah Osborne, had “tormented the children.” At one point Osborne even pretended to also have been infected by the witches’ magic. Tituba admitted to being a witch and told stories of flying around on broomsticks and being visited by creatures. Confessing to witchcraft was the only way a member of the accused wouldn’t be executed.
9-11 Racial Profiling The Salem Witch trials are a well known case of persecuting the innocent. With little facts and lots of fear, the town of Salem executed 20 citizens for practicing witchcraft. And this entire story started with a few young girls, whose antics led to the jailing of three innocent women. It is a case of mass hysteria in many cases, but it also compares to current issues such as racial profiling. The initial case sparked many others, and witchcraft was seen everywhere, just as after 9-11, terrorists are seen everywhere.
The Salem Witch Trials took place only in America, but the idea of witches has existed in many parts of the world. In Europe witches were believed to be anti-Christian, and to have sold his or her soul to the devil in order to obtain magical abilities, usually to harm others. However, witches in Africa and the West Indies involved concepts other than the devil. From the 1400’s to the 1700’s, the annihilation of witches and witchcraft in England, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, and Spain was promoted by church officials. Between 1484 and 1782, around 300,000 women were accused of practicing witchcraft, and were put to death.
Historically witchcraft has been thought of as violent horrible things. They tortured and killed many innocent people, although the exact opposite is what happened at the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Nineteen women and five men were hung on Salem’s gallows hill. They were all accused witches, who were all also innocent. How did the witch-hunt in 1692 begin, and why there?
Crucible/Modern-day Witch Hunt The “Wenatchee sex ring witch hunt” parallels the witch-hunt of The Crucible because in both cases devout Christians are being unfairly persecuted as a result of unfounded accusations made by teenagers, who are incapable of understanding the ramifications of their accusations. The most obvious example from The Crucible is when Rebecca nurse, the saintly, angelic character of the play, is accused of witchcraft by guilty teenagers trying to shift the focus of blame away from themselves. In act II Reverend Hale, who is brought to rid the evil from Salem, is troubled about Rebecca’s accusation and that “… if Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing’s left to stop the whole green world from burning” (Miller 67). It is somewhat ironic that Mr. Hale is so concerned and in disbelief of Rebecca being accused yet he let’s her fate “… rest upon the justice of the court” (Miller 67). However, that very court was itself guilty of unjustifiably assuming that the accused were guilty of witchcraft and would sentence them to death unless they admitted to such.
It makes perfect sense as to why Miller wrote The Crucible allegorically to these events, 1953 was a time in which American fear and madness concerning communism was frankly getting out of control, just as the experiences in Salem were in the 1690s. The Crucible is a historically fictitious adaption of the Salem Witch Trials which as previously stated, was an episode of unjust accusations of witchcraft/devil worship carried out by a group of female teens. In the play, the group of accusing teens is led by girl named Abigail Williams. In order to refocus the “heat” on another source in order to save herself from trouble, her and her peers wrongfully stage a phenomenon of witchcraft in Salem, producing mass panic in the community for months on end. It got so bad in fact, that at one point Abigail implied that even the official court judges could be guilty of wicked doings; “Let you beware, Mr. Danforth.
Hysteria in Salem In 1692, in Salem Massachusetts, the superstition of witches existed in a society of strong Christian beliefs. Anybody who acted out of the ordinary was accused of being a witch and the accused would actually be forgiven if they blamed their accusations on another individual. In this play, a group of young girls is accused of being witches. These girls then blame other people in order to get out of trouble and even pretend to be "bewitched" in front of the court during a trial. This leads into the deaths of the innocent people who are accused and automatically found guilty.