Salem Witch Trials


What is Puritanism?

Puritanism is a religious group of extreme Calvinistic Protestants, who believed that the universe was God-centered, and that mankind was created sinful and corrupt, rescued only by the grace of God, the creator. Humans were therefore bound to serve God, which they could best understand by reading the Bible. Every persons fate is predetermined before they are born.

Due to their isolation in the New World, the Puritans are more literal in their interpretation of the holy scriptures than their british counterparts, and therefore American Puritan traditions and methods seem more intense. The Puritan society had a social hierachy. Ministers and other "tools of god" at the top, and women and foreigners at the bottom, working as silent slaves.

They group were attempting to escape religious persecution, and therefor they fled England for the Netherlands. Fearing that they would lose their cultural identity, they sailed to America on a ship names the Mayflower.

In 1628, Puritans sailed to America where they established colonies in various states, such as Massachusetts.

What Happened in Salem?

The Salem Witch Trials take place in a small Puritan town called Salem, in Massachusetts. The witch hunts are said to have begun in the household of Reverend Parris, a pastor in the town. His house slave Tituba had been performing tricks and spells for his daughters, his niece, and their friends in the woods in secret. The girls began displaying strange behavior afterwards, and the town's physician blamed witchcraft. The girls were all interrogated, and they began accusing other villagers, mainly old women. Tituba, however, confessed to striking a deal with the Devil, and seeing nine other women do the same. This sparked great suspicion in Salem, and many other women were accused. The trials were based on claims of torment and seeing specters of the accused. This was considered strong evidence, and led to the conviction of the accused. Many villagers were sentenced to jail and hanging, many of them poor or of low status. However, accusations against the upperclass, male villagers, and children caused doubt within the courts, and the trials were judged more fairly from then on.

What caused the witch hunts?

So what caused the witch hunts?
In the 1692, people weren't used to new things, and therefor voodoo and other kinds of spiritual things, were seen as something bad.
And that was why the girls wanted to hide it, they knew that if it came out, they would get killed og in prison. When it came out, the girls accused other women for having contact with the Devil, witch made them look like the ones who were the victims.
After the Village found out that something was going on, they arrested everyone who got accused, to provent them from using witch craft against others.
The girls used witch craft to accuse other women they didn't like, but when they began to accuse upperclass people, the village noticed that something was wrong.