Why Did The Salem Witch Trials Occur?

The period between the February 1692 and May 1693 are the hardest time in the history of America. It was during this period that their colonial masters performed a series of trials in the province of Massachusetts. People who were accused and believed to be practicing witchcraft were prosecuted. Those who were found guilty were executed. By May 1693, twenty people had been executed. Eight more had been found guilty and were on the verge of being executed. This was unique as the Americans had initially lived with witchcraft activities. They believed that Satan lived on earth. The American peasant farmers believed in the white magic that they used. They performed rituals to invoke particular charms before tilling the land. Their so much accepted and helpful white magic had changed all of a sudden. It became associated with many bad things and evil spirits.

Cause of the Salem Witch Trials

There are many reasons that are believed to have fueled the trials in Salem. The most underlying factors were fear. Many scaring things were taking place and it was believed that the witches were behind those acts so as to destroy the Christians. The things that spark fear were many and people had to find a scapegoat. It was blamed on the witches and they were executed. There was a small pox epidemic in the colony state. This sparked a lot of fear. The other factors that brought fear to the people were the increased number of family separations due to rivalry and divorce, many refugees were coming to America and the rumors of a planned attack from the Native Americans. These factors caused a lot of tense in the colonizing state. They needed to take action to keep things under control. The only good way was to threaten people by killing witches and using them as a scapegoat.

Aftermath of the executions

Many people dreaded the prosecution. No one was sure of being saved even if they were guilty. The last trial was done in May 1693. People, however, continued to talk about the trials long after they were stopped. Rituals were done to honor those that were executed. Those that were released after 1693 were significantly affected. They could not have their normal lives back. It was later arranged that those who were executed and those who survived be compensated. Those that died are remembered even up to date.

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