The Salem Witch Trials was a social conflict that was the result of a lack of religious diversity and tolerance causing women and children to be blamed for the “bewitchments” of others.
The final compromise led to laws stating that the state doesn’t get involved with religion, the religion doesn’t get involved with the state, and a judge does not make decisions for the death of anyone alone. Through January of 1692 into May of 1693, people had still believed that black magic had existed. After having contortions and outbursts of screaming, Elizabeth Parris (the daughter of Samuel Parris, who was the minister of the village) who was 9 years old, and Abigail Williams (niece of Samuel Parris) who was 11 years old, accused the Parris’s Caribbean slave, Tituba, and two other women, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn for “bewitching them.” (http://www.
history.com/topics/salem-witch-trials) The three so called “witches” were brought before the judges at the time, Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne. They were interrogated, even as the two girls appeared in the courtroom showing their odd body language and actions. Several accused “witches” confessed and accused others. Over time, the trials began to overwhelm the justice system. In May of 1692, the brand new governor of the state, William Phips, ordered the creation of special courts. He created the Court of Oyer and Terminer for the trials.
(http://news.lib.uchicago.edu) These courts would decide on witchcraft cases for places like Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties.
Though the Massachusetts General Court later admitted the Trials were a total fluke and was full of lies, bitterness remained, and the pain of the Salem witch trials would never vacate the community. The failure to compromise lead to worrying and a social tragedy throughout the colony. There were 141 people imprisoned, 19 people executed, and two more that died from other causes related directly to the investigations.
(https://explore.proquest.com) Eventually, what had first started out as two girls calling out three women for making them do odd things had spiralled into a series of many unfortunate events.
While people do have their beliefs that the devil was made up, many others believe satan existed. People were constantly being blamed, and constantly being accused for practicing black magic. And it didn’t help that once accused, people began to blame more and more people for the bewitching of themselves. The bewitchments were mostly pinpointed on women and children. Based on this information, we know that the Salem Witch Trials could also be considered a time period based off of religious diversity.
Once Tituba was blamed, she admitted, and blamed others.(http://www.history.com/topics/salem-witch-trials) Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne on the other hand, they were not as smart. They had argued and fought and sadly, did not see it the way Tituba did. Tituba realized in order to remain alive and for the most part unharmed, she would have to admit, and plead her case, and blame other women, who would most likely go on to do the same. Women and children were blaming others and so on and so on and so forth. Ultimately, the smarter women and children would end up being more prone to punishments, and in some cases, they would even suffer the same fate as the people before them.
When Sarah Good was asked why she hurts these children, she had stated “I do not hurt them. I scorn it.” and when asked “What creature do you employ them?” she had answered with “No creature: but I am falsely accused.” (http://ic.galegroup.com). This proves that Sarah Good had not confessed nor given in, but had believed that fighting it and denying it would either help or at least not cause her to be further interrogated. Sadly, she was very wrong.
She was further interrogated, with questions like “Who was it then that tortured the children?” and “What God do you serve?” and fortunately, Good was condemned to be hung but was pardoned until the birth of her child. In the end, though, Good’s infant died in prison with her before Good was hanged. (http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/people/good.html) Tituba on the other hand was smart as we know, and was asked “But what did they say unto you?” and replied with “They told me serve him and that was a good way; that was the black dog I told him I was afraid, he told me he would be worse then to me”(http://www.
famous-trials.com/salem/2050-asa-titx) This just proves that she had owned up to the things she hadn’t done. Good’s execution occurred on Tuesday July 19, 1692. Apparently, when Good stood at the gallows prepared to die she was asked once more by their assistant minister in the Salem church, to confess and save her immortal soul. Good is said to have screamed, “You’re a liar! I’m no more a witch than you are a wizard! If you take my life away, God will give you blood to drink!” It was her redundant refusal to give in that many believe led Good to the Gallows, and more than the accusations against her. (http://salem.
html) Good could have saved her and her children’s lives, if she had just admitted regardless of the fact that she knew she was innocent. “Innocent until proven guilty.” If only we had known that phrase back then. People were being killed. Others were being blamed.
Families were being torn apart by accusations. Many were standing by and watching it happen. Salem Witch Trials caused pain and tragic events for the people living in Salem, Massachusetts, and it was far from over. Whether you were sentenced to death or not, you could still hope and pray that the people of your town will come to their senses in time to save your and many others’ lives. The first witch, Bridget Bishop, was accused of wearing all black clothing, which was against the puritan code of Salem. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJJLy5_DlqY) When asked if she practiced witchcraft, Bishop replied, “I am as innocent as the child unborn.
” Her defense clearly was not as good as she had hoped them to be, because she was declared guilty and, on June 10, was the very first person hanged on what would later obtain the name, Gallows Hill. (https://www.smithsonianmag.com) Though some may say that the amount of deaths could have been so much higher, twenty-four people died, and that is more than enough. Either way, the Salem Witch Trials were tragic and will never be forgotten.
One girl, Mary Sibley, proposed a counter form of magic. She is said to have told Tituba to “bake a rye cake with urine of the afflicted victim and feed the cake to a dog.” (http://www.famous-trials.com/salem/2078-sal-acct) Back then, dogs were believed to be used by witches as agents to carry out their devilish commands. And so people began to believe that Tituba had done such a thing, and actually, were driven to do something many people would never do. And though the town of Salem had always been driven to kill their own kind, in one case they had gone so far off the rails that they murdered a dog.
Salem’s beliefs had switched from being only theirs to being more. It was crazy that such hysteria broke free so rapidly and widely, and even so that 165 more, in twenty four villages and towns, were accused of sorcery. The diversity itself was incredible, from an American Indian slave to one of the wealthiest people in the entire colony.(https://www.theatlantic.com/) The killing, of course, was the worst, though.
The people in charge of the killing system believed that witches would float if/when rocks were tied to their feet when thrown into the water. That was one strategy to finding out if the people accused were or were really not witches. Another, was not.
Many times, people would lynch, or hang possible suspects to eliminate the smallest chance that they could be a witch. Either way, the killing of witches was growing and becoming more and more common throughout the town. There was also many cases of torture, this way they could get the answer out of the people while making them feel pain. One very well known situation of this is the case of Giles Corey. Before Giles Corey was accused of witchcraft himself, his third wife, Martha Panon, was accused of witchcraft after telling Corey they should leave, thus being stated to be hiding something. Corey was so overwhelmed with everything that he reportedly was led to believe the accusations against his wife, and on March 24, testified against her. (http://historyofmassachusetts.org) During his testimony against his wife, he mentioned that his ox and pet cat had suddenly gotten sick, and stated that his wife would be up late at night and be seen knelt by their fireplace as though she was in prayer.
He later declared that he had never heard her say a word in the process as well. (http://historyofmassachusetts.org) On April 18, 1692, an arrest warrant was issued for Giles Corey after five women accused him for performing witchcraft against them.
(http://historyofmassachusetts.org) Giles Corey claimed himself to be on the other side of witchcraft, innocent, but thereafter declined trial. This dismissal meant he legally could not be sentenced. However, his examiners chose to declare an interrogation. A very painful and torturous interrogation. Giles Corey would be interrogated by men placing stones of very high weight on his body. For two days he survived this torture, until he eventually died.
(http://www.salemweb.com) Though it was definitely too late to save the nineteen hung people and Giles and Martha Corey, Phipps did have the chance to save many others. After his own wife was blamed for witchcraft, he apparently surrendered the ridiculous nature of the litigations, and in May of 1693, he freed all of the men, women, and children who had been captivated on charges for witchcraft (http://channel.nationalgeographic.com).
The Salem Witch Trials was a social conflict resulting from a lack of religious diversity that led up to the many deaths and many other tragedies that would scar both the city of Salem and the state of Massachusetts forever. What as we know had all started out as two girls making something up had blown up, and overwhelmed the town of Salem, Massachusetts. To sum up the trials, they were a very serious and saddening moment in history that eventually spiralled into hysteria. In conclusion, there were many laws that came after the trials, but two that were mainly focused on the trials.
One of the laws states that the state doesn’t get involved with religion and vice versa. The other states that a judge does not make decisions for the death of any individual or any group. In conclusion, The Salem Witch trials resulted in the forming of new laws, and is an event that will never be forgotten.