Salem Witch Trials Dbq Essay

Salem Witch Trials Dbq Essay-47
Baker also discusses this theory in his book A Storm of Witchcraft: “The 1680s and 1690s were part of the Maunder Minimum, the most extreme weather of the Little Ice Age, a period of colder temperatures occurring roughly from 1400 to 1800.

Baker also discusses this theory in his book A Storm of Witchcraft: “The 1680s and 1690s were part of the Maunder Minimum, the most extreme weather of the Little Ice Age, a period of colder temperatures occurring roughly from 1400 to 1800.Strikingly cold winters and dry summers were common in these decades.

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Although this theory seems plausible, other historians such as Elaine Breslaw in her book Tituba, the Reluctant Witch of Salem, points out that other towns in Massachusetts were going through similar difficult times but didn’t experience any witch hunts or mass hysteria: “There is no doubt that a peculiar combination of social tensions, exacerbated by the factional conflict within the community of Salem Village, contributed to the atmosphere of fear so necessary for the advent of a witchscare.

Charles Upham suggested this as a major cause and Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum have provided a brilliant analysis of the Salem community to support that argument.

The accounts mention no such streaking in Salem, and while the supposed symptoms of witchcraft began in January, more people showed symptoms in the spring and summer…Encephalitis, the result of an infection transmitted by mosquito bite, does not really seem plausible, given that the first symptoms of bewitchment appeared during winter.

And while the bull’s-eye rash often produced on the skin by Lyme disease might explain the devil’s mark or witch’s teat, it falls short of accounting for the behavior of the afflicted.

Scholars have long noted the connections between the witchcraft outbreak and King William’s War, which raged on Massachusetts’s northern frontier and was responsible for the war hysteria that seems to have been present in Salem Village and throughout Essex County.” Baker goes on to explain that many of the afflicted girls, such as Abigail Hobbs, Mercy Lewis, Susannah Sheldon and Sarah Churchwell, were all war refugees who had previously lived in Maine and had been personally affected by the war to the point were some of them may have been experiencing post-traumatic stress syndrome.

In 1976, in an article in the scientific journal Science, Linda R.Mixed farming began to give way to pastures and orchards.Once Massachusetts had exported foodstuffs; by the 1690s it was an importer of corn, wheat, and other cereal crops.Ingesting ergotamine is known to cause a number of cardiovascular and/or neurological effects, such as convulsions, vomiting, crawling sensations on the skin, hallucinations, gangrene and etc.Ergot tends to grow in warm, damp weather and those conditions were present in the 1691 growing season.In their book Salem Possessed, Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum attribute the witch trials to this political, economic, and religious discord in Salem Village: Boyer and Nissenbaum go on to provide examples, such as the fact that Daniel Andrew and Philip English were accused shortly after they defeated one of the Putnams in an election for Salem Town selectmen.They also point out that Rebecca Nurse was accused shortly after her husband, Francis, became a member of a village committee that took office in October of 1691 that was vehemently against Salem Village minister Samuel Parris, whom the Putnams were supporters of.But since Salem had been experiencing a number of hardships at the time, such as disease epidemics, war and political strife, it wasn’t hard to convince some of the villagers that witches were to blame for their misfortune.Once the idea took hold in the colony, things seemed to quickly got out of hand.Salem Village had gone through three ministers in sixteen years, due to disputes over who was deemed qualified enough to have the position, and at the time of the trials they were arguing about the current minister Samuel Parris.Rivalries between different families in Salem had also begun to sprout up in the town as did land disputes and other disagreements which was all coupled with the fact that many colonists were also uneasy because the Massachusetts Bay Colony had its charter revoked and then replaced in 1691 with a new charter that gave the crown much more control over the colony.


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