Salem Witch Trial

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Far from Tolerance: The Causes of the Salem Witch Trials On March 24, 1692, Rebecca Nurse, an elderly woman and respected member of Salem Village, was arrested on suspicion of witchcraft (Rosenthal Document 23). She was accused based solely on the testimony of four young girls who claimed that the apparition of Rebecca Nurse had severely harmed them. Many witnesses testified in favor of her, but ultimately the "afflicted girls" prevailed. Nurse was executed on July 19, 1692 (Godbeer 185). She was one of twenty people executed in Salem in 1692 on witchcraft allegations. The Salem Witch Scare remains one of the most fascinating events in American history. It is clear that this witch hysteria had a profound impact on the community of…show more content…
They were seen as the wealthier of the two groups, and disliked Samuel Parris. From 1690 to 1692, the economy was declining in Salem Village compared to Salem Town, whose economy was growing, thanks in part to a prosperous trading agreement with London. Many people in Salem Village believed that the affluence of Salem Town went against their simplistic religious values (Becker book review). The jealousy that developed between these two factions may have played a role in the conflicts that started the witchcraft allegations. These economic factions explain why the hysteria took place in 1692. However, there is not enough historical evidence documenting the exact economic faction of every member of Salem. Thus, it is impossible to know how these groups lined up with the accused and the accusers in the Salem Witch…show more content…
According to Richard Latner, in "Here Are No Newters”: Witchcraft and Religious Discord in Salem Village and Andover, Samuel Parris sought to "revive religious fervor and bring in new church members through a combination of enhanced ministerial authority and evangelical preaching. He required members to attend church, uphold the sacraments, and stressed the distinction between communicants and non-communicants" (Latner). Parris was known for having very intense sermons. In a Sermon preached on the 27th of March, 1692, Parris stated, “Examine we ourselves well what we are, what we church members. We are either saints or devils; the scripture gives us to medium…oh it is is a dreadful thing to be a devil, and yet to sit at the Lord’s table” (Godbeer Document 12). Latner believes that, “The combination of Parris's rigidity concerning rituals with his evangelicalism set off a bitter backlash among those who preferred a more moderate ministry and a more liberal membership policy” (Latner). According to Katie Dunbar, who is commenting on Marilynne K. Roach's The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community under Siege, following one of Parris' sermons, anti-Parris faction members refused to take communion from him. Also, pro-Parris supporters paid, on average, lower tax fees than the rest of Salem Village (Dunbar Character profile). In a town where members were often at odds with

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