Salem Witch Trial Research Paper

804 Words4 Pages
Throughout Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, 24 women, men, and children were prosecuted by the Puritans in the belief that those who behaved abnormally were witches. These executions are generally known as the Salem Witch Trials. Throughout the trials, those accused were unfairly tried and hung without a proper hearing. During the Salem Witch Trials, a person who was implicated to being a witch had limited defense. Instead of the court basing whether a person should live or not on evidence, they instead based it on the opinions of young women who were simply accusing those whom they did not like. In result the Salem Witch Trials demonstrated the need for a proper trail to ensure that a similar situation does not happen again. In effect these trails…show more content…
This could stem from the fact that in the Salem Witch Trials the jury members, who were the decided factor in determining the accused’s fate, already made conclusions on whether or not that person was a witch without hearing any evidence. The 6th amendment gives a fair chance for the accused to be proven innocent. The Salem Witch Trials not only provided a foundation for the 6th amendment but also for the 1st amendment. It should be noted that in Salem, Massachusetts those of Puritan faith believed the government was responsible for maintaining God’s law and in return many trusted in government leaders blindly. Especially during the Salem Witch Trials many Puritans accepted those who were “witches” because the government leaders said they were. These trials essentially were conducted solely on the basis of religious intolerance and in result of this religious intolerance innocent lives were lost. The 1st amendment corrected this flaw by stating: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The 1st amendment created a separation of church and…show more content…
The answer lies in the early years of the 16th century. Anne Hutchinson, a deeply devoted Puritan women was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the accusation of heresy. In Anne’s own understanding of what the Bible commands, she thought that the ministers were straying away from God. Anne also made the claim that any person could learn God’s will directly from the Bible and not by the ministers of Massachusetts. What Anne Hutchinson was asserting not only caused alarm in the colony but caused panic. In the year 1637 a court found her guilty and she was ultimately expelled from the colony in order to prevent her dangerous thinking to spread throughout the Massachusetts Bay. Roger Williams was in the same situation for he was banished because he believed in separation of church and state. Besides wanting separation of church and state Roger also preached the idea of religious freedom and for just expressing his viewpoints he was expelled. By the examples of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, they planted the idea of freedom of religion and the writers of the Constitution acted on this idea by putting religious freedom in the Bill of Rights. A federal government should have no right to control the thoughts and beliefs of a person, it is the person’s inherent right to think and believe in what they wish to believe and this very argument is what the 1st amendment grants. An

More about Salem Witch Trial Research Paper

Open Document