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The Crucible Pre-reading Activity: Salem

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Zack Molin

on 4 October 2011

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Transcript of The Crucible Pre-reading Activity: Salem

Salem Witch Trials The Crucible is a play based on the Salem Witch Trials. Obviosuly, Salem was an integral part of the play; and should be reviewed prior to the reading. This Prezi will lightly cover the fundamentals of Salem, MA. The Salem Witch Trials took place May - September of 1692. During this time, 19 people were hanged, 2 were killed in prison, and 1 was crushed by rock. It is uncertain how the witch trials began, but a few theories involve the economic conditions, rivalry between families, congregational strife, and misled teenage feuds; with most scientific basis on ergotism. An illustration of a courtroom trial The government at this time was an ecclesiastical "democracy" in which clergymen and church officials had all of the power. It was mainly run by John Winthrop, a radical Puritan. Betty Harris was the first "afflicted," examinations began March 1, and trials began May 27. Cotton Mather was a Puritan minister who wrote "Memorable Providences" in 1684. This text described an "afflicted" in Boston. His work outlined what many used to determine a witch. Cotton himself had no direct connection to the trial, and actually opposed the trails' use of spectral evidence. "It were better that ten suspected witches should escape, than that one innocent person should be condemened." If a person was accused of being a witch or wizard, they had two options: They could deny it and die, or confess and most likely live. Eventually, Governor Phips' wife was accused of being a witch, and he put a stop to all hunting and killing October 3, 1692. Fun Facts Cotton Mather entered Harvard University at the age of twelve; he also wrote over 400 papers They are turning the old Salem jail into an apartment... Ergot was a parasitic fungus that grew on rye, a major crop in Salem. The fungus produced almost every symptom illustrated during the Salem Witch Trials. Also, the climate and conditions in Salem during 1692 were optimal for the parasite. 19 accused were hanged on Gallows Hill in 1692:
Bridget Bishop
Rebecca Nurse
Sarah Good
Susannah Martin
Elizabeth Howe
Sarah Wildes
George Burroughs
Martha Carrier
John Willard
George Jacobs, Sr.
John Proctor
Martha Corey
Mary Eastey
Ann Pudeator
Alice Parker
Mary Parker
Wilmott Redd
Margaret Scott
Samuel Wardwell

One accused wizard was pressed to death September 19 when he failed to plead guilty:
Giles Corey

Two dogs were also hanged
Another popular theory shows that most of the accusers came from the western, poorer side of Salem while the majority of the accused came from the eastern, richer side of Salem. These sides were controled by two dominant families - the Putnams and Porters. Citations
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