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The Salem Witch Trials

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Claire McCullough

on 5 December 2013

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Transcript of The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials
Who were the victims?
Reasons people were accused of being a witch
1. If the person had an interest in plants and herbs and knew a lot about them (therefore suggesting they used this knowledge to create potions)

2. if they were the child of the suspected

3. people that were outside of the known area, homeless, or who had poor literacy usually were accused of witchcraft.

4. people used accusations of witchcraft if they wanted to kill someone but didn't want to get hung for murder, it was just an easier option.

What ended the trials?
Ministers began to believe that some innocent people were being accused and executed for witchcraft mainly on undependable spectral evidence, which is evidence based on dreams or visions. Additionally, with public confidence in the trials diminishing, the cries of the accusers were beginning to be ignored, and the accusations eventually stopped.
How it started
In January 1692 a group of girls began to behaving strangely, making odd noises, assuming strange positions, and spending hours lying motionless in bed. The town's Puritan minister, Samuel Parris, believed he knew what was going on with the girls; they were bewitched. The girls accused 3 women of putting a spell on them.
Where the trials occurred
The Salem Witch Trials took place in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693.
Beginning of the Salem Witch Trials
The Salem witch trials were a series of trials and prosecutions of people that were accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693.
Bridget Bishop (June 10, 1692)
Rebecca Nurse (July 19, 1692)
Sarah Good (July 19, 1692)
Elizabeth Howe (July 19, 1692)
Sarah Wildes (July 19, 1692)
Susannah Martin (July 19, 1692)
George Burroughs (August 19, 1692)
Martha Carrier (August 19, 1692)
Amanda Jane Hoyle (August 19, 1692)
George Jacobs, Sr. (August 19, 1692)
John Proctor (August 19, 1692)
John Willard (August 19, 1692)
Giles Corey (September 19, 1692) - Pressed to death
Martha Corey (September 22, 1692)
Mary Eastey (September 22, 1692)
Alice Parker (September 22, 1692)
Mary Parker (September 22, 1692)
Ann Pudeator (September 22, 1692)
Margaret Scott (September 22, 1692)
Wilmot Redd (September 22, 1692)
Samuel Wardwell Sr. (September 22, 1692)

Key figures
Cotton Mather: Believer of witchcraft and a minister of Boston's Old North Church
Increase Mather: During the witch trials, he was a Boston minister. he was the father of Cotton Mather
Samuel Parris: Became Salem Village's minister.
How does the Salem Witch Trials relate to rights and responsibilities?
The Puritans had a theocratic form of government, which was very strict, and did not provide many rights to people accused of crimes. The people accusing others often could say anything about anyone, and potentially result in prison or death for the accused without a fair trial
What were some ways that people were killed?
five people were executed on August 19, 1692
Eight more were hung September 22, 1692
Giles Corey was crushed to death under stones
Five other victims were drowned, hung, or executed
Why are the Salem Witch Trials important to history?
They are significant because they were the largest witch trials ever held in the history of America, and one of the last major witch trials held anywhere. Many people were executed as witches. The courts allowed gossip and rumor to be used as evidence. Many children even testified against their own parents.
The Salem Witch Trials resulted in the imprisoning of 150 people, and another 20 were executed.
A man named Increase Mather urged the court to exclude spectral evidence. Governor Phips made a decision to order the court to get rid of spectral evidence, and instead require proof of guilt by using evidence supported by facts, and it is still in use in courts today.
Full transcript