Many envy and it was a variety

    Many have read about the witch trial hysteria that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. From June of 1692 through September 1692, many people were accused of being witches and practicing witchcraft. An 81 year old man was pressed to death by stones because he wouldn’t testify to participating in practicing witchcraft. No one really understands why these people were killed, or what caused the Salem witchcraft?  There are many speculations on the causes of the trials. Here are many proofs of what started the Salem witchcraft, with some being ultraconservative ideas, enviousness, and ergotism.     Let? start from the beginning, many people were very religious and followed the ultraconservative ideas. Many people practice Puritsim, which they believed that you were supposed to follow everything in the bible to the core. There was lady by the name of Bridget Bishop who was accused for practicing witchcraft. On the day of her examination she refused to lie and admit to doing such a thing (Doc. F). She states, ¨ I know nothing of it. I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is.¨ Bishop was a Purist and she believed that you were supposed to follow everything in bible. Lying is a sin therefore she wasn’t going to lie about a crime that she didn’t commit.     From here on, many people were very envy and it was a variety of enviousness going on. It is a fact that there was a man who was having an affair with a younger women and now all of a sudden she accuses his wife of practicing witchcraft. Most of the accused were within the ages of 41-60, and the accusers were all pretty young within the ages of 16-20. There was also a dispute over land. We can infer that the people who were being accused of practicing witchcraft were always living in the east of Salem. Most of the accusers were living in the west which was the poorest side of Salem (Doc. J). The people that were living on the east was most likely bored and jealous. The people on the east were one in a dispute with the people on the west which was also another reason why a lady from the Putnam family family accused someone for being a witch (Doc. M). Ann Sr. along with her daughter Ann Jr. were one of the most powerful people in Salem and they accused Rebecca Nurse for practicing witchcraft (Doc.K). We can suggest that there was a bit of enviousness going on because Rebecca was from Topsfield and the towns authorities had been harassing the Putnam family (Doc. M).       The final reason the Salem witchcraft hysteria in 1962 started was due to ergotism. As stated in the above paragraph the westside of Salem was mostly poor and fertile. An ergot grows on a large variety of cereal grains and especially rye (Doc N). Many used ergotism go get rid of the ergots. Ergotism was a long term ergot poisoning and it was a common condition from eating contaminated rye bread (Doc N). We know that the timing for the events that took place in Salem was right around the time the harvesting took place. Ergotism did indeed have some side effects too. The symptoms being crawling sensations in the skin, hallucinations, tingling in the fingers, and many more (Doc. N). Since the Putnam farm was on the west of Salem there is a chance that it could have been contaminated (Doc. N).       To close, the Salem witchcraft finally concluded in the fall of 1692. There was a drought and thus non expected contamination. Many people did not pay attention to the what actually caused the Salem witchcraft. From the proven facts above, we can agree that the Salem witchcraft hysteria of 1692 was caused by acts of ultraconservative ideas, enviousness, and ergotism.       


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