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The Role of the Puritan Church in the Salem Witch Trials

The Role of the Puritan Church in the Salem Witch Trials The Salem Witch Trials were a time of confusion, where half a dozen girl accusers threw the town of Salem on its head. The end result was 19 hung and one crushed to death for failure to admit or deny witchcraft and 150 more were imprisoned throughout the course of the trial (Hall p38). The Puritans came to the “New World” for their religious freedom to fallow their ideals for a new way of life, the “perfect way of life.” They were issued charter--to live on the land--. The King Phillip’s war labeled as “[t]he bloodiest war in America’s history …which…took place in New England in 1675” (Tougias par.1) had a dramatic effect on the Puritan society. Their charter was revoked and reinstated at least twice throughout the course of the war. This stress of having their land revoked and reinstated without a doubt placed pressure on the society as a whole to develop and become self-sustaining entity free from England. After the war people would look to the church even more than they had in the past for guidance. This set the seen for the problems to come. The churches relentless attempt to maintain the society that they had established was the cause of the Salem witch trials.
Even before Salem Village was established there was a separation between its future inhabitants. The people on the western part of Salem Village were farming families that wanted to separate from the Town (Sutter Par.2). On the east side of the Salem Village were the people who had made a living on the rich harbor and were strongly apposed to leaving the security of the larger Salem Town (Par. 2). By 1672 the inhabitants of Salem Village had separated from Salem Town, built a meetinghouse, and hired their own minister (Witchcraft in Salem Village Par.1). “By 1689 the villagers in a seemingly unusual spirit of cooperation pushed hard for a completely independent church, while at the same time hiring their fourth suc...

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Works Cited Armstrong, Karen. A Delusion of Satan, First Da Capo Press Inc, 1995 Breslaw, Elaine. Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem, NY:NY: UP, 1996 Hall, David D. 1994 “Witch hinting in Salem”, Christian History, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p. 38 Lincoln George, ed. Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases: 1648-1760. New York: Barnes: 145-64 Linder, Douglas. “An Account of Events in Salem”: Links William Stoughton, Samuel Parris. - 1 - February 15 2001. Available: Lyman, George. Witchcraft in Old New England, New York: Russell and Russell, 1929 Norton, Mary-Beth. 01/21/200o. Finding the Devil in the Details of the Salem Witch Trials. Chronicle of Higher Education Vol. 46 Issue 20 “Possible causes of the Salem witch hunts” February 15 2001. Online Internet 1998 Available: Shapiro, Laura, 8/31/92 The Lesson Of Salem, Newsweek, Vol. 120 Issue 9 Sutter, Tim. “Salem Witchcraft” March 23 20001. Available: Tougias, Michael. “King Philip’s War in New England” February 15 2001. Online Internet 1997 Available: Trask, Richard B. The Devil hath been raised, Danvers, Massachusetts: Yeoman Press, 1997 “Why 1692” January 27 2001. Available: “Witchcraft in Salem Village” March 21 2001. Available:

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