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The Salem Witch Trials.

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Presentation on theme: "The Salem Witch Trials."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Salem Witch Trials

2 Who were the Puritans? Definition: Refers to the movement for reform, which occurred within the Church of England between the time of Elizabeth and Charles II. The Puritans wanted to rid the Church of any Catholic residue and build upon the ideas of John Calvin. When Elizabeth died and Charles II dissolved parliament, and any connection between church and state, he demanded that anyone be killed who did not support the new Anglican Church. Hence, religious persecution began for the Puritans. Left for the new world in 1620 and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

3 Theological Beliefs Espoused by the Puritans
These beliefs originated in Calvinism. Total depravity: “In Adam’s fall we sinned all” Humankind is totally sinful through the fall of Adam and Eve and damned for eternity. Predestination: You are “elect” (saved) or “unregenerate” (damned). Salvation belongs to the “elect”, or God’s chosen. No good works will help you become saved. Limited atonement: Christ died only for the “elect”. Grace: You could feel God’s grace in an intense emotional fashion. After receiving grace, you were “reborn” have thenceforth full power to do the will of God and the ability to live uprightly to the end.

4 Puritan Beliefs Cont. The Puritan community was a theocracy, a government which blends church and state. The church’s officials were the government’s officials. Thus, church and state were not separate. City upon a Hill Theory: That the new MA Colony would be a place of complete reform (utopia) where God would be found in scripture and a strong work ethic. Education: A strong belief in education was established in order to read the Word of God. The first public school was founded in 1635 and Harvard College became an icon for educating ministers.

5 Causes of Witchcraft Hysteria in Salem
1.  Strong belief that Satan is acting in the world "The invisible world": disease, natural catastrophes, and bad fortune 2.  A belief that Satan recruits witches and wizards to work for him Prior witchcraft cases 3.  A belief that a person afflicted by witchcraft exhibits certain symptoms. 4.  A time  of troubles, making it seem likely that Satan was active Congregational strife in Salem Village Frontier wars with Indians 5. Stimulation of imaginations by Tituba. Teenage boredom No television, no texting, no Facebook, and lots of Bible reading Confessing "witches" adding credibility to earlier charges. 8.  Old feuds (disputes within congregation, property disputes) between the accusers and the accused spurring charges of witchcraft.

6 How it started

7 The trials began with 11 year old Abigail Williams and 9 year old Elizabeth Parris.
These girls acted in a manner that was strange to the Puritans of the time. “The girls contorted into grotesque poses, fell down into frozen postures, and complained of biting and pinching sensations. In a village where everyone believed that the devil was real, close at hand, and acted in the real world, the suspected affliction of the girls became an obsession.” Douglas Linder

8 As it turns out, they had been spending time with Tituba, a slave from Barbados.
Abigail Williams was Elizabeth’s cousin. Elizabeth Parris was the daughter of the town minister. Abigail and Elizabeth were not allowed to have toys or play like most children of the time would, this was seen as idleness and sinful. Instead the girls were encouraged to concentrate on chores and studying bible verses. At night Abigail and Elizabeth would spend their nights by the fire with Reverend Parris’s slave, Tituba. Tituba entertained the girls with magic, fortune telling, and story telling from her homeland. This was forbidden by Puritan law.

9 Witch Cake Tituba also made a witch cake, drawing suspicion on herself. A witch cake is composed of rye meal mixed with urine from the afflicted children. It is then fed to a dog. The person is considered bewitched if the dog displays similar symptoms as the afflicted.

10 Evidence The village doctor was called in; he was sure the girls were victims of witch craft. One Sunday in January as the Reverend began his sermon the girls in town fell into a fit.

11 The Salem Witch Trials The town, concerned for the girls, asked who had cast a spell on them. Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne were named. Tituba, a slave. Sarah Good, a homeless woman. Sarah Osborne, a woman who had married her servant. When placed on trial both Sarahs maintained their innocence. Tituba, however, claimed there were other witches in Salem. This admission started the wave of hysteria that engulfed Salem. Behind this paranoia were Elizabeth and Abigail. The hysteria was being controlled by two young girls.

12 The Trials By the end of 1692, over 200 people were jailed and standing accused of witchcraft.

13 Many of those accused were prominent members of the Salem community.
Many of these characters are seen in the play The Crucible.

14 Traits of a witch… Singing Reading Not conforming to Puritan law
Not getting along with your neighbor Spending time alone Writing

15 The Accusation Process
The afflicted person makes a complaint to the Magistrate about a suspected witch.  The complaint is sometimes made through a third person. The Magistrate issues a warrant for the arrest of the accused person. The accused person is taken into custody and examined by two or more Magistrates.  If, after listening to testimony, the Magistrate believes that the accused person is probably guilty, the accused is sent to jail for possible reexamination and to await trial. The case is presented to the Grand Jury. Depositions relating to the guilt or innocence of the accused are entered into evidence. If the accused is indicted by the Grand Jury, he or she is tried before the Court.  A jury, instructed by the Court, decides the defendant's guilt. The convicted defendant receives his or her sentence from the Court.  In each case at Salem, the convicted defendant was sentenced to be hanged on a specified date. The Sheriff and his deputies carry out the sentence of death on the specified date.

16 The Tests Pressing The Sink Test The Scales Test Satan's Mark Test
Various tests were given to women accused of being a witch. Pressing The Sink Test The Scales Test Satan's Mark Test The Prayer Test The Dunk Test

17 Pressing This method of torture involved placing boards on the victim, then placing heavy stones on the boards, one at a time, until the accused confessed or died.

18 The Sink Test: The sink test involved tying rocks to the accused and placing them in water. If they sank, they were proclaimed innocent. If they floated, they were pronounced a witch, and were then hanged.

19 The Scales: The scales test involved weighing the accused against a metal-bound Bible. If they were lighter than the Bible, they were found guilty of witchcraft. If they outweighed the Bible on the scales, they were innocent.

20 Satan's Mark Test The Satan's mark test involved a body search for a black mark of Satan. If found, the black mark was often poked with needles to see if the person felt pain or bled. If they did not, they were pronounced a witch.

21 The Prayer Test In the prayer test, the accused was asked to recite the Lord's Prayer. If they recited it flawlessly without problem, they were proclaimed innocent. If the accused stumbled over words, made a mistake or shrieked during their recitation, they were considered guilty of witchcraft.

22 The Dunk Test In the dunk test, the accused would be tied to a chair an cast into a body of water. If the accused sank, she was not a witch. If she floated, then she was determined to be a witch.

23 If you were accused… RUN! Flee Salem as fast as you can!
Accuse someone else Get pregnant Confess, even though you’re innocent Plead innocence and await trial Refuse to stand trial and await the consequences

24 Hysteria Strikes Nineteen men and women were hanged, all having been convicted of witchcraft. Giles Cory, a man of over eighty years old, was accused, along with his wife. He refused to enter a plea, and was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Many languished in jail for months without trials.

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