The Salem Witch Trials:

WARM-UP (100 words)
True or False: That which doesn’t
destroy us only makes us stronger.
In your response, you should explain
whether or not this true and provide at
least one example to support your
The Salem Witch Trials:
Boston, MA 1693
What were the causes?
 Young girls develop “fits,” soon members of the small
town are accused of bewitching them (group hysteria)
 Neighbors greedy for land (accuse your neighbor and
get his land cheap at auction)
 Women who inherited land (land=$=power) were
accused to reinforce patriarchal values
 A possible blight on the wheat crop that results in
psychopathic behavior and delusions of grandeur
 Puritans were able to cleanse their society of
“unwanted” elements
 Individuals project their own sins on easy targets
Who was accused?
Poor people, beggars, and unwanted
elements in Puritan society
 Farmers whose neighbors were jealous
for land
 Individuals that were not noted to be as
pious or religious than their neighbors
What were the consequences?
Witches were hung after an unfair trial
(you’ll see how unfair when we begin
reading The Crucible)
Land belonging to the accused was
seized and often eventually bought by
the accusers
Salem crops actually began to rot in the
fields and livestock roamed freely
What ended the trials?
 Rebecca Nurse, a respected citizen was
 Governor Pheps’ wife was accused
 Riots in neighboring towns increased
pressure for Salem to conclude its