Salem Witch Hunt Research Paper

Words: 618
Pages: 3

In the 17th century witchcraft was a real crime and many people were killed. The witch-hunts of Colonial America began in Salem, a town in Massachusetts. The witch-hunts however took place in many towns around the world. Those accused of witchcraft were hung, burned, and at times stoned if found guilty. The majority of those put on trial for witchcraft were women but, this is not to say men were not accused and killed. It is difficult to understand what may have motivated the witch-hunts. As there were many factors that could have influenced them. The main motivating factor for the witch-hunts was a strong divide in social status and politics. The witch-hunts were not an issue of misogyny like many thought. Many men were killed and accused of witch-craft as well. In Salem those accused were blamed by those with power over them. According to authors Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum there was a political divide in Salem. This caused people to resolve conflicting issues with though accusing others of witchcraft. People in Salem would accuse one another according to the political divide and not because they were truly witches. The witch-hunts were an issue of opposing interests (Salem Possessed, Boyer). Villagers would accuse people of other factions of witchcraft when they did not agree. Women of lower …show more content…
Many used the fear of witches to carry out a much larger agenda. This agenda was to get rid of those that were hindering the community. In Salem the political divide was a motivation for accusing others of being witches. The different political families would target one another in order to get ahead themselves. For this reason, it is not enough to say that the witch-hunts were motivated by misogyny. Also it is important to remember that men were targeted as well as women. The witch-hunts of the 17th century were a unique phenomenon and were mainly motivated by a divide in