Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum argue that the Salem witchcraft hysteria was .
caused by economic and social tension that emerged from commercial capitalism, .
conflicts between ministers and congregations, and loss of family land which divided the .
residents of Salem town and Salem village. The first three women accused of witchcrafts .
were lower class outcasts, but in March of 1692 a new pattern of accusations emerged. .
The overall direction of accusations, were people moving upward on the social ladder. .
Several men with large estates in Boston, members of the government, and many more .
upper class residents in and around New England. The geographic patterns also bring to .
light more interesting facts. It seems as if the village was split into two halves. Out of 32 .
adults who testified against the "witches," only two were from the eastern side of the .
village, and the other 30 were from the western side. There were 29 villagers who .
defended the accused and 24 of them were from the eastern side. There were cases where .
some of the accused villagers were not recognized by the afflicted girls who had .
apparently accused them. The Puritan temper was in Salem from the start. One village .
with two separate ways of life, and an episode sparked by a new minister who had .
brought with him Tituba, a west Indian slave. "Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." .
Boyer and Nissenbaum call this rebellious force of trying to gain status on the social .
ladder mercantile capitalism. Salem called it witchcraft.
Laurie Winn Carlson had a totally different explanation as to what occurred in .
Salem year 1692. Residents began to suffer from strange physical and mental symptoms. .
They experienced fits, hallucinations, temporary paralysis, and distracted random .
rampages. Livestock was also getting ill. With limited medical knowledge, the only way .
the doctors could explain this was witchcraft. By comparing symptoms recorded in the .