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Salem Witch Trials

            In history, events such as the Inquisition and the Black Death have resulted in the persecution of the different types of scapegoats that were present during the event. Similar to these two events, the Salem Witch Trials involved the persecution of the female scapegoats during the late seventeenth century. Many women of Salem were easily accused, convicted, and executed by the Massachusetts courts. The demises of these many women tainted everyday life for the Salem civilians. Consequently, the extent of social, political, and economic factors significantly influenced the Salem Witch Hysteria.
             Socially many factors influenced the Salem Witch Hysteria. Prior to the Salem witch trials, events such as small pox epidemic, Indian attacks, and young people profaning the Sabbath left Salem very vulnerable. Consequently, the Salem Witch Hysteria was ignited by a group of young girls who began having physical reactions which left them having "fits". This resulted in the town creating a conclusion, which presented the people with a theory involving witches. As a result, from 1692-1963 many persons in Salem were accused of witchcraft. This group of people incorporated males and females. Although men were accused, females are more commonly recognized as the victims of the Witch hysteria due to the difference in number of females accused compared to the number of males accused. During a period of one year 103 females were accused which drastically outnumbered the 39 males that were accused. As a result females became the primary target for the accusations. Also, prior to 1692 about 20 of the accused witches had been convicted of Assaultive speech. This presents that the accusers were hostile against people who had spoken out against someone or something. These events show how social factors influenced the Witch Hysteria.
             Political factors immensely influenced the witch hysteria prior to and during the Salem witch hysteria.

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