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Salem Witch hunt

            The hysteria that created the Salem Witch Hunt in 1692 was the result of many .
             Foremost were the harsh social and environmental challenges faced by the residents of Salem, the strict and superstitious religious practices they followed, and the presence of many personal conflicts and vendettas that existed in the community. .
             Life in Salem in 1692 was exceedingly difficult. At this time, Salem was surrounded by Native Americans that frequently attacked the colony, which left them feeling frightened and vulnerable. Moreover, the climate was harsh, much harsher than England where they had come from. Long, cold winters often resulted in lost livestock and lives as essential supplies ran out. Medical care in the 1600's was poor, and many people died from simple common illnesses or child birth. Shortly before the trials there was an outbreak of Smallpox, for example. The result of all of this was that the citizens of Salem often felt helpless and not in control of their fate. Instead, they turned to religion to help them cope with these hardships and to give them hope in a higher power to protect them. It also created a climate where people wanted to find scapegoats for their anger and fear, to blame someone or something rather than believe that God had abandoned them. The citizens of Salem were more than receptive to the idea that Satan could have representatives living among them and that they were trying to subvert the community and corrupt their children. .
             These hardships also supported the strict religious dogma of Puritanism. Their religion was a strong theocracy headed by ministers. These ministers oversaw all the actions that were performed by the church and community. Without separation of church and state, religious practice and belief became law. Moreover, their religion placed a higher value on faith then on human life. The Puritan religion was also very superstitious.

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