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This question has been asked for over years. Although it is a simple question, it does not have an easy answer.
The answer is difficult because there are numerous factors and events that helped create and influence the trials. The main factors that started and fueled the trials were politics, religion, family feuds, economics, and the imaginations and fears of the people.
The following essay on these causes and the events surrounding the Salem witch trials of is divided into four sections: Salem Politics Salem Village had a very colorful history before the famous witch trials. It was not exactly known as a bastion of tranquillity in New England.
The main reason was its plus residents were divided into two main parts: The residents who wanted to separate from Salem Town were farming families located in the western part of Salem Village.
Those who wanted to remain a part of Salem Town were typically located on the eastern side of Salem Village--closest to Salem Town. The residents who wished to remain a part of Salem Town were economically tied to its thriving, rich harbors. This individualism was in opposition to the communal nature that Puritanism mandated.
Thus, they were out of touch with the rest of Salem Village. One particularly large farming family who felt that Salem Town was out of touch with the rest of Salem Village was the Putnams.
The Putnams were the leaders of the separatist group primarily because they owned the most farmland in Salem Village. They hoped to solidify a separation from Salem Town by establishing a congregation unique from it.
So ina congregation was formed under the Rev. Samuel Parris and began worshipping in the Salem Village Meetinghouse.
However, the congregation only represented a select group since over half of its members were Putnams. Contracts for ministers during this period often provided them with a modest salary, use of a house, and free firewood.
Parris received this and much more. He not only got a modest salary and free firewood, but the title and deed to the parsonage and its surrounding land.Misc thoughts, memories, proto-essays, musings, etc. And on that dread day, the Ineffable One will summon the artificers and makers of graven images, and He will command them to give life to their creations, and failing, they and their creations will be dedicated to the flames.
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