_Raghad_Mohd-Ali_-_Salem.pdf - A Brief History of the Salem...

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This article is available at 5 reading levels at . A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials TOP: Fanciful representation of the Salem witch trials, lithograph from 1892 by Joseph Baker. Courtesy of Library of Congress. BOTTOM: Drawing of Martha Corey, who was hanged for witchcraft at the Salem Witch trials in 1692. "Stranger's Illustrated Guide to Boston and its Suburbs" by James Stark, 1883. The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft — the Devil's magic — and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted. Since then, the story of the trials has become synonymous with paranoia and injustice, and it continues to beguile the popular imagination more than 300 years later. Salem Struggling Several centuries ago, many practicing Christians, and those of other religions, had a strong belief that the Devil could give certain people known as witches the power to harm others in return for their loyalty. A "witchcraft craze" rippled through Europe from the 1300s to the end of the 1600s. Tens of thousands of supposed witches — mostly women — were executed. Though the Salem trials came on just as the European craze was winding down, local circumstances explain their onset. By Jess Blumberg, Smithsonian.com on 10.17.16 Word Count 1,129 Level MAX
This article is available at 5 reading levels at . In 1689, English rulers William and Mary started a war with France in the American colonies. Known as King William's War to colonists, it ravaged regions of upstate New York, Nova Scotia and Quebec, sending refugees into the county of Essex and, specifically, Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. (Salem Village is present-day Danvers, Massachusetts; colonial Salem Town became what's now Salem.) The displaced people created a strain on Salem's resources. This aggravated the existing rivalry between families with ties to the wealth of the port of Salem and those who still depended on agriculture. Controversy also brewed over Reverend Samuel Parris, who became Salem Village's first ordained minister in 1689, and was disliked because of his rigid ways and greedy nature. The Puritan villagers believed all the quarreling was the work of the Devil.

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