Before the start of the American legal system, allegations were the precedent for right and wrong. In the late 1600r’s the Puritans of New England were figuring out how to civilly resolve disputes between villagers. The Puritans had a strong belief in the devil and witchcraft, creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.
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Justice was not given to those accused of witchcraft, instead anyone displaying strange behavior was presumed as guilty. The Salem Witchcraft Trials was a substantial period in history because it illustrated the dangers of superstitions and prejudiced assumptions, which led to the execution of innocent people.
There are many events that led up to the Salem Witch Trials. In 1233, when witchcraft was not familiar to anybody, Pope Gregory formed the medieval interrogation to bring justice against the growing heresy (Linder, 2009) to arrest, try, convict and execute heretics. Pope Gregoryr’s inquisition carried on to the point where he insisted on torturing the heretics during trial, which came to a stop in 1258 when Pope Alexander IV forced their inquisition to confine their investigations to just cases of heresy without torture. The Church allowed the inquisition to investigate Witchcraft, which lead to attempting to prove that witches are heretics (Robinson, 2001). Years later, in 1347, the mysterious Bubonic Plague also known as Black Death, struck in Europe killing over twenty million people. It began with a crowd of townspeople welcoming home the ships full of sailors returning from the Black Sea, although the sailors inside ships were not quite the same. Most of the sailors aboard returned dead and the ones that remained were near death and covered in large black boils on every inch of their body.
Little did they know that this strange disease was contagious. By the time they figured it out, the disease was already spread among the citizens, and it was too late. No one could ever figure out what had happened to the sailors when they were out at sea, the people then got lost under the misapprehension that this incident was curse from the dark acts of witchcraft. This point in time demonstrated how ignorance could lead to superstition. Pope Innocent VII officially declared witches were real in 1484. Later, in 1530, King Henry of England separated his nation from Roman Catholicism, which resulted in creating the church of England because he did not believe in witches (Linder, 2009). English settlers who strongly believed in witchcraft landed in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. A couple years later, in 1630, the settlers called themselves Puritans, and began to settle in Salem Village, Massachusetts (Linder, 2009).
The era of the Salem Witch Trials held in the colony of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 was a dark time and had devastating historical implications.
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