The age old question “Was the Salem witchcraft hysteria a product of women’s search for power?” is debated that it whether it was or wasn’t a product of their search for power. There are many different examples that it was, but if you think about it most of those are not conclusive, because you could easily have many reasons to why those events happened and were caused.
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The examples that women were do witch craft because they did unexplained activities such as assume odd postures, writher in agony, necks cracked, and more are not true, because those actions are easily explained. For example cracking your neck is common to people who had a sore neck. More of these action like the ones I name have no logic to it if you think about it.
Some people will say yes to this question, due to the fact that when Tituba confessed she was a witch, she also said there were others out there, but no one really confessed to being a witch. Most of the accused were either related to some else who was accused or victims of paranoia that enveloped that community. Also some people will say that they were looking for power because most of the accused were women, but most were being accused due to their gender because most women did not have right back then.
When the accused had been accused it was due to the fact that they did something that’s was uncommon or unheard of. I say no they were not looking for power, because if they were they would not have been living in fear of being accused and would not wait to be accused, but admit that they were witches without fear. You may say that some women like Tituba, did confessed for more power to women, but they probably only said they were because they did not have an explanation to why those acts of witch craft accrued due to the fact that most of those actions were uncommon back then, but did some accepted the accusation just to rebel a little. Also most women probably only did confess like Tituba so they will not have been subjected to harsher punishments.
The fits and rampages that had happened out of nowhere were factors in being accused in this time, but the thing is that these rampages were widely spread to not only the humans, but the livestock too. Even some people said that witch craft were the only explanations to these unexplained actions. People mostly only probably said this because back then people were scared of what they did not know and this was the only way they would know this in this time period.
In later years similar events had swept Europe, as time went one all the unknown questions and unexplained event were becoming more and more known, so it would not have made sense that women did those things to gain and show power in their lives. If you look back to what was considered as witchery to now you would see it was fear of the unknown and paranoia that made it seem as women’s act of gaining power and not conrisidents.
Back to being accusers, they had many problems in their social lives and believe and accusing other was the only way to restore their problems in life and their self-worth. Accusers had gained more power from the witch accusation then the accused women did. With fear from the unknown and uncommon was established unknowingly the only way they became unfearful was to accuse others from these seemingly mysterious actions.
Some of the accused were either different or untraditional and that was considered another trait of witchery. You may say that the untraditional women and fee-spirited women were only looking for power, but in reality it was the unconscious start for women to be able to have a little more freedom. Some of the witches like Susannah Roots were also accused for entertaining people late at night or adultery, but just because they did those kinds of things did not mean they were looking for power or attention from the whole town, but from the people they did it with.
What we know now that did not know then is that the accused must have had been sick in some way or form. We can conclude this with the fact that the symptoms of witchery are the same symptoms as the Encephalitis Epidemic that accrued in the early 1900s to the mid-1900s.
For example the “bites” made by witches were really red marks that bleed thru the skin. The visions they had were really hallucinations that accrued from ant diseases that they endured. More of the symptom that were cause back then would be perfect examples of the epidemic that will have swept Europe. With no proper heat back then the cold worsened the symptoms that were considered witchery symptoms.
The illnesses that cussed these were from insects that might have infected the so called witches in the past. As the years went on less and less accusations stopped probably due to the weather change in which the insects could not live and in return not infect the people.
Women had not really wanted to have power because they would have found some way or pretended to have done witchery actions to continue their search of power instead of letting it become only something in the past. We can also conclude that it was not really the women’s idea of gaining power because if the events were becoming part of that past most things will not change, but be the same and they will have had continued the search of power.
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Many more insects had been spread all over Europe witch caused the diseases that were the causes of the witch accusations. If the diseases did not spread people would not have been infected and jugged. Another idea to consider is if the disease causing insects were not common and had not infected the accused will they still be considered witches. That is a question that you should ask yourself and think about.
Some of the accused witches were women were highly esteemed members of their church and community. Even their daughters as young as four were accused, from the hysteria. If you think about it, it wound not make sense that the “witches” were doing godly things. Also this will be no way of trying to gain more power because otherwise they would not be as highly esteemed as they are.
Even though women protested against being witches or having family being accused they still were not looking for power. The women were only trying to convince the accusers that they were wrong and that they were indecent the only way they could think of. Sure they got attention and some power, but so did the male members of the community who protested with them.
As hysterias spread and more were accused the punishments got worse and so did the deaths. Even though women wanted to get more power they probably would not have gone as far as death, because they most would want to live for their families and not chose power.as time went on with these more and more people were trying to help them from being wrongfully accused like many did.
If you were to face death like these wrongly accused women were would you accept death or would you beg to be spared? These women had to decide this question their selves, and they said they will beg because they were not looking for power they were just subjected people’s fear in that time period. with not accepting being witches and begging it will naturally cause less power and the argument that women wanted more power that they had made the witch trials a big deal would be false.
Not all the accused were being murdered for being witches. If they had confessed even if they were innocent they will be spared. The women who were confessing to their crime were only doing it to save their lives and ant gain power like some people think. Many were trying to get set free and not die so they did anything to get found not guilty. Women did not want power they wanted to go back to their lives without free of dyeing. Most of the time when women were accused they were not given a fair chance to prove they were not witches which means they did not want the power people said they wanted.
So as I we think about the question that’s been asked for ages we also should think about how and why the women were accused and why they said and did what they did. There may be people still out there believing that it was women’s act to gain power, but it was not because they tried to get free and prove they were not lying. Also they action they did can always have an explanation to them because of what we know today.
Even though the accused were trying to prove they were innocent and that they wanted to be free, they were strong and just trying to survive and live their lives no matter what other will think. Soon the trials had become part of the past and an important part that no one will forget.
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