Initially, people in Salem lived under very strict protestant morals and rules. Society was governed by religious sanctions and expectations of behavior. Women were expected to serve their husbands and worship their Lord and God. Men were expected to resist the temptations of the devil and provide for their wives.
All of the decorum began to unwind when allegations of witchcraft and devil worship emerged. People became paranoid as community members began to accuse others of the crimes against God. As the situation worsened neighbors betrayed neighbors and people with a grudge to bear lied against their brethren. Innocent people were arrested and put to death on hear-say.
As a result, children were orphaned and farms left unattended. Cattle escaped and grazed for food where ever it could be found.