The Salem Witch Trials

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What might have caused a person to accuse another of witchcraft?

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During the Salem witch trials, it wasn't hard to get accused of witchcraft. Many suspicions centered around people who did not fit into Puritan society in ways that were considered appropriately normal. Slaves were particularly vulnerable because many people held racist suspicions about them already. Many people deemed witches were childless, gay,outspoken, chronically ill, disabled, or otherwise considered strange by Puritan society. Over time, however, the reasons became much more diverse. A number of accusations were aimed at young girls, punishing them for self-expression in various ways. As it became easier and easier to believe that an accusation would lead to a conviction, people began to accuse others out of a desire to claim their land, or brought accusations at people whom they had longstanding personal conflicts with.

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