Academic Catalog 2019-20

HIST 4110 Famous Trials: Salem Witch Trials

During 1692-93, the witchcraze swept through Puritan Massachusetts. Hundreds (mainly women) were accused of witchcraft, nineteen were convicted and hanged for being witches. Others were tortured or deprived of property and legal rights. Hundreds of neighbors, relatives, jurors, ministers, and magistrates were caught up in the legal proceedings of the trials. The study of the trial transcripts and related documents of the investigation, will show the Puritans’ worldview and the socio-political milieu that shaped their reactions to the events leading to the trials. What caused this outbreak of hysteria in Salem? This course explores the historical context, the evidence, the causes of the witchcraze, the accusers, the key issues involved, and the impact on society then and now.


1.00 unit