The Force That Drove Salem

The Force That Drove Salem


In Peter Charles Hoffer?s book, The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History, Hoffer?s tell the story of the Salem Witchcraft Trials and how they came to be. His thesis stated that criminal justice in Salem was led by the belief of Puritanism and the fear of the Devil. He supports his thesis in may ways throughout this book. They are also some weaknesses to his story. The force that drove Salem was both the Devil and God.

Hoffer?s thesis is supported in many ways throughout this book. Salem was a religious town and people were respectful of this religion of they would be accused a witch. The idea that God and the Devil drove Salem is supported right away from this example on page one:
It was safer, at least for the time being, for God-fearing, churchgoing men, women, and children to declare that they had met the Devil and bowed to Him than to insist that they remained faithful to the Lord?s commandments. (Hoffer, 1)

When trying the case of a 14 year old boy the magistrates in Salem came to the conclusion that, ?The Devil made him do it.

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