Title

Religiosity and the Political Economy of the Salem Witch Trials

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2010

Department

Finance, Real Estate, and Business Law

Abstract

Salem Village, both before and through the witchcraft trials, was a religion-based community, allowing its minister to exert a level of political-economic control over its citizens. During the height of the witchcraft episode, there was an increased demand for ministerial services (salvation) in the Salem area. Recent research has argued that the minister used the witchcraft episode to maintain and build upon personal and corporate wealth. In the years after the witchcraft trials changes were made in the business and legal environment of the surrounding New England region. By transitioning to a more neutral rules system with a larger area of consensus for the system, Salem and the rest of the New England transitioned from the 17th Century traditional, religion-based community to a more rules-based, pro-business one in the 18th Century. (C) 2010 Western Social Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Social Science Journal

Volume

47

Issue

3

First Page

678

Last Page

688