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In the colonial American time period during the seventeenth century there were many important sources that have come up missing. Some are just missing and others destroyed. The modern- day historians have the task of trying to find this lost information to determine the facts about the past. Some of the missing facts are about the economic and population problems. The Salem Witch Trials were also some information that had to be studied by the historians.

The first question that will be answered is to what extent does the survivability of sources (or lack thereof) affect the ability of historians to reconstruct and interpret the history of this period? The historians study the exact events that happened during the Witch Trails and find that some of the information is missing. They have come across some people that their families lived during this time and asked questions to get to the truth. This would be considered a secondary source because the person telling the story got the information second-hand.

Then the historian would have to come up with facts that proved the information they received was true. In Salem there would be some records of the Salem Witch trials but it was not easy for the historians to prove if it was fact or fiction. A lot of the people put on trial were innocent, but because they acted strangely they were put on trial and hung at the stake because of it. Not a lot of records were made during this time so the facts could not always be proved. There were some people that kept diaries of the events but these were accounts of what the author of the diaries claimed they saw themselves.

In most cases these accounts were bias. Issues can be found with most of the sources on the event. (Latner, 2008) The next question that will be discussed is what limitations or problems with these sources originally made it challenging for historians to reconstruct and satisfactorily interpret the history of this period? The Salem Witch Trials had a habit of attracting intellectual interest. The facts are continuously investigated. There are many books and articles on Salem that has been reviewed. The problem with this is most of them are accounts of people that were not there.

Then there were some details that were missing from the events. It was hard for the historians to put together the information because they did not know the whole truth. The historians had to at least have most of the facts to get an accurate account of what happened. The last question that needs to be answered is what sorts of additional questions and scholarly approaches from outside of the field of history eventually provided further understanding of early Virginia population losses/economic problems and Salem witchcraft accusations?

One question that could be asked by the historians was what was life like in Puritan New England? This would be an important question to ask because it would explain why or not too many people were living in Salem at the time. Another good question to ask would be what are some possible explanations for the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts? This would be a good question to ask because it would be important for people to know why others were being accused of being witches.

They could avoid acting like the people that were accused so they would not be accused as well. The next question would be was there a timeline of the events during the Salem Witch Trials? This would be helpful piece of information to establish how the events took place. The explaining of the population lose would be a perfect question. Did the people leave because of the trails or did the population get smaller because they were hanging the people that they said were witches.

In conclusion, these questions would be helpful in discovering the lost facts of the Salem Witch Trials. A lot of the information is still lost from the past and the historians are still trying to uncover the facts of the events today. They are still asking the important questions needed to find out the events of the past.


Latner, R. (2008, july). Salem witchcraft, factionalism, and social change reconsidered: Were salem’s witch-hunters modernization’s failures?. Retrieved from http://ocean. st. usm. edu/~w535683/Latner_Salem_Factionalism_Reconsidered. pdf


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