Ruth Putnam and Betty Parris would not have gone into shock after being discovered. The girls would not have felt compelled to lie. If the belief in witchcraft had not been so firm, the girls would not have been believed from the start, Doctor Griggs would not have told Parris to look look to unnatural things for the cause of Bettys Illness. Hale would not have been sent for and nothing would have come of it. Abigail, Tituba and Betty would not have been able to accuse so many others at the end of act one and others throughout the play.
Ann and Thomas Putnam could not have cried witch on others to get their land, and the accused would not have been able to shift the blame by saying someone cast their spirit on them. With such a strict way of life, it would be natural to want to rebel as the girls did in the forest. Crying out witchcraft was a way of expressing long held hatreds of neighbours and taking vengeance under the name of the lord and his work. These things could not normally be expressed so publicly. The way the court and justice system worked was not like courts today.
In our society we would say innocent until proven guilty, in the court in The Crucible it is guilty until proven innocent, and you cannot be proven innocent. As John Proctor says, Is the accuser always holy now? The accusers are always believed, never the accused. This is why so many people accused others before they got accused themselves. Partly because of the I think the casting of the blame of the people in the play needs to be divided into three categories; those to blame, those responsible, and those who could have stopped it.
By this I mean those without motives who subconsciously caused things to happen as they did, the people with motives who consciously caused the uproar, and those who had it within their power to stop it, and didnt. An example of the first type of person is John Proctor. Proctor took Abby from her sleep and put knowledge in her heart during their affair. He should not of course have had an affair with Abigail, but by opening her eyes to what a pretence Salem was, he was not deliberately letting her know what she could get away with.