The trial began March 1, 1692, all but Tituba pleaded innocent. Tituba confessed and claimed there were other witches within the community. This cascaded a series of accusations, people like Martha Corey, Sarah Good's 4-year-old daughter, and eventually, Bridget Bishop. Bishop was known for her gossip and promiscuity and despite her pleas of innocence, she was found guilty and on June 10th, was the first person hanged on Gallows Hill (oach, 2004). Several more people were hanged or executed after Bishop. The rate of executions caught the attention of minister Cotton Mather who wrote a letter to the court asking the court not to accept spectral evidence. Spectral evidence was testimony about dreams. Even Mather's father, Increase Mather, also spoke against spectral evidence. Governor Phipps, responding to Mather's request and his own wife's inquisition, ceased further arrests and released the accused witches. On January 14, 1697 a day of fasting…… [Read More]
In this sense, the only category of convicts which were burned to death was that of the so-called "satanic Blacks" as this was considered to be the only way of destroying their 'evilness.' In uritan New England ideology, Blacks were associated with Satan. This belief was the remnant of an old European image of Satan as a black man which dated back to long before the contact between Africans and Europeans in the New World. However, one must note here that Satan was never seen as a Native American. Whites only feared Native Americans because of the constant warfare between them. "In fact there has been speculation that witchcraft outbreaks occurred when there was a great deal of anxiety among Whites resulting from intense raids by Native Americans."
Evilness' vs. Illness
With Calvinism being the dominant religious ideology in both England and most of its colonies, witchcraft trials were not…… [Read More]
Salem Witch Trials
The event of Salem witch trials happened in the year 1692 in the Suffolk and Middlesex counties of Massachusetts. The case was highlighted due to property disagreements, hysteria and jealousy. All because of personal vendettas, a dozen or more people were hanged even though there was no evidence but only stories and assumptions by the town's women and girls. The case was stretched for more than a year after which the Governor Phips William pardoned the other accused witches because the case had become "too boring." The trial was a result of a few girls starting from Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, who were observed to have hysterical fits being and were somehow capable of screaming and contorting their bodies. No medical explanations could be derived for the mysterious illness and neither could the other girls who were getting affected by the same problems could explain their…… [Read More]
The children described, each one of them separately, seeing Sarah and the other women flying as specters through the night. The children, despite the threats they must have received from the women, they were brave and told the truth about what had happened. Other townspeople came forward with evidence I hadn't even heard of -- milk and cheese going rotten after a visit from one of the witches; animals tended by the women had deformed offspring;
As the trial went on, I was more and more convinced that poor Sarah had, in her desperation, turned to dark powers bigger than us all. It would have been easier if she would have confessed and plead on the mercy of Mr. Parris and his friends. I had seen what those poor young girls had suffered at these women's doing -- convulsions, fits, babbling, seeing into the evil spirit world -- and I…… [Read More]
And their could be other, more personal reasons for the accusations. For instance, John Westgate's testimony includes a tale of how Mary Parker came to a tavern and chastised her husband for drinking. When John Westgate called her unseemly for coming to the tavern, as he himself testified, "she came up to me and called me rogue and bid me mind my owne busines…." Late 17th century men were not accustomed to being spoken to in this manner, especially by a woman. A public scolding from a woman could have embarrassed John Westgate to the point of holding a grudge; and later when he was frightened by a wild hog, fell and injured himself, it was easy for him to blame the woman he hated.
Mary Parker seems to be an extremely opinionated and outspoken woman, two traits that are greatly admired and valuable in the modern world. Unfortunately, Mary…… [Read More]
As the Puritan leadership took the stand that their decisions were made directly from the scripture (indeed there was an absolute marriage of Church and State within these communities) any challenge to their processes (such as a newcomer objecting to the financial controls placed upon them) could be then perceived as evidence of a person who is not in alignment with God. Newcomers were more likely to propose challenges to the status quo, thus risking the leadership's stature within the community. As everyone within the community was expected to produce and demonstrate their purity through labor and production, this level of economic control had the benefit of insuring that individuals would contribute to the overall prosperity of the community. People who did not work, who took up occupations considered to be in alignment with evil. Women who took up occupations more commonly associated with men (such as Bridget Bishop who…… [Read More]
Salem Witch Trials
In the months of June to September 1692, nineteen men and women were hung near Salem Village, Massachusetts, for the crime of witchcraft. One man, Giles Corey, close to eighty years of age at the time of the accusations, was crushed to death under heavy stones for refusing to be tried. Hundreds of other people also faced accusations of witchcraft, and a large proportion of the accused spent many months in jail without the benefit of trial.
They hysteria that led to the Salem witchcraft trials has its roots in the strict Puritan religion of the colony of Massachusetts. However, economic conditions, personal jealousies, discontent within a congregation, and teenage boredom all played an important role in the events that swept Salem that summer.
Salem's hysteria over witchcraft sparked with the strange illness of Betty Parris, the daughter of the Salem minister. She exhibited a strange variety…… [Read More]
Salem itchcraft Trials
The witch trials of Salem Massachusetts represent one of the most fascinating events in American history. Although the witch-hunt hysteria only lasted approximately one year, the ramifications and lessons learned are still alive today. Questions still abound over the sudden fear of witches in 1691-2. This paper will examine the circumstances which led to the trials including the Puritan lifestyle, conflicts that arise within communities (and how they affect the community), the hysteria related to so-called witches, the power of fear that can grow out of control, and the voice of reason that finally triumphs in the end.
According to Mary Norton, author of In the Devil's Snare, the "witchcraft crisis" began in the middle of January 1661, which resulted in legal action against 144 people. (Norton 3) Of that number, nine women were executed for being witches. Norton states that to understand the situation clearly, one…… [Read More]
law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SALEM.HTM)." Tibuta immediately became suspect as being a witch and making the young girls become witches.
Arrest warrants for her and two other village women were soon issued as the illness spread among more young girls. And the Salem Witch Trial hysteria was underway.
The of the trials was based in hysteria. People did not understand what was wrong with the young girls who initially became ill and they became fearful as it spread that if it were not stopped everyone was doomed. This fear spurned a hysteria in which anyone who acted remotely different or non-sociable by society standards was accused of being a witch. At that time society had a fear of the devil and the devil's abilities that could overtaken common sense and did.
The trials and accusations were fueled by fear that the devil was behind the witch activity and he could wreak tragedy on…… [Read More]
Salem itch Trials were an atrocity in a period of American history. Several young girls, who had heard tales of the supernatural from a est Indian slave, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused three women of witchcraft. Put in that position, the three women, in turn, named others in false confessions (Merriam-ebster 1416).
This caused hysteria much like Joseph McCarthy caused in 1950 in his hunt for Communists. Unlike the McCarthy era, the penalty for "witches" was death. Anyone that behaved in a way that people couldn't understand was subjected to scrutiny.
There are many theories that have been made of the behavior of the citizens of Salem, Massachusetts in May to October 1692. The behavior that caused nineteen "witches" to be executed and one hundred-fifty others to be imprisoned (Merriam-ebster 1416). hat caused the people in that town to turn against their own? Did the Salem…… [Read More]
Salem Witch Trials
Why and How Did the Salem Witch Trials Happen?
The Salem Witch Trials occurred in the colonial Massachusetts between the years of sixteen ninety-two and sixteen ninety-three. It was during this time that more than two hundred individuals were accused of practicing witchcraft, (that is the devil's magic) and at least twenty people were executed. However, the colony eventually admitted that the trials were held mistakenly and families of those persons who were convicted. Since that time, the story of these trials became synonymous with injustices and a lot of paranoia. It has also continued to be beguiling the common imagination for the issue that happens more than three hundred years ago
. This study provides some of the events that led to the trials of the witches in Salem and how the entire process was executed.
In a number of centuries, ago many practicing Christians, and…… [Read More]
The Salem witch trials of the late 1600's have become legendary through the centuries and have been the subject of much research. Accounts of various testimonies, along with scholarly studies, seem to indicate that the phenomenon of the trials can linked to both cultural and historical context.
In 1692, a witch panic that escalated to epidemic proportions swept through the county of Essex, Massachusetts, resulting in formal charges of witchcraft being brought against some one hundred and fifty-six people from twenty-four different towns and villages in that year alone (Rape pp). By the time governor illiam Phips brought a halt to the trials, "nineteen people had been hanged, one man had died under interrogation, and over one hundred suspects were languishing in jail" (Rape pp). More than half the accusations originated in the two communities of Salem Village and Andover (Rape pp).
The panic began when several girls in…… [Read More]
America and the seventeenth century in general, as a 'century of saints'. Some also refer to the seventeenth century as the 'golden age of demoniac." Towards the end of such a holy and demonic century the 1692 Salem Witch hunt showed just how much religion and religious belief permeated society. Several were accused and executed for witchcraft in Salem. While many of the accused were just victims of an overzealous society, the Salem Witch Trials remain as part of an unforgettable part of American history. Richard Godbeer's Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692, take another look at the events of 1692 Salem, but from a different, refreshing perspective.
The book notes of the dramatic change in early New England's legal system because of the witch trials. The people's faith-based beliefs came in direct conflict with a legal system that at its base was reason and logic. But because…… [Read More]
After three women were incarcerated for witchcraft, the perceived effects of their spells continued, as more and more people began to disengage from social norms. Similar events took place in other communities and by incarcerating suspects the community returned to normality. Yet, the Salem Village witchcraft did not stop and took a more dramatic turn. As the number of cases of "infected people" continued to rise, more and more women and even men, began to be arrested, trialed and executed. One of the factors that the authors discovered to be substantial in assessing the socio-economic causes of the trials lies in the geographic and social pattern of the accused. Most of the individuals accused and executed not only were not unknown to the accusers, but lived at opposite sides of the Village, and beyond. What the authors have gathered extensive records of the events that prove that accusations were not…… [Read More]
supernatural phenomena were associated with everyday life emerged in 15th century Europe and spread to the New World with the influx of European colonists (Bonomi, 2003). Seventeenth century colonists in the New World had been using charms to foster the growth of crops, control the weather, etc. As these beliefs served to provide a sense of control over otherwise uncontrollable conditions for them (Bonomi, 2003). However, the notion of dark magic was also prevalent during this time and the notion that demons and evil spirits could possess people were common superstitions in the New World during this period (Bonomi, 2003). The Salem witchcraft trials did not represent the first time people were executed for witchcraft in the world; however, these particular incidents have endured over time to represent the mindset of individuals during the time period as well as serving as a type of metaphor for types of accusations that…… [Read More]
Salem Citizen at the itch Trials
Sixty years or so before the Salem witch trials were being held in 1692-93 -- a series of events featuring fear, paranoia, ignorance, hysteria, which ended with 20 young women being hanged -- Bernal Diaz del Castillo writes that he witnessed human sacrifices in the Aztec world of Mexico. "They strike open the wretched Indian's chest with flint knives and hastily tear out the palpitating heart," Diaz writes (published on page 23 of Michael Johnson's book, Reading the American Past: Volume 1 to 1877: Selected Historical Documents).
The initial thought that comes to my mind is that while human sacrifices are horrendously bloody and brutally, the injustices perpetrated on the 20 women in Salem Village in the late 17th century were perhaps even more inhumane. Each culture in these two cases had their own dark, sadistic sides, and while the juxtaposition of the two…… [Read More]
While it may explain the violence against the witches, it really does not do a good job of explaining how a society that had moved away from a belief in sorcery changes and begins to believe in sorcery once again. It certainly does not adequately explain how such a transformation can occur within the span of a generation. Even if an underlying belief in the power of sorcery was always part of the culture, how does that transform into violence. Siegel does explain that fear is a tremendous motivator, causing people to lash out against perceived problems in society, hoping to eliminate perceived threats. However, it still feels like there is an unexplained logic leap between a belief that there are witches in existence and that they are relatively harmless to the killing of people because they are practicing witchcraft. However, maybe the fact that this logical step appears to…… [Read More]
Response to Craker
Craker describes the three types of evidence used during the Salem judicial proceedings: spectral evidence, non-spectral evidence, and confessions. According to Craker, the types of evidence used determined which individuals were selected for trial and execution. Most importantly, the author claims that no individual was called to trial or executed on the basis of spectral evidence alone. Craker shows how a closer examination of trial evidence and procedures can reconstruct a more accurate narrative of the Salem events. Prior historical constructions have been emotionally driven and sensationalistic, based on the assumption that spectral evidence was weighted more heavily than it actually was. In fact, non-spectral evidence proved far more meaningful in the eyes of the courts. The author investigates 156 accused and the evidence brought against them, in order to showcase the greater significance of non-spectral evidence.
Therefore, the Craker reading underscores the importance of re-investigating primary…… [Read More]
According to Ray, those explanations ignore what more recent research has identified as the principal cause of the witchcraft hysteria in Salem: religious paranoia, intolerance, and persecution.
In that regard, Ray details the historical record showing that the principal origin of the Salem Witch Trials was in the intense antagonism on the part of Reverend Samuel Parris toward village residents who refused to join his congregation. For months before the accusations about witchcraft against Tituba, Parris railed against the unconverted as "wicked" and referred to the "chosen" members of his church and those who had "betrayed" it and who sought to destroy his village church and, ultimately, the entire church of England. Ray also notes, significantly, that all of the young girls whose accusations were the initial spark for the witch craze were members of prominent church families. By the time their accusations first surfaced, Parris's audience had been well…… [Read More]
Witchcraft in the 16th & 17 Centuries: Response to Literature
At first glance, a logical 21st Century explanation for the "witch craze" (also known as a witch-hunt) during the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe was based largely upon human ignorance. That is to say, the belief that a sub-culture of the general population performed witchcraft (and other magic-related phenomena), and ate the flesh of children, helped the unenlightened explain the unexplainable, and helped the ignorant deal with the darkness. Witchcraft seemingly established a reason that a person had that bad luck and it explained illnesses, and probably it helped explain natural calamities such as tornadoes, seismic catastrophes and sudden killer bolts of lightning or sheets of rain turned into disastrous flooding. Or it could even explain a stillborn child and a puppy with a broken leg. Somebody put a spell on that poor dog. Mysterious events that had no…… [Read More]
Finally, in that regard, it seems that the author's choice of Christopher as Tituba's betrayer may suggest that while racial, religious, and ethnic prejudices may have subsided substantially in modern Western society, a fundamental conflict still exists in which men cannot be trusted by women.
The Significance of the Book
The significance of the book is that it provides a personal account, albeit fictionalized, of the horrors of slavery, violent oppression, gender inequality that characterized Western civilization in the 17th century. The narrative illustrates the humanity and the personal experiences of slavery from the perspective of the slave instead of the usual historical perspective. It effectively highlights the state of injustice and fear that were the everyday reality of countless individuals who were ripped fro their families and societies, sold into slavery, and usually brutalized for the rest of their lives in servitude of those regarded as the founders…… [Read More]
Both Andrew and Abby had been killed in a similar manner -- crushing blows to their skills from a hatchet (Tetimony of Bridget Sullivan in the Trial of Lizzie Borden).
Just prior to the murder there was a great deal of conflict at the Borden house. The two living Borden sisters, Lizzie and Emma, occupied the front of the house, while Andrew and Abby the rear. Meals were rarely served as a family; Andrew was very tight and rejected many modern conviencences and the two daughters, well past marriage age for this time period, argued with their Father about his decision to dive the valuable properties among extended relatives before his death instad of the estate going to them. Lizzie did not hate her step-mother, but did not really enjoy her company and the combination of Andrew's monetary views, the new social mores of the time, and Andrew's insistence that…… [Read More]
Salem and the surrounding Essex County (the witch hunt itself went beyond merely Salem) (Norton; Linder) viewed the results of the First, and now the Second Indian ar, and their own loss of material prosperity from these wars, as God's punishment for their sins (Norton). It was at about this time that several of Salem's teenage girls began having fits on which they (and their parents and others) blamed the devil, witches and Indians (Norton). hen the mysterious fits began, according to Norton, Salem and Essex County Puritans started believing that now both visible spirits (i.e., Indians) and invisible spirits (i.e., the devil) were punishing them, simultaneously (Norton). Consequently, given this grim community mood, the politically-appointed judges took seriously the (often-unreliable and inconsistent) testimony of a group of similarly "afflicted" teenagers in order to then put dozens of supposed witches on trial. As Norton further suggests, the Salem judges and…… [Read More]
Miller focuses a created, heterosexual alliance in his fictional retelling, but I, Tituba concentrates on the outcasts, which formed the actual, majority of the accused.
This alliance between marginal categories of persons is humorously underlined with Tituba meets a famous fictional outcast from Puritan society, Hester Prynne, while in jail. Conde creates a jailhouse meeting between the two women, since who knows what transpired while Tituba awaited her fate? Marginal women do not abandon Tituba, even though her Christian owner, the girls she helped, and her beloved John Indian abandon her to her execution. Hester Prynne helps Tituba say the right things to be released. Confession in Miller is shown as weakness and capitulation to the mad witch hunters, but Conde sees this as careful and clever planning, a just action because of the injustice of Tituba's captors. Finally, the alliance of 'others' is shown when Tituba, is freed from…… [Read More]
She held regular "meetings" -- discussion groups that reinterpreted doctrine. She believed, for instance, in the Free Grace model -- the saved could sin, then ask for forgiveness, without endangering their salvation. She also claimed she could identify the spiritual elect, causing many to view her as a heretic (Ibid).
Trials- Finally, the religious community could tolerate no more. Hutchinson was gathering new followers; women were blatantly defying Puritan rules, and in 1637 she was brought to civil trial in the General Court of Massachusetts on the charge of "traducing the ministers." This Court included government officials and Puritan clergy. Despite being 46 and in the advanced stages of her 15th pregnancy, she was forced to stand for several days of interrogation before an all-male board who tried desperately to get her to admit to blasphemy and tempting mothers to neglect the care of their own families (Anne Hutchinson -…… [Read More]
Ergotism & Witchcraft Hysteria in England During the iddle Ages
This paper looks at the witchcraft problems faced in England during the iddle Ages and the arguments used by acfarlane in his book and also those used by Caporael on the possible reason for hallucinogenic properties of ergotism. Discussing the Salem witch-trials as an example and also the trial of England with particular reference to the region of Essex. Bibliography cites five references.
Ergotism and Witchcraft
an has always needed an excuse for unnatural occurrences and death, one of the easiest excuses to arise was that of the accusation of witchcraft, the persecution of witches has been seen as one of the most horrific events in history, known as the "burning times."
European witchcraft emerged only at the end of the iddle Ages, the great witch craze occurred during the renaissance, reformation and ended at the end of the 18th…… [Read More]
movie, The Crucible, was derived entirely from the book entitled, Salem Possessed: the Social Origins of Witchcraft by Paul S. Boyer, with only a few differences, owing to technical limitations in movie production. The movie had to reduce the number of characters of the books in order to produce it on cinema. Time lapses were shortened, due again to cinematic limitations in presenting the events. Furthermore, the nature of the charges against Giles Corey was not identical. In the book, he is charged with contempt of court for refusing to plead either innocent or guilty. In the movie, he is charged with contempt for refusing to name the person who told him about Thomas Putnam's intent to buy land by means of false accusation. And while Abigail Williams is presented as an 11-year-old girl in the book, she is 17 years in the movie in order to justify or make…… [Read More]
The persecution of those deemed to be potential enemies of the state is nothing new in American society. One does not even have to be labeled or perceived as a dangerous threat to be stigmatized, as with women during the Salem witch trials. Homosexuals pose no tangible threat to society in any way, and yet the Newport Sex Scandal shows how individuals and groups deemed to be deviant can become scapegoats. Likewise, Italian-Americans and other non-dominant social groups have been labeled as potentially undermining the core values of American society. One can be gay, Italian, or gay-Italian; it does not matter what the actual label might be. The concurrence of these two incidents shows that during the early twentieth century, Americans were paranoid about their own neighbors.
In the 21st century, similar situations are unfolding. Persecution of Mexican immigrants is one of the more obvious, as is the persecution of…… [Read More]
United tates Jury ystem
In United tates courts, the jury is a system by which, in theory, defendants are given a trial that is fair and unbiased. The ideal is that twelve persons from the same peer group as the defendant will be able to deliberate without prejudice the position of the defense, and the outcome of the trial. In reality however it is often the case that jury members are unable to arrive at a logical and fair conclusion due to several factors beyond their control, including interference from court systems and the law.
The jury system originated in England on June15, 1215 (Arnet). The jury system at this time took the form of a Magna Carta signed by King John. The liberties and rights of the population of England were thus established, among which was the rights pertaining to a jury trial. Individuals were granted to such a…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller penned the play The Crucible in the context of McCarthy-era rhetoric and anti-communist propaganda in the United States. Although it has a literal and direct historical reference and application to the Salem witch trials, the play serves as an overarching metaphor for public persecution and the dangers a police state poses to the general public. Through The Crucible, Miller critiques American society and indirectly accuses patriarchy of dismantling some of the core norms and values upon which the nation was built. Moreover, Miller deftly draws analogies between Salem's persecution of women during the witch-hunts and ashington's persecution of all Americans during the Cold ar. hereas women were the only real targets during the witch trials of the late 17th century, all Americans had fallen under the indiscriminate policies of political discrimination. Miller therefore presents patriarchy within a Marxist as well as a postmodernist framework. As a Marxist, Miller…… [Read More]
Arthur Miller, notable playwright, wrote the 1953 play, The Crucible that focused on the partially fictionalized and dramatized story of the Salem witch trials that occurred between 1692 and 1693 in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The play was written as an allegory of McCarthyism due to the American government blacklisting of accused communists. Even Miller was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on what can be labeled as "Un-American Activities" during the late 1950's and was convicted in 1956 of contempt of Congress for the refusal of identification of others that were present during the meetings Miller had attended. Miller's drama was then translated into his play through themes of intolerance, hysteria, and reputation.
The first theme that The Crucible describes in the beginning of the play is intolerance. ith the play's setting in a theocratic society, where the church and state serve as one, the government uses…… [Read More]
Crucible and hat I Have Learned
Arthur Miller's The Crucible is a dramatic, engaging work that challenges the reader/viewer to see beneath the "black and white" dichotomy by which the world is simplistically characterized via such "venerable" institutions in America as the "right" and the "left," the "conservative" and the "liberal" establishment, and the "patriot" and the "traitor" conception. In this play, Miller brings to the fore the fact that there can be and often are conflicting motives within every single human heart, a phenomenon that colors the way people act, interact, think, speak, and -- yes -- betray. At the heart of The Crucible is a drama of sexual tension and spite -- a girlish revenge twisted into something much more heinous by the cruel paroxysms of a community going mad with suspicion, condemnation, and holier-than-thou syndrome. It is a play that reflects one of the sinister secrets of…… [Read More]
Boston in the 1600 and 1700's
Because of the eventual outcome of becoming a great American city, Colonial Boston has been written about from a thousand different angles with a thousand yet to come. This report is not intended to expose any newly discovered fact or thing, but it will provide an insight into the life and times of some of those early Americans but white and red.
The objective is to look at the city of Boston, Massachusetts and its immediate surrounding areas to tell what they were actually like in the late 1600 to early 1700's. The paper will focus mainly on the pre-Bostonians and their interactions with one another. We will also look at things from the perspective of the Native American Indians. Some overview of the geography and current weather will be discussed to put into perspective how the early settler dealt with the harsh New…… [Read More]
ere all the literary works of Nathaniel Hawthorne compiled into a single manuscript, then appropriately filtered to include only works of prose and fiction, and if an attempt were then made to uncover a single motif spanning through the vast majority of the remaining text, it would read something like the following. A protagonist is haunted by a vague, strangely preternatural feeling of foreboding and doom that eventually manifests itself physically before mortally claiming its victim. Sadly, but not surprisingly so, this motif could also apply to Hawthorne's life. Despite the fact that the author who many have acclaimed as one of the finest in American history enjoyed a celebrated literary career (with a number of impressive, political boons as well), he was never able to fully surmount all of his 'demons' and enjoy the happiness that should have rightfully been his. Instead, the celebrated author…… [Read More]
American Studies - Anthology
American Studies -- Anthology: Freedom vs. Tyranny
America's history includes a number of competing forces. One of the chief struggles has been the clash between Freedom and Tyranny. As Why Freedom Matters shows, our national consciousness is dominated with the idea that our forefathers risked everything so that all people in America can have freedom. However, Public Speaking shows that the dominant or "luckiest" group in America consists of white, gentile, straight males, who form a very powerful and wealthy special interest group. An example of the favoritism enjoyed by a powerful, wealthy special interest group is the Texan oilman group mentioned in Dominion from Sea to Sea. The favorable treatment given to powerful, wealthy special interests groups results in oppression of "others" such as farmers who fought for America's freedom but seemed to trade the tyranny of Great Britain for the tyranny of the wealthy,…… [Read More]
Randolph Smithers December 30, 1676
It is amazing how great a difference a single incident can make in the lives of so many different people from different places. Ever since acon's Rebellion was quelled here in Jamestown, there has been a significant increase in the amount of African and West Indian slaves who are being used as the preferred source of labor around these parts. This is just my personal opinion, but I think it is because of the fact that Nate was able to rally so many poor farmers and indentured servants to help him in his rampage against the Native Americans, that these chattel slaves have now become even more popular as a means of working in the fields. ut unlike indentured servants, who can eventually be freed and given land and tools with which to farm, African and West Indian slaves have very little hope of ever…… [Read More]
Cotton Mather was an ardent believer in the existence of witchcraft. He was also a well respected minister from Boston who wrestled with the idea that witchcraft could or couldn't exist. Cotton Mather wrote on several religious topics and one particular topic of interest was witchcraft. Seen as an evil force, witchcraft by some religious people was considered devil's work. In 1692 the belief that witches and witchcraft existed was quite prevalent. In chapter 8, one of the documents of Cotton Mather discussed from an excerpt of his book: Memorable Provinces, deals with such ideas of witchcaft in a case from 1691 that involved three children.
Mary Glover, an irish washerwoman, had a disagreement with three children. After this minor argument, the three children acted in a bizarre fashion. Mather examined them and decided that their strange behavior is due in part to the influence cast upon them by Glover.…… [Read More]
Evans-Pritchard was the founder and first president of the Association of Social Anthropologists. His seminal work on indigenous, African tribes has preserved a unique perspective of primitive societies or societies that retain their aboriginal features even in modern times -- their mental processes more than the social constructs. This essay will present a societal perspective of the Azande tribes of southern Sudan. This research was conducted at a time when every Zande (singular for Azande) paid abeyance to either the British or the Arabs, whichever happened to wield influence at the time. The thesis of this essay: "The Azande society (as a whole) and each individual was driven by a quest to avoid the ill effects of witchcraft." The significance of witchcraft is necessitated by a unique context and definition. This entire essay is about defining societal ramifications of witchcraft among the Azande, which will make the meaning of witchcraft…… [Read More]
John Updike & Nathaniel Hawthorne
John Updike and Nathaniel Hawthorne are two of the most well-known writers to have contributed to the body of American Literature. Updike, the more recent writer of the two, has been considered one of America's most prestigious writers, often honored by collegiate bodies and authoritative figures. Likewise, Nathaniel Hawthorne in his time was recognized and respected, having come from a background commanding some respect. Both authors however, during their life struggled with negative issues; Updike for example struggled with separation and health problems that plagued him since he was a child. Hawthorne struggled with his ancestry who embodied a rigid Puritanical belief system, and also struggled with the poverty of his family that he was never quite able to overcome during his lifetime.
The works of both Updike and Hawthorne tend to have some autobiographical notes. Each author draws from experiences within their own lives.…… [Read More]
Defense of Lucy Steele
hile the character traits of Miss Steele seemingly leave much to be desired in the area of respectability by today's standards, her actions can be clearly understood when the setting and time is examined during which Sense and Sensibility was written. In England during the early 1800s, the economic future of a young woman depended solely upon her entering into a marriage with a man of means. Life for women in the 1800s was completely dictated by male rule, and if a young woman was not successful in "winning" a husband for herself, her future was bleak, indeed.
A woman could not announce her intention to remain single without attracting social disapproval, nor could she follow a desired profession since all professions were all closed to women. In a situation so utterly desperate, desperate measures were clearly in order, and Lucy Steele merely did what she…… [Read More]
Eastern eligion, Eastern Mysticism, And Magic
Influence the Pop Culture in America
Eastern religion" - also alluded to in this paper as "Eastern Mysticism" and "mysticism" - and the occult, along with magic and its many off-shoots have had a considerable influence on American Pop Culture over the past few decades. Movies, books, music - all have been touched and enhanced by mysticism and its cousins. So, when referring to "Eastern religion," this paper is generally alluding to the ancient religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and other spiritual genres.
It is also important to be clear on what "occult" truly means; it is a word that comes from the Latin occultus, meaning, literally, "hidden" or "concealed" (Merriam-Webster defines occult as "to shut off from view or exposure"). "Occult" has been equated with Satan, witchcraft, vampires, and other unseemly topics related to death and blood-letting. For this paper's purpose, the occult will…… [Read More]
This type of certainty only signifies authority, but it shows Danforth to be truly powerless over his convictions or any sort of lasting truth. Like Proctor, he is also described upon his first appearance, with Miller commenting that he was of "some humor and sophistication that does not, however, interfere with an exact loyalty to his position and his cause" (Miller 73). Though Danforth has authority over life and death in Salem, he has no real power because he has already completely given himself over to his position as a Judge and his cause of seeking out witches. When the truth and all things eternal cease to matter, all power is gone, and though John Proctor and many others meet death essentially at Danforth's hands, they retain power over themselves in their refusal to give in to Danforth's authority.
Nowhere is the difference between power and authority made more clear…… [Read More]
The south, once it began to grow its staple crop, tobacco, formed large plantations, for which slaves bought from the Dutch were imported. The north had far fewer slaves, and its business was more diverse, what with the manufacturing of textiles, shipping, blacksmithing, and more. The spirit of the South, however, was already forming by the eighteenth century, with figures such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry and George ashington leading the nation to Independence from England in 1776. The north, on the other hand, was led by men like John Hancock and Samuel Adams, whose opinion on how the colonies should be united was not shared by all. Jefferson was in favor of states rights and a small central government, but the Federalist papers that would help establish the Union would be the voice of a system of federal government that would keep tyranny at bay through a system…… [Read More]
America: Readings in Race, Culture, and Conflict
Susan yle's book Revisiting America: Readings in Race, Culture, and Conflict explores the history of the America through the lens of the political, racial, social, and cultural issues that make up the population. The story of American history is retold. idely known stories about America's past are revisited and additional information about cultural conflict of the period is used to show a new reality to the country's past. yle's history also discusses the importance of socially constructed terminology and how the conflicts of America's past continue to shape the United States today.
The textbook includes both primary and secondary sources to explore the truth behind American history. Of particular interest are some of the historical documents, such as the transcripts from the actual Salem itch Trials. This period of American history is symbolic of all occasions where religious zealotry and fear overtake the…… [Read More]
By coming into contact with nature cultures such as the Native American tribes, religions in the Western world were no longer the same. eligious fundamentalism became the basis for many of the often violent interactions between the different cultures, religions, and ways of life. This was the basis for later violence against all who did not agree with the religious norm, for example in events such as the Salem Witch Trials.
Today, this same fundamentalism insists that every word in the Bible or other religious documents should be taken literally. According to this view, the story of creation simply could not agree with Darwinism. The long American history of using religion as a basis for many actions, both good an bad, plays an important role in this.
However, it is also true that there is an increasing trend within Christianity to return to the earlier point-of-view, accepting both Darwinism and…… [Read More]
The Diary of Samuel Sewall
An autobiography is written so one can share life experiences and views of the world with the public. In other words, an autobiography is that person's words and can used in the scholarly context to validate hearsay. This paper will focus on the life and times of Samuel Sewall. This paper will be presented in two parts: first, an analysis of his work and second, an opinion of the work. What does Sewall want us to see as important about his life? What can be learned about the author's life and the society in which he lived? What can be learned from Sewall's life and is his story believable? This paper will explore these questions.
Samuel Sewall's diary was not written for wide public consumption but more as a recorded family history as it documented day-to-day events relevant to Puritanical life in early American…… [Read More]
I know that the case you cite, of Dr. Drake, has been a common one. The religion-builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus, so muffled them in mysticisms, fancies and falsehoods, have caricatured them into forms so monstrous and inconceivable, as to shock reasonable thinkers, to revolt them against the whole, and drive them rashly to pronounce its Founder an impostor. Had there never been a commentator, there never would have been an infidel.... I have little doubt that the whole of our country will soon be rallied to the unity of the Creator, and, I hope, to the pure doctrines of Jesus also (Jefferson, 1854).
American Transcendentalism -- the transcendentalist movement was a group of new ideas in religion, literature, culture and philosophy that emerged in New England in the early to middle 19th century as a generalized protest against the general state of intellectualism and…… [Read More]
hat might cause this are wary expectations, a sense that new things are coming and a fear of the unknown. Of course, a fear of the unknown has been a part of many societies since the beginning of time. It was because of this that explorers were often afraid to go into uncharted waters and legends surrounding what lay at the end of the map were prominent. But Glassner argues that the fear of the wrong things can't be explained by the calendar alone. Instead, he argues that another explanation is the news media, which tends to fixate on disasters. He gives examples of news networks creating fear about incidents that actually happen very infrequently, such as Barbara alters' creating a panic over fires on operating tables -- a rare incidence.
One of Glassner's theories can be evaluated quite easily, as the new millennium has already come to pass. Despite…… [Read More]
The name of Horace Mann is still known today, the first Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, as he tried to make a practical education available to all, including recent immigrants, which he argued would be an important part of their socialization into the national culture (Browne, 2003, p.3).
Boston suffered a great deal during the Great Depression. "ith the outbreak of ar II, factories were retooled for the war effort, and people went back to work on the production lines. Again Boston was a major arms manufacturer during wartime" (Banner 2008). And because of the new importance of science and technology, its considerable intellectual capital proved a great source of profit, and continues to, to this day. Today, Boston has become a leader in the computer and other technology-dominated industries. Financial and service industries are also strong. Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Freedom Trail…… [Read More]
The type of atrocity that a religious ideal could cause, I think, became cemented forever for me during the events of September 11, 2001.
Those men operated not only from a sense of devotion to their country, a hatred for the United States, but also from a religious fervor that encouraged them to take their own lives and the lives of thousands of others. This brought home to me that religion, in whatever form, could be not only a comfort, but also a greatly destructive force.
Even if I think of my own religion, Christianity, I am forced to admit the reality of the situation; it has not always been the gentle, caring lifestyle that's so often promoted today. In fact, even today, many Christians use their religious zeal to hurt and destroy. If I think of the past, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem Witch trials come immediately…… [Read More]
Rather than being a negative thing, Black views the subjectivity of Constitutional interpretation to reflect the very freedoms we as Americans say it embodies in ink. Although when Black penned his book, blacks and women had attained all the rights formerly available only to white men, a different interpretation of "freedom" still depended upon one's color or gender.
"Sure there is a document called the Constitution. That's no myth. It's in Washington, under glass, if you want to visit it. But the Constitution that binds us is the one we have in our heads. That mythic Constitution performs functions no 200-year-old parchment ever could." (Black, "Our Constitution: The Myth that Binds Us")
As he does in an earlier chapter, Black lauds the way that the Constitution of the United States is so open to interpretation by modern generations. He does not disparage the original work that made the basis of…… [Read More]
organized religion today has become an issue of controversy. Human intelligence and technology have developed to the point where it is difficult to find a spiritual foothold. This is perhaps why materialism has dominated the earlier part of the 20th century in the Western world. It is however interesting that there seems to be a return to spirituality during the first part of the 21st century. People have taken spiritual refuge in everything from the strangest new-age religions to the most traditional forms of Christianity. When considering the question of how Christianity particularly has changed then, there are many similarities and also differences between Christianity today and its earlier counterpart.
Firstly, the question of current and earlier Christianity is multi-faceted. Christianity as a religion, as I see it, has experienced several stages. The first stage occurred right after the death and resurrection of Christ. There was an extreme rise in…… [Read More]
Author Nathaniel Hawthorne's literary works constantly reference ideas of the supernatural and the religious ideas of the Puritans who colonized the United States. Of particular interest to Hawthorne is how these two things work together in that time period. Many of Nathaniel Hawthorne's works take place in Colonial times, a good century before the author himself was born. His own ancestors were active participants in Puritan society, even serving as judges during the Salem itch Trials. Scholars have argued that Hawthorne's work heavily features this time because of the guilt he felt over the actions of his relatives. Nathaniel Hawthorne used this historical setting to create moral points about Puritanical society and the hypocrisy of those times, as well as the continued hypocrisy of his own time period. This hypocrisy is linked back to the religious zealousness of the Puritan times where the beliefs of the church superseded all…… [Read More]
Listen to Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God preached. Discuss in the discussion group.
Jonathan Edwards gives us a perfect example of the Calvinist beliefs of the Puritan settlers in early New England. Edwards studied theology at Yale University -- where today there is still a dormitory named after him -- but then became a noteworthy preacher in the Great Awakening, which exhorted an entire generation to renew their Christian faith. Edwards' skill in preaching lies in using literary imagery to get across abstract theological concepts. Calvinist theology believes in "total depravity" -- in other words, because of Adam and Eve eating the apple, human beings are fallen, and stained with "original sin." The most memorable image in Edwards' sermon -- the image of the spider being held over a fiery pit -- is meant to be a metaphor to enable the listener to imagine how…… [Read More]
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tales
Hawthorne's writings serve as a social commentary on the inherent dangers in blind acceptance of religious teachings.
There is ample scope to interpret all three stories of "Young Goodman Brown," "The Birthmark," and "Ethan Brand," as Hawthorne's commentary on the consequences of allowing religion to mar true recognition of goodness and beauty. All three stories highlight the fact that human kindness and faith are more important than obsession with religious teachings.
Although Hawthorne's writings have often been interpreted as being influenced by the author's Puritan heritage, there is equally a wide acknowledgement that Hawthorne left the interpretation of any moral lesson in his tales to the reader.
Hawthorne's contemporaries have, through their writings, shared several insights into Hawthorne's real-life personality and writings, which indicate that he was a keen observer of human nature and if anything, possessed a deep concern and compassion for the deeper psychology of…… [Read More]
collective perception, art is one facet of life that is governed more by individual thought and emotional predisposition than by institutional prejudices. It should seem a natural disposition of the artist to look within himself for expression, rather than to the very established conventions from which he may seek to provide asylum. Likewise, it strikes a chord of logic to us that an artist makes his primary appeal to his own imagination, rather than to millennia of intellectual rules. This, however, is a new perspective as compared to the age of humanity. From Enlightenment through the mid eighteenth century, classical rules intended to preserve the integrity and exclusivity of artistic expression were the prime determinant in the nature of societal artistic output. However, a surge in the population of the bourgeoisie, an overall expansion in the international middle class, opened up the possibility for artistry without the condition of aristocracy.…… [Read More]
Apparently, it would be impossible to consider the witch hunts to be an act of genocide because it would be unrealistic to believe that men would consider the killing of every woman and thus it would not mean that the witch hunt would involve the extinction of all women.
itch hunts have lasted until our present days and people in some African parts especially are still accusing and killing women that are believed to have performed acts of witchcraft.
Ellerbe, H. The itch Hunts:The End of Magic and Miracles 1450-1750 C.E.. Retrieved November 1, 2008 from Positive Atheism eb site: http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/ellerbe1.htm
Pavlac, B.A. Ten Common Errors and Myths about the itch Hunts, Corrected and Commented. Retrieved November 1, 2008 from King's College eb site: http://departments.kings.edu/womens_history/witch/werror.html
Case Study: The European itch-Hunts, c. 1450-1750. Retrieved November 1, 2008 from Gendercide atch eb site: http://www.gendercide.org/case_witchhunts.html… [Read More]
Cawthorne, Nigel, Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution. Booksales Inc., 2006. 144pp., index, illustrations.
Nigel Cawthorne is a prolific author whose nonfiction books encompass subjects as broad as Robin Hood, English law and pirates. In fact, one of Cawthorne's series of nonfiction books encompasses the sex lives of popes, emperors, and composers. Cawthorne has authored a number of works of popular fiction, too, as well as a range of historical books including those that address the Vietnam War and the Cold War. All of Cawthorne's fiction and nonfiction is addressed to a popular audience rather than a scholarly one. In Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution, Cawthorne recounts the history of the persecution of witches in Europe.
Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution presents a graphic portrait of the European witch hunts and trials, with tacit mention of the carryover into the American colonies and especially Salem. There is no…… [Read More]
witchcraft trials of Salem, and those that occurred on the other side of the Atlantic as well, have long been framed and understood as misogyny made visible in law. On that level, Karlen's The Devil in the Shape of a oman adds little to scholarly analysis on the subject. However, Karlen's research presents evidence related to core Puritan beliefs that predicated the witchcraft trials, and discusses some of the economic and demographic contexts within which the trials occurred. The book relies heavily on primary source evidence, but the author's biases and points-of-view are also plainly evident throughout the text. Karlsen does accomplish the primary goal of elucidating the intersections between gender, class, and social power. In so doing, the author substantiates related research on the subject.
Fundamental to an understanding of the witchcraft trials that took place in the 17th century is an understanding of how, why, and when they…… [Read More]
Hawthorne: My Kinsman, Goodman Brown
The United States experienced great political, social and economic change during the late 1700s and early 1800s. Breaking ties with Great Britain under the Declaration of Independence developed a unique American tradition. The major emphasis was placed on the individual, whose need to succeed would result in the best possible world for everyone concerned. In the two works "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" and "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorn, the main characters obin and Young Goodman Brown go on personal journeys to seek their individual goals. obin seeks a kinsman who can help him establish his future livelihood and Brown searches to restore his faith and the evil in his heart. They both each reach a goal, yet not the one expected.
In "My Kinsman," a naive and inexperienced youth named obin leaves his country home and travels to the city looking for his cousin…… [Read More]