New York Conspiracy Trials Of 1741 Essay

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The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741 express the myriad of cultural divisions in eighteenth century New York quite vividly. The controversial trial is profoundly enlightening because a majority of the socioeconomic issues of the time are on full display. The various concerns, fears, notions, and prejudices of eighteenth century New Yorkers were both the catalyst, and lifeblood behind the hotly debated New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741. Nevertheless, my focus is not to summarize the events or to give my opinion on the conspiracy. Instead, my goal is to highlight the multiple societal issues that allowed these trials to take place. To begin, let’s look at the economic factors that contributed to these trials. It’s often in history that one of the profound contributors to conflict is economic inequality and instability. In this case, our economic conflict involves slaves, poor whites, and affluent, rich whites in colonial New York. At the time of the trials, a…show more content…
At this time, England was at war with Spain. New Yorkers could have thought that Catholics were mobilizing slaves and poor whites to fight and destroy New York for Spain. At the end of the trial when John Ury, a suspected Catholic priest, is accused of being the mastermind of this conspiracy to burn down and destroy New York it is highly alarming to the people. Depending on who you ask, Ury is either a mastermind or a highly unfortunate scapegoat. It is undeniable that the uncertainty of his religious alignment made it easy for him to be convicted. The ambiguity of his faith made for an easy justification of the trials. As multiple events in history have shown, one of the greatest ways to justify controversy and brutality is to play on the fears of the public, and two of the biggest fears of eighteenth century New Yorkers were the Spanish and the

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