Salem Witch Trials Research Paper

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Religion has been a dominant fiber of the human tapestry for millennium. Throughout the 1600's religion shaped and molded groups and was molded by groups to justify immoral actions. Many early American settlers were escaping religious restraints, yet then later inflicted them. Puritans, those seeking to purify themselves of the misdoings of the Church of England, founded Massachusetts. Quakers similarly fled religious persecution, one being William Penn, who founded Pennsylvania. Though these colonies were on the same land mass they had some distinct differences. Where religion was concerned a strict piety overshadowed Massachusetts. Massachusetts is where the Salem Witch trials occurred. Pennsylvania was far more accepting, allowing various…show more content…
Individuals were expected to adhere to the religion of the community. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were exiled from Massachusetts for religious beliefs that were unacceptable. Massachusetts Indian relations were hostile, even at one point igniting a small war called the Pequot war. Salem, Massachusetts was home to the famous witch trials where 19 people were executed and 150 people were accused, over the course of June through September in 1692. It's been hypothesized that the afflictions were likely from toxic levels of ergot, a fungus that grew on some grains used to make bread and cereal.[ 1. Staff, "Salem Witch Trials." A+E Networks, 2011. Web. 24 Sept. 2015. . ] (Staff,, "Salem Witch Trials.") This ordeal was very indicative of the religious intolerance that a colony that left religious intolerance in Europe participated in. When it came down to it, religion was such a big part of government that anyone that disagreed with religious authority or lived by different principles were liable to scrutiny, exile, and in some cases…show more content…
"The Middle, Chesapeake, and Southern Colonies") Some intolerant religious groups made their way to this colony however, proving ill for Indians in the area. Cases of religious persecution in early Pennsylvania seem rare. There were two trials for witchcraft in Pennsylvania yet nothing to the extreme four months of Massachusetts. Margaret Mattson was tried in 1683 and released after being proven not guilty. William Penn was said to judge this trial. [ 3. Gummere, Amelia Mott. "Witchcraft and Quakerism: A Study in Social History." Street Corner Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015. .](Gummere, Amelia Mott. "Witchcraft and Quakerism: A Study in Social History." ) There were some strange restrictions in the Pennsylvania colony known as, "Blue laws." These laws prohibited, "Stage plays, playing cards, dice, games, and excessive hilarity." [ 4. Kennedy, David M., and Lizabeth Cohen. "Settling the Northern Colonies." The American Pageant. Vol. 1. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2014. 56.

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