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The Puritan Tradition Between Heaven and Hell North America: 1630 The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named for the Massachuset tribe of Native Americans. About 1000 Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachuset‟s Tribal Attire Once a great tribe in New England, the Massachuset lost their cultural identity when colonists converted them to Christianity. North America: 1682 Quakers led by William Penn begin living in peace with Native Americans in Pennsylvania. Quakers voice opposition to slavery in 1688. Within 5 years, 12,000 people had moved to Pennsylvania. Salem Witch Trials Witchcraft trials take place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Between February 1692 and May 1693 were a series of county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massechusetts. Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused who were not formally pursued by the authorities. Salem Witch Trials The two courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felony of witchcraft. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged. Salem Witch Trials One man who refused to enter a plea was crushed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to force him to do so. At least five more of the accused died in prison. – (Video) North America: 1763 British defeat French in French and Indian War, and claim land east of Mississippi River, including Canada. In 1765, British Parliament passed the Stamp Act which levied tax on colonies to help pay off British debts. North America: 1773 1773 brought the Boston Tea Party, a protest on the new British tax on tea. (Video) North America: 1775 “Shot heard around the world” is fired on Lexington Green in Massachusetts, starting the Revolutionary War. In 1781, the British surrender to General George Washington, ending the Revolutionary War. 1789: George Washington is elected the first president of the United States. Puritan Literature Puritan literature is often stereotyped as overly pious, gloomy, and unimaginative. Notable achievements of Puritans are John Milton‟s Paradise Lost and Anne Bradstreet‟s sensitive lyrics. Puritans cultivated a straight-forward prose style. Puritan Sociology Envisioned their society as a Christian „commonwealth” in which each person put the good of the group ahead of personal concerns. They established a strict moral code that provided a sense of common mission and cultural cohesion. Education was highly valued as a way to fight atheism and to instill in children the value of hard work. – How does this compare with the Native American trickster tales? Puritan Religion Puritans often focused on other Christians in their efforts to root out the devil. Quakers and other dissenters received harsh punishments, including execution, for their beliefs. Puritan Government Many variations of John Winthrop‟s “city of God” experiment were tried in the colonies. The Puritans were among a number of groups who had come to America fleeing religious persecution. Most colonies had some form of religion supported by the government in the revolutionary period. Massachusetts retained a limited version of Protestant government until well into the 1800s, despite the Constitution‟s restriction on the establishment of religion. Puritan Beliefs 1. Human beings are inherently evil and so must struggle to overcome their sinful nature. 2. Personal salvation depends solely on the grace of God, not on individual effort. 3. The Bible is the supreme authority on earth. Puritan Influence on Literature Nathaniel Hawthorne had an ancestor who had been a presiding judge during the Salem Witch Trials. His novel, The Scarlet Letter, was set in Puritan times along with many of his short stories. In the 1950s, the playwright Arthur Miller dramatized the Salem witchcraft trials in The Crucible. Miller‟s drama not only personalizes the events of Salem but also warns against similar injustices in our own time.
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