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Colonization of New England, the Puritans and the Salem Witch Trials

Colonization of New England, the Puritans and the Salem Witch Trials

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  • The reign of Elizabeth I witnessed the establishment of the Church of England as the Episcopal or Anglican community. It was a church defined by Elizabeth’s discomfort with the Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The church adopted a Lutheran willingness to affirm a measure of political headship over the church, liturgical ritual in worship, and a mild Calvinism in theology. This troubled many, particularly those who had been influenced by Calvinism with its emphasis on simplicity in worship style. A movement gradually emerged in England as an alternative to Episcopalianism: Puritanism. This movement was suppressed during the reign of Elizabeth. <br /> Peregrine Falcon? In the Roman Empire visitors came to Rome speaking many different kinds of strange Latin. They were called “Peregrinus” or strangers. In later English, the spelling and pronunciation changed to Pilgrims. <br />
  • Scrooby (Nottinghamshire, North England) separatists <br /> Some of these separatist groups immigrated to Holland. In 1620 one of the separatist congregations sailed for New England on the Mayflower. The ship sailed from Plymouth, England, on September 16, 1620, with 102 passengers, including 32 children. Two people died, two were born. The ship was headed for Virginia, where the colonists had been authorized to settle. As a result of cross-winds and dangerous sand bars, the vessel failed to make good its course, and on November 21 the Mayflower rounded the end of Cape Cod and dropped anchor off the site of present-day Provincetown, Massachusetts. <br /> On December 21, an area having been selected, the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower near the head of Cape Cod and founded Plymouth Colony, the first permanent settlement in New England. <br /> The Pilgrims were probably more than 500 mi northeast of their intended destination in the Hudson River area of present day New York. The patent for their settlement in the New World, issued by the London Company, was no longer binding, and some among the passengers desired total independence from their shipmates. To prevent this, 41 of the adult male passengers, including John Alden, William Bradford, William Brewster, John Carver, Miles Standish, and Edward Winslow, gathered in the cabin of the Mayflower and formulated and signed the Mayflower Compact; all adult males were required to sign. This compact consolidated the passengers into a “civil body politic,” which had the power to frame and enact laws appropriate to the general good of the planned settlement. All colonists were bound to obey the ordinances so enacted. This compact established rule of the majority, which remained a primary principle of government in Plymouth Colony until its absorption by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691. <br />
  • Governor William Bradford wrote, “They had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies; no houses or much less towns to repair to. … And for the season, it was winter. … What could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness? … What could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and his grace?” <br />
  • 201 vs. 40,000-50,000 <br /> Both of these colonies united in 1691 to form Massachusetts <br />
  • Puritans were not opposed to parties. They certainly did not have sexual hang-ups. They were not prudes. <br /> It’s true that promiscuity was absent from colonial New England. But for husband and wife, sex was important, and Puritan families were routinely large. A spouse could be punished by the authorities for withholding sex from his or her partner. <br /> Puritans were not teetotalers. Scholars estimate the Puritans had a rum-consumption rate that surpasses the alcohol-consumption rate in the twentieth century. <br /> They were intense lovers and intense haters. They were intensely reverent. <br /> They were alarmed about secularism, though they would have called it infidelity. The Puritans also feared the rising generation would not measure up to the piety of their fathers and mothers. They often talked about loss of faith in their children. <br /> Puritans had the yearning to build a Christian civilization, a new world order. Creating this was the adventure of a lifetime. <br /> In John Winthrop’s famous speech aboard the Arbella, the Puritans fixed on what I would call “a world-regenerative creed.” They believed, “We are reforming not only Anglicanism and Christendom but the whole world.” <br /> Ministers were enormously respected, people for whom the laity literally traveled the ends of the earth. The most famous case would be Anne Hutchinson, who convinced her family to follow her minister, John Cotton, to America. <br /> In America, only two “theocracies” have lasted for any length of time: the Puritans in New England, and the Mormons in Utah. <br /> The Puritans’ charter was revoked in 1689, so the Puritans could no longer compel assent. They had to tolerate Quakers and Anglicans. This created a real crisis of meaning: How do we survive in a pluralistic world? <br /> Today, we take religious toleration for granted. What would terrify us would be the exact opposite—a theocracy, such as we see in the Middle East. <br /> They exerted an influence in American culture disproportionate to their numbers. <br /> For instance, they gave us a world-regenerative creed, a vision that America is “a city set upon a hill.” That vision infuses American literature, foreign policy—our entire sense of identity. Today, we call it “American Exceptionalism” <br />
  • Puritan ABCs: The New England Primer (1683) taught both the alphabet and faith. the letter U, for example, was remembered by Uriah’s beauteous wife Made David seek his Life. The primer was so popular, Benjamin Franklin was printing it nearly a century later. <br />
  • By 5 or 6 could read and write (private school or home schooling) <br /> Latin school for 7 years: <br /> Grammar, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Latin, Greek, Hebrew (not in seminary) <br /> College: 3 years <br /> Seminary: 3 years <br /> Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry & Astronomy <br /> Metaphysics, Ethics, Natural Science, Ancient History, <br /> … all taught in Latin <br /> 99% literacy, even on the frontier <br />
  • One of the most infamous episodes in Puritan history was the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690’s. The view of the day was that the affliction of Samuel Parris’s daughter and several others was caused by colonists who were in league with the devil. Had this been the case, a witch hunt would have been appropriate. Some recent historians have tried to find a sociological root for it. Others have suggested that the problem stemmed from demonic influence exerted through the girls that the accused were actually the innocent. <br />
  • In February 1692, several young Salem girls, after they were caught practicing magic, claimed they had been afflicted by witches. <br /> Their parents begun searching for the witches, and hysteria mounted, especially as pastor Samuel Parris proclaimed, “In this very church, God knows how many Devils there are!” A public witch-hunt soon arrested 150 people; 19 were hanged for witchcraft, and one man was executed for refusing to testify. <br /> But witch-hunts did arise in other New England towns—Ambridge in 1659, Hartford in 1662–63, Boston in 1688, and infamously in Salem Village (now Danvers) in 1692. <br /> What tensions rose to the surface in 1692 and resulted in this witch-hunt? <br /> some tensions originated in the religious expectations of Puritanism. <br /> One expectation was that believers fulfill, to the best of their ability, their moral duties. Another was that they examine their motives—in Puritan parlance, their “hearts”—to see whether they had sufficiently repented of sin and trusted entirely in the mercy of Christ. Puritanism intensely and regularly posed this question: Are you sincere? <br /> Answering this question often resulted in self-doubt and uncertainty. One woman, Mary Toothaker, “had thoughts she was rather the worse for her baptism and had wished she had not been baptized because she had not improved it as she ought to have done.” <br /> Puritans practiced the ritual of confession, and confession became crucial to witch-hunting. To confess was to make visible the hidden sin that lurked in everyone. This was a crucial step, and well accepted, in the process of salvation. When men and women joined the church in early New England, for instance, they were asked to confess their sins. <br /> The magistrates and ministers who questioned the accused at Salem asked them to reveal their hidden allegiance to Satan. Because Puritans felt heavily the weight of their sin, and because confession was an integral part of their lives, we should not be surprised that some fifty men and women confessed to having joined with the Devil. <br /> The Puritans believed that God had entered into a special relationship with godly people. This relationship obliged them to purge themselves of sins, personal and communal, that inevitably accumulated. The ministers and magistrates in New England believed witch hunting, and the public executions that concluded it, cleansed the community of evil. <br /> 19 women and 2 dogs hanged. <br /> Puritan dream was that they’d establish “Kingdom of God” in America… a “City on a hill” <br /> Children would be saints, and beget children who were saints <br /> The dream failed in 100 years they forgot one things: God has no grandchildren. <br /> And the monopoly of church membership being required for civic office so angered a Virginian lawyer that he wrote “The Bill of Religious Freedom” <br /> Who?: Thomas Jefferson <br /> One of 3 things on his tombstone. <br />

Colonization of New England (Abridged) Colonization of New England (Abridged) Presentation Transcript

  • “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, The soul from purgatory springs.” --Johann Tetzel,16th C. The sale of indulgences shown in A Question to a Mintmaker, woodcut by Jörg Breu the Elder of Augsburg, circa 1530.
  •   The Protestant Martin Luther began the reformation in 1517 Reformation with his 95 Thesis protesting the corruption of the Catholic Church. Luther’s movement was supported by others throughout Europe: – John Calvin, French theologian, reformer and resident of Switzerland, he founded the school of theology known as Calvinism – John Knox, Scottish Calvinist and leader of the Scottish Reformation. – Huldrych Zwingli, founder of Swiss reformed tradition. – Menno Simons, Anabaptist leader who formalized Mennonite religion – Henry VIII & Thomas Cramer – Church of England
  •  Protestant Sects Break Off 1522: Parallel to Luther’s work in Germany, a Swiss Reform movement began in Switzerland by Ulrich Zwingli.  1529 – 1536: The political separation of the Church of England from Rome under John Calvin Henry VIII. Aspects of Protestantism were later introduced under Queen Elizabeth.  1560 - Scottish Reformation decisively shaped the Church of Scotland and all other Presbyterian churches worldwide.
  • Reformation Traditions 1517 Luther - Melanchthon Lutheranism Episcopal Lutheran 1532 Calvin - Beza French-Swiss 1519 Zwingli - Bullinger German-Swiss 1525 Grebel – Manz - Simonsz Swiss Brethren 1536 Henry VIII - Cranmer English 08/09/2009 Reformed Presbyterian Scottish Presbyterian Dutch Reformed } Anabaptist Congregational Mennonites English Separatists English Baptists Anglican Episcopal Church of England
  • Reformation Traditions Timeline of major Protestant branches and movements 08/09/2009
  • Basic Protestant Beliefs  Sola scriptura (“by scripture alone”) says that the Bible (rather than Church tradition or the Church’s interpretations of the Bible) is the primary and supreme source of authority for all Christians.  This does not exclude other sources of authority, rather it places the Bible superior to all else.  Sola fide (“by faith alone”) holds that salvation comes by grace through faith alone in Jesus as the Christ, rather than through good works.
  • The Rise of Puritanism • Puritans were a large grouping of English Protestant reformers in the 16th and 17th centuries, who generally followed the teachings of John Calvin. • Wanted to “purify” the Church of England, which they still viewed as largely Catholic and corrupt. • Began in the reign Elizabeth I of England in 1558 as an activist movement within the Church of England. Continued throughout the 17th century.
  • Puritan Beliefs     Believed the Church of England needed to be “purified” to end continued corruption Did not recognize the system of bishops that ran the Church of England. Recognized the individual congregation as the only biblically sanctioned organized unit. Began their congregations with a covenant between a group of believers and God. Each congregation elected their ministers, all of whom were university-trained and who could be voted out by the congregation.
  • Puritan Beliefs (cont.)  Believed that Adam’s sin broke his covenant with God, and therefore man deserved perpetual damnation.  God then made a later covenant with Christ, whose death offered grace to a small minority of people known as the “Saints.”  Believed that because the identity of the Saints had long since been determined by God (predestination), there was nothing anyone could do to win salvation.
  • Puritan Beliefs (cont.)  No one could be entirely sure about who was one of the elect, but if a person was saved, he or she naturally lived a godly life. Thus, their conduct might indicate whether or not they were saved.  Recognized states by which he or she might experience knowledge of redemption:  God revealed to individuals the heights to which he/she must aspire and then the recipient experienced a profound sense of inadequacy and despair that served as a prelude to redemption or “saving grace.”
  • Separatists (“Pilgrims”) in Salem (1621) vs. Puritans in Boston (1630)
  • Separatists Separatist Beliefs:  Puritans who believed only “visible saints” [those who could demonstrate in front of their fellow Puritans their elect status] should be admitted to church membership.  Because the Church of England enrolled all the king’s subjects, Separatists felt they had to share churches with the “damned.”  Therefore, they believed in a total break from the Church of England.
  • Puritan sects who joined or refused to join the Church of England 08/09/2009 14
  • Sources of Puritan Migration
  • The Pilgrim Separatists   Ship set sail in 1620  102 passengers  Mayflower Compact  08/09/2009 From England → To Amsterdam, Holland → To Plymouth, England → To Massachusetts, America Plymouth Colony: first permanent New England settlement
  • The Mayflower 1620  a group of 102 people [half Separatists]  Negotiated with the Virginia Company to settle in its jurisdiction.  Non-Separatists included Captain Myles Standish. Plymouth Bay way outside the domain of the Virginia Company.  Became squatters without legal right to land & specific authority to establish a govt.
  • The Mayflower Compact November 11, 1620
  • The Mayflower Compact November 11, 1620 Written and signed before the Pilgrims disembarked from the ship. Not a constitution, but an agreement to form a crude govt. and submit to majority rule.  Signed by 41 adult males. Led to adult male settlers meeting in assemblies to make laws in town meetings.
  • Plymouth Rock 08/09/2009
  • 08/09/2009 21
  • 08/09/2009 22
  • 08/09/2009 23
  • Covenant Theology “Covenant of Grace”:  Between Puritan communities and God. Requires an active faith, and softens predestination. Although God chooses the elect, the relationship is a contract in which punishment for sins is a judicially proper response to disobedience “Social Covenant”:  Between members of Puritan communities    with each other. Required mutual watchfulness. No toleration of deviance or disorder. No privacy.
  • That First Year…. Winter of 1620-1621  Only 44 out of the original 102 survived. None chose to leave in 1621 when the Mayflower sailed back. Fall of 1621  First “Thanksgiving.”  Colony survived with fur [especially beaver], fish, and lumber. Plymouth stayed small and economically unimportant.  1691  only 7,000 people  Merged with Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • William Bradford Self-taught scholar. Chosen governor of Plymouth 30 times in yearly elections. Worried about settlements of non-Puritans springing up nearby and corrupting Puritan society.
  • Colonizing New England
  • The MA Bay Colony 1629  non-Separatist Puritans got a royal (1630) charter to form the MA Bay Co.  Wanted to escape attacks by conservatives in the Church of England.  They didn’t want to leave the Church, just its “impurities.” 1630  1,000 people set off in 11 wellstocked ships  Established a colony with Boston as its hub. “Great Migration” of the 1630s  Turmoil in England [leading to the English Civil War] sent about 70,000 Puritans to America.  Not all Puritans  20,000 came to MA.
  • First Seal of MA Bay
  • John Winthrop Well-off attorney and manor lord in England and Puritan preacher Famous for his sermon “A Model of Christian Charity” discussing a “City Upon the Hill” of Christian believers Became 1st governor of Mass. John Winthrop  Believed that he had a “calling” from God to lead there.  Served as governor or deputy-governor for 19 years.
  • Land Division in Sudbury, MA: 16391656
  • Colonies : 1650 08/09/2009 32
  • 08/09/2009
  • Pilgrims v. Puritans Population: Many Dates: Early (1620) Later (1629-30) Social class: Poor class Upper middle class Education: Uneducated Educated Church status: Separatists from Church of England Loyal to Church of England Location: Settled in Plymouth Salem, Boston Leaders: 08/09/2009 Few Wm. Bradford, Wm. Brewster John Endicott, Miles Standish, John Winthrop
  • Puritan Myths vs. Reality “Haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy” Books, music, beer, rum, swam, skated, bowled Wore black Blue, violet, green, yellow Narrow minded +100: Oxford & Cambridge “Dumme Doggs” Established Harvard after 6 years Women sheltered Literate, well read, managed household Song-less Sang a capella, in unison Minority 1776: 75% of Puritan roots
  • The New England Primer (1683) 08/09/2009
  • Education in Puritan New England Private Education (to age 6):  Reading, writing taught at home Grammar School (7-10 years):  Grammar, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Latin, Greek, Hebrew 08/09/2009 College/University (3 years):  Arts: Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy  Philosophies: Metaphysics, Ethics, Natural Science Seminary (3 years): Taught in Latin, trivium & quadrivium
  • 08/09/2009 38
  • Salem Witch Trials 08/09/2009
  • Characteristics of New England Settlements Low mortality  average life expectancy was 70 years of age. Many extended families. Average 6 children per family. Average age at marriage:  Women – 22 years old  Men – 27 years old.
  • Patriarchy Authoritarian male father figures controlled each household. Patriarchal ministers and magistrates controlled church congregations and household patriarchs.
  • New England Spreads Out
  • New England Colonies, 1650
  • Puritans vs. Native Americans Indians especially weak in New England  epidemics wiped out ¾ of the native popul. Wampanoags [near Plymouth] befriended the settlers.  Cooperation between the two helped by Squanto. 1621  Chief Massasoit signed treaty with the settlers.  Autumn, 1621  both groups celebrated the First Thanksgiving.
  • The First Thanksgiving? In 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving an official US holiday.
  • The Pequot Wars: Pequots  very powerful tribe in CT river valley. 1637 1636- 1637  Pequot War  Whites, with Narragansett Indian allies, attacked Pequot village on Mystic River.  Whites set fire to homes & shot fleeing survivors!  Pequot tribe virtually annihilated an uneasy peace lasted for 40 years.
  • King Philip’s War (1675-1676} Only hope for Native Americans to resist white settlers was to UNITE. Metacom [King Philip to white settlers]  Massasoit’s son united Indians and staged coordinated attacks on white settlements throughout New England.  Frontier settlements forced to retreat to Boston.
  • King Philip’s War (1675-1676} The war ended in failure for the Indians  Metacom beheaded and drawn and quartered.  His son and wife sold into slavery.  Never a serious threat in New England again!!
  • Population of the New England Colonies
  • Population Comparisons: New England v. the Chesapeake
  • Terms to Know • • • • • • • • • • 08/09/2009 Martin Luther John Calvin William Bradford John Winthrop Protestant Reformation Doctrine of Justification Predestination Separatists Puritans “Pilgrims”