Puritans and Salem Witch Trials Essay

2271 Words Oct 18th, 2008 10 Pages
Puritans and the Salem Witch Trials

During the time period of 1691 to 1692 the town of Salem, a small thriving community within the Puritan Massachusetts Bay colony, was struck by widespread hysteria in the form of witch trials. The way these trials and accusations played out are historically unlike any other witch trials found in European and American history. Historians have pointed to a number of economic, political, and social changes of the then existing institutions throughout the Massachusetts Bay area to be the cause of the Salem witch trials, along with the direction they took. If studied closely however, it becomes apparent that the main cause for the Salem witch trials can be found in the way the people of Salem viewed and
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Anne Hutchinson held meetings at her house on Sundays to recall what had been said during the church sermon as well as to add her own ideas and thoughts on the topics that were being discussed. At first this seemed very normal but when her teachings began influencing people to pull away from the other Puritans, Winthrop recognized this as a problem. Anne Hutchinson taught others of her numerous propositions, which opposed the purpose of this excursion to New England. Morgan states that, Mrs. Hutchinson’s beliefs, “…threatened the fundamental conviction on which the Puritans built their state, their churches, and their daily lives, namely that God’s will could be discovered only through the bible” (Morgan). Anne Hutchinson was in fact an Antinomian, she opposed the fixed meaning of God’s moral law that Winthrop had worked so hard to teach these people. As a result, Mrs. Hutchinson was causing a huge threat to the settlers. She was trying to manipulate others to share her religious beliefs. Winthrop would not tolerate such behavior, as she was behaving sinfully, she must be punished accordingly or else as Winthrop believed, they would all suffer from God’s wrath. Winthrop took Mrs. Hutchinson to a court hearing and after a long, battle it was decided by the court that Mrs. Hutchinson was to be banished from Massachusetts. Mrs. Hutchinson was set as an example for the others who may
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