• Puritan’s “well-ordered” communities
  • large common area w/ church, minister’s home, and school
  • rest was divided into lots for homes
  • outside of the town, each family had a strip of land
  • well ordered families, well ordered towns, well ordered communities
  • chidren born in such conditions lived twice as long
  • 1692 – several girls and young women claimed the devil had taken control over them
  • accused three townspeople
  • frenzy caused neighbor to accuse neighbor of witch-craft
  • trials were held to determine who were witches
  • jails were being filled with up to 150 accused persons
  • Dozens of people under excruciating religious, civil and family pressures found themselves confessing to being witches
  • Mass. Authorities ordered 20 people to die by hanging

So, what fueled the trials?

  • politics
  • religion
  • family feuds
  • economics
  • the imaginations and fears of the people