Who Were the Puritans? Intro to the Salem Witch Trials
Objectives • Evaluate the philosophical, political, religious, ethical, and social influences of the historical period. • To introduce and explain the note-taking technique of Quotes-Notes-Thoughts (QNTs)
Key Terms • Puritanism in the 16th and 17th cent., a movement for reform in the Church of England that had a profound influence on the social, political, ethical, and theological ideas of England and America. • Rationalism is the belief that human beings can arrive at truth by using reason, rather than by relying on the authority of the past, on religious faith, or on intuition.
What are QNTs? • QNTs are a systematic approach to note taking. • Divide your notebook page into three columns. • At the top of each column write Quotes, Notes, and Thoughts respectively. • We will do some together so that you understand the process.
Who Were the Puritans? • Choose quotes from each section that give you insight into who the Puritans were and/or why they were the way they were. Write the quotes in your “Quotes” column. • Under the “Notes” column, write what the quote tells you about the Puritans. • Under the “Thoughts” column, write your personal response to the quote. • Read pp. 11-15 and take QNTs
Quickwrite • How might people react when their established way of life is threatened by an outside group of people?
Puritanism vs. Rationalism • Quickwrite: Assuming that Puritans in New England viewed Rationalism as a threat to their established way of life, how do you think they might react to a person or people with rationalist ideas? • Modern Day Connection: Are there fundamentalist religious groups today who view outsiders as a threat to their established way of life?
The Salem Witch Trials • What do you know about the Salem witch trials? • Write what you already know in your notebook. • What would you like to know? • Write the list of questions in your notebook.
The Salem Witch Trials • Read the Informational Text on pp.10-11 entitled “The Salem Witchcraft Trials”. • Take QNTs that will assist you in answering the following question: What made it possible for the Salem Witchcraft Trials to occur?
More on Salem • Salem, Massachusetts, 1692
Life in 1692 Salem • What was life really like for the community of Salem Village? • What were some of the challenges and fears the Puritans faced every day? • What was it like to be a child in Puritan New England? • What did the Puritans see as the cause for misfortune? • How may these factors have played a role in the witch trials? • What do you think the main cause of the hysteria may have been?
The Story of the Witch Hunt • Name some of the accused. • What did the accused have in common? • How many were jailed? • When did the trials start? • Who was the first person hanged? • How did Giles Corey die? • What made people doubt the girls’ accusations? • What happened to the accused, even after being pardoned?
20th Century Witch Hunts • A witch hunt occurs any time a group of people persecutes another group unfairly, usually blaming that group for larger problems. • Examples from the 20th century include: the Holocaust, the McCarthy trials, and the Japanese internment camps.
McCarthyism • In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin seized the political spotlight by charging that Communists had infiltrated the State Department. He produced almost no hard evidence, but his accusations fueled people’s fears at the height of the cold war. McCarthy launched an investigation, summoned hundreds of Americans to testify, and threatened to brand them as Communists if they refused to cooperate. As in the Salem witch trials, mere accusations were enough to ruin people. In 1954, the U.S. Senate condemned McCarthy’s misconduct and abuse of power.
McCarthyism and The Crucible • Hundreds of the people McCarthy accused were ruined by being “blacklisted,” unofficially but effectively prohibited from working in their chosen professions. Some of those blacklisted were writers like Arthur Miller who wrote The Crucible. • Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible in 1953 while the McCarthy trials were still going on.
McCarthyism and The Crucible • Set in 1692 Salem, The Crucible draws parallels between the Salem witch trials and the 1950s hunt for Communists in the U.S. government conducted by Senator Joseph McCarthy.