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    Salem Witch Trials and New York City Essay

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    1) Who were the Puritans and how did Puritans organize their local communities? Why did the religious fervor of New England Puritans decline after 1660? How did the Salem witch episode reflect the tensions and changes in seventeenth-century New England life and thought? The Puritans were a group of people who grew discontent in the Church of England that had a profound influence on the social, political, ethical, and theological ideas of England and America.

    Puritans immigrated to the New World, where they sought to found a holy commonwealth in New England. Although the Puritans wanted to reform the world to conform to God’s law, they did not set up a church-run state. Even though they believed that the primary purpose of government was to punish breaches of God’s laws, few people were as committed as the Puritans to the separation of church and state. Not only did they reject the idea of establishing a system of church courts, they also forbade ministers from holding public office.

    Puritans were mainly concerned with religious matters, rather than politics or social matters. Puritans also lost their power in politics. In future Puritans would no longer be allowed to become members of the House of Commons or local counselors. They were also excluded from universities and from teaching in schools. Strict censorship was also imposed on books. All books dealing with history, science or philosophy had to be checked by the government and the leaders of the church before they were published.

    The Salem Witch Trials were a notorious episode in New England colonial history that led to the execution of 14 women and 6 men, in 1692, for charges of witchcraft. The trials began as a result of the bizarre and inexplicable behavior of two young girls, afflicted by violent convulsions and strange fits that seemingly rendered them unable to hear, speak, or see. After a medical examination and a review by Puritan clergy, the girls were judged to be victims of witchcraft.

    In the ensuing hysteria during the summer of 1692, nearly 200 people were accused of witchcraft and imprisoned. The central characters of the Salem witchcraft episode are the so-called “afflicted children” responsible for most of the accusations and much of the spectral evidence testimony presented against the victims. They are often referred to as children because with the exception of two individuals this entire group was under the age of twenty at the time the episode began. The Salem Witch Trials demonstrated the weakness of a judicial system that elied on hearsay testimony and encouraged accusations, while providing no adequate means of rebuttal. 2) Identify the basic beliefs and assumptions of the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening. How did these two movements affect colonial development? How did the American colonies move from loyalty to protest to rebellion in the twelve years following the end of the French and Indian War? The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement that began in Europe during the seventeenth century, and stressed the values of humanism and rationality over divine principles.

    Enlightment intellectual bases of dissent 1763: turning point up to that time had salutary neglect, and no longer happy with the colonists at same time intellectually, the Americans start to question relationship with Great Britain Before this era, people’s knowledge on politics was based on perception of god In Europe: the Enlightenment; tells you that reason is important, think for yourself reason, science don’t just accept things, but question itself evident natural law that tells you what is right and what’s wrong; use inquiries to think for them Colonials will question the British and question it Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin question it.

    Franklin went off on ministers was an atheist Clergy and ministers are shocked and got run out of town Evident that all men are created equal Religious basis for descent at same time Enlightenment is liberal; secular Religious movement is very conservative Great Awakening Middle 1770’s: Americans begin to re-evaluate their relationship with religion think country isn’t religious enough think reason and logic will lead to strange things Some folks are nostalgic Began when Minister Jonathon Edwards Calvin believed in predestination Believed that god determined your fate and nothing you do could stop it People believe they are “reborn” accept fate Must give oneself over to god in order to get back to the “garden of Eden” Sense that organized religion is losing its order George Whitfield: Charismatic speaker people who join movement are poor and the ones who are left behind they expand, and wealthy people join too political and social purpose to this as well Whitfield and others create a national movement also there are class divisions attack organized religion create division within various churches some folks like it and some don’t. The colonists were interested in settling in the Ohio River Valley because of ts fertile soil. The entry of land speculators caused some concern among the French and Indians who had developed trade relationships among themselves. The British were able to defeat the combined French and Indian forces. This war was conducted at the same time as the Seven Years War in Europe. These conflicts were extremely costly and drained the British treasure. England needed to find ways to save money as well as to increase revenues to the treasury. The result of the French and Indian War was a series of Parliamentary acts which caused colonial anger. Eventually this anger increased until responses and their counter-responses led to war. ) What advantages and disadvantages did the American rebels and the British possess as the war began? Why was the Battle of Saratoga such a key to American success in the Revolutionary War? What role did France play in winning the America’s independence and what were the long term implications for France? Britain had significant military disadvantages; Distance was a major problem most troops and supplies had to be shipped across the Atlantic Ocean. The British had problems planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. British had better navy, better equipped army, resources of an empire, coherent structure of command.

    Americans were fighting on their own land, more committed to conflict, and received aid from the French. The Americans won due to the British making mistakes and miscalculations and the Americans using three distinct phases to win their victory. The British forces, lead by General Burgoyne, lead the divide and conquer strategy, planned to move a large number of troops, south from Canada, heading through New York. These forces would then meet up with General Howe, moving north from New York City, and Colonel St. Leger moving from the east. The result of a successful campaign would be British control from Canada straight to New York City, isolating New England from the rest of the colonies.

    The plan fell apart as soon as General Howe decided to move his troops from New York City, by sea, to attack Philadelphia. It is believed that if General Howe had moved his troops overland he would have been able to react and come to the aid of General Burgoyne. Colonel St. Leger’s troop movements were blocked at Fort Stanwix. The stalemate was finally broken when Colonel St. Leger retreated upon hearing that General Arnold was moving north into the battle. Saratoga was the turning point of the war. By winning Saratoga, the Americans were able to convince France to recognize it as a nation, and sign a treaty of mutual support against Britain. France then was able to send more arms, equipment, money and uniforms to support the American efforts.

    Britain then had to divert troops and ships to protect its other assets around the world, particularly in the Caribbean. France’s interest in the American fight for independence stemmed from France’s humiliating defeat during the Seven Years War at the hands of its ancient enemy, England. The American war continued, as France desired. France and Britain drifted into hostilities without a declaration of war when their fleets off USHANT off the northwest coast of France on June 17, 1778. A French expeditionary force arrived in the United States in 1780. As was demonstrated at the Battle of Yorktown, the FRENCH ALLIANCE was decisive for the cause of American independence.

    News of the capture of Philadelphia reached France before that of Saratoga, briefly making an alliance look unlikely, but when news of the British defeat reached Paris the French indicated that they were ready to sign an alliance. Benjamin Franklin drafted the treaty, and on 6 February 1778 American and France signed a treaty of friendship and commerce and another of alliance. The treaty of alliance was only to come into effect if Britain and France were at war, giving the French control over when the alliance would come into effect. France agreed to recognize the independence of the United States and provide military assistance. The French agreed not to make peace until American independence was achieved, and both sides agreed not to make peace without the approval of the other.

    France also agreed to surrender all territorial claims on the continent of North America and thus that all conquests made in North America would be given to the United States 4). What was the essential idea behind Jefferson’s imposition of the embargo, and why did it finally fail? What were the causes of the War of 1812 and why was New England opposed to the War of 1812? What happened to the Federalist after the War of 1812? Refusing to accept such an imposition, but quavering at the prospect of war with such a formidable power, Jefferson helped to push through the Embargo Act of December 22, 1807. By this extreme and unparalleled legislation, all export trade was expressly forbidden, and America became by law an economical island unto itself. Even more notably, no fixed limit was placed on the embargo.

    In a further expansion of executive power, Congress granted Jefferson latitude to raise a standing army, and to suspend the embargo at his discretion. The republic’s expansion to the west and renewed military conflict with Indian nations and Great Britain each posed a fundamental challenge to the fragile new republic. All three of these factors played a role in the coming of the War of 1812. The War of 1812, a seemingly unnecessary war fought between Great Britain and the United States, was partly a result of the successes of Napoleon and his French army. America was officially neutral in the war between Britain and France but traded with both. One tactic of the English, due to their superior navy, was to restrict trade between France and any countries not allied with her.

    The Americans had been supplying many needed goods to France. England effectively blocked all trade between the French and the U. S. Atlantic and Caribbean coasts. Only vessels that had first passed through a British port were allowed to sail unimpeded to the United Sates. Following the War of 1812, the Federalist Party practically ceased to exist. After the Battle of New Orleans, their objection to the war seemed to be disloyalty than good political sense. By 1821 there were only four Federalists in the Senate of 48 members. The presidential election of 1816, which the Federalist candidate lost, was the last time the party nominated a candidate for the office.

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