Puritanism: Salem Witch Trials and New England Colonies Essay

Submitted By Liza-Thomas
Words: 538
Pages: 3

Religion’s Impact on America “In God We Trust...” If you ever handled any kind of American currency you have seen these words. This is just one example of how religion still affects American culture. Religion was crucial to the founding of America, and it’s still significant today.
The people who built America were the Puritans; they were very prominent historical figures that were imperative to the development of the New England colonies. From 1630 to the 1700s, they greatly influenced these colonies in many different ways. Puritans were groups that were seeking a more pure form of Protestantism apart from the Anglican Church. They came to the New World in search of religious freedom and were a prominent group in the New England colonies. The Puritans certainly played the most important role in America. (Finley) Puritan religion not only had strict ideals, but the people that followed those ideals let it consume their entire life. As well as family life, Puritans enforced strict codes of conduct onto the residents of the colonies. Drunkenness was not allowed as well as card playing, dancing, and idleness. That’s right; you could be punished for doing nothing. Most laws were based off the bible, which the Puritans took literally. Also, infidelity in marriage and homosexuality were both crimes that could be punished by death.
The practice of witchcraft was also punishable by death, hence the start of the Salem Witch Trials hysteria in Salem. The Salem Witch Trials started when a group of teenage girls who had been experimenting with divination started to behave strangely, making odd noises, assuming strange postures, spending hours lying motionless in bed. Soon adults became suspicious and began whispering about demonic possession. The girls then started to accuse people of witchcraft. After so many allegations more and more people became skeptical of the methods being used to try the suspects, and the validity of the evidence, the accusations stopped eventually. Most people in those days believed in witchcraft, the people who protested at the trials did not do…