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The Puritans 1600’s & early 1700’s. Thematic Question: Are people basically good? Puritan settlers believed that human beings were sinful creatures doomed.

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Presentation on theme: "The Puritans 1600’s & early 1700’s. Thematic Question: Are people basically good? Puritan settlers believed that human beings were sinful creatures doomed."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Puritans 1600’s & early 1700’s

2 Thematic Question: Are people basically good? Puritan settlers believed that human beings were sinful creatures doomed to a fiery eternity unless saved by the grace of God. Puritan settlers believed that human beings were sinful creatures doomed to a fiery eternity unless saved by the grace of God. Yet other who came to North America celebrated the powers of reason and proclaimed the goodness and intrinsic worth of humans. Yet other who came to North America celebrated the powers of reason and proclaimed the goodness and intrinsic worth of humans. Are people destined to struggle against their basest instincts? Or are they fundamentally good—and capable of becoming even better? Are people destined to struggle against their basest instincts? Or are they fundamentally good—and capable of becoming even better?

3 Cultural Influences Puritans – were a group of English Protestants in the 1600’s who had sought to “purify” the Church of England and return to simpler ways of worshipping. They were persecuted for their efforts and many left the country for America. Puritans – were a group of English Protestants in the 1600’s who had sought to “purify” the Church of England and return to simpler ways of worshipping. They were persecuted for their efforts and many left the country for America. Religion was the most influential cultural force on writers of this period. Puritan values and beliefs directed people’s everyday lives as well as the formation of an American society. Religion was the most influential cultural force on writers of this period. Puritan values and beliefs directed people’s everyday lives as well as the formation of an American society. Puritan settlers believed themselves chosen by God to create a new order in America Puritan settlers believed themselves chosen by God to create a new order in America “A city upon a hill” – where the eyes of all the world will be upon us “A city upon a hill” – where the eyes of all the world will be upon us

4 Religion Religion Original Sin: The Puritan's believed in original sin, the belief that man is born in sin that originated with Adam and Eve's disobedience to God and their expulsion from the garden of Eden. Original Sin: The Puritan's believed in original sin, the belief that man is born in sin that originated with Adam and Eve's disobedience to God and their expulsion from the garden of Eden. The idea of sin was a reality for them. They were on constant guard against those in the community who were engaged in sin. People in this community reported others in the community who they believed were sinful in order that the sinners might be saved and, more importantly, that God would see the community as a whole as free from sin and vigilant on the side of God. The idea of sin was a reality for them. They were on constant guard against those in the community who were engaged in sin. People in this community reported others in the community who they believed were sinful in order that the sinners might be saved and, more importantly, that God would see the community as a whole as free from sin and vigilant on the side of God.

5 Predestination God determines who is “elected”, admitted to the kingdom of heaven, and, therefore, who is condemned to hell. God determines who is “elected”, admitted to the kingdom of heaven, and, therefore, who is condemned to hell. The Puritan community's goal was to establish "the city on the hill,” an idealized version of God's kingdom, obedient to God's will and free from sin. The Puritan community's goal was to establish "the city on the hill,” an idealized version of God's kingdom, obedient to God's will and free from sin. Sin in the community would prevent the elect from being chosen by God. The rooting out of all sin was vital to the salvation of the elect. Sin in the community would prevent the elect from being chosen by God. The rooting out of all sin was vital to the salvation of the elect.

6 Puritan Government Theocracy: A combine of state and religious power; governed by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. Theocracy: A combine of state and religious power; governed by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. Function to keep community together— prevent disunity. Function to keep community together— prevent disunity. When people began to assert their individuality, the theocracy tightened its grip (Salem Witch trials) When people began to assert their individuality, the theocracy tightened its grip (Salem Witch trials)

7 Authors: Anne Bradstreet First notable American poet First notable American poet Wrote poetry to help her overcome the harsh realities of colonial America Wrote poetry to help her overcome the harsh realities of colonial America Poetry focused on religion, reality of daily life, her husband, her eight children, and her house. Poetry focused on religion, reality of daily life, her husband, her eight children, and her house. “To My Dear and Loving Husband” & “Upon the Burning of Our House”

8 Jonathan Edwards Edwards was a Puritan minister whose masterful sermons helped to trigger the Great Awakening, a religious revival that swept through New England from Edwards was a Puritan minister whose masterful sermons helped to trigger the Great Awakening, a religious revival that swept through New England from Edwards believed that religion should be rooted not only in reason but also in emotion. Edwards believed that religion should be rooted not only in reason but also in emotion. This belief resulted in powerfully persuasive sermons with fiery descriptions of hell and eternal damnation. This belief resulted in powerfully persuasive sermons with fiery descriptions of hell and eternal damnation. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

9 Puritan Legacy American work ethic – Hard work leads to financial success American work ethic – Hard work leads to financial success Value of education Value of education - public schools - equal education for women - higher education – Harvard University  Religion sets moral code/values

10 The Crucible by Arthur Miller

11 Salem Witch Trials In 1692, twenty people were executed for witchcraft in Salem Village, Massachusetts 19 were hanged; 1 was pressed to death (14 women; 6 men) Some others died in prison Events that led to the trials began in January First arrest warrants issued on February 29 Special court established in June, with first hanging on June 10 The final hanging took place on September 22 Special court was dissolved in October

12 Witchcraft The belief in witches (magic powers for evil purposes) can be traced back to ancient times. The belief in witches (magic powers for evil purposes) can be traced back to ancient times. For more than 300 years, Church officials in Europe brought suspects of witchcraft to trial. For more than 300 years, Church officials in Europe brought suspects of witchcraft to trial. Between 1484 and 1782, more than 300,000 women were put to death on charges of witchcraft. Between 1484 and 1782, more than 300,000 women were put to death on charges of witchcraft. This fear followed to the U.S., where many women were persecuted in Virginia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. This fear followed to the U.S., where many women were persecuted in Virginia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

13 “Thou Shall Not Suffer a Witch to Live” Exodus 22:18 Joan of Arc Women found guilty of witchcraft in Europe

14 Proof of Witchcraft 1. The court proved that a person was a witch by testimony of a Church member. 2. Suspected witches were poked with pins (in search of the “devil’s mark”) or a spot where no pain was felt. Often times they examined birthmarks, moles, freckles, etc., making the accused strip down to nothing in order to be examined closely in front of a group of people. 3. Another method of identifying a witch involved the practice of dunking. The accused was thrown into a body of water with their hands and feet bound together. If the body floated, the person was determined to be a witch; if the body sank, the person was acquitted. Ironically, in order to prove your innocence, you had to die.

15 Identifying a Witch

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17 Witch Trials Witch Arrest The Trial of Rebecca Nurse

18 Salem Witch Trial

19 The Crucible/McCarthyism The Crucible (1953) – An Allegory The Crucible (1953) – An Allegory - An extended metaphor: people or objects in the story represent meanings outside the story - An extended metaphor: people or objects in the story represent meanings outside the story (represents concepts, philosophies, etc.). (represents concepts, philosophies, etc.). The Crucible is an allegory of the McCarthy era— paranoia about Communist infiltration is comparable to the paranoia surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. The Crucible is an allegory of the McCarthy era— paranoia about Communist infiltration is comparable to the paranoia surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. Spectral evidence– the testimony of a church member who claimed to have seen a person’s spirit performing witchcraft– was enough to sentence the accused to death. Spectral evidence– the testimony of a church member who claimed to have seen a person’s spirit performing witchcraft– was enough to sentence the accused to death. Belief in witchcraft fueled a climate of hysteria and suspicion, turning neighbor against neighbor. Belief in witchcraft fueled a climate of hysteria and suspicion, turning neighbor against neighbor.

20 McCarthyism 1950’s—The Cold War 1950’s—The Cold War The fear of Russia after WWII & Communism The fear of Russia after WWII & Communism Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that the state department had been infiltrated by more than 200 communists. Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that the state department had been infiltrated by more than 200 communists. McCarthy exploited his position as Chairman of the Senate permanent investigations committee by holding widely publicized hearings. During which, sweeping accusations were made, and people were questioned in a hostile and inquisitorial manner. McCarthy exploited his position as Chairman of the Senate permanent investigations committee by holding widely publicized hearings. During which, sweeping accusations were made, and people were questioned in a hostile and inquisitorial manner. During the hearings, people’s private lives were mercilessly scrutinized, and many were ruined. During the hearings, people’s private lives were mercilessly scrutinized, and many were ruined.

21 McCarthyism Although a Senate committee determined McCarthy’s claims to be unfounded, he refused to retract his charges, even though he had provided no real evidence to support them. Although a Senate committee determined McCarthy’s claims to be unfounded, he refused to retract his charges, even though he had provided no real evidence to support them. McCarthy’s accusations shook the entire nation, resulting in a pervasive atmosphere of fear and suspicion. McCarthy’s accusations shook the entire nation, resulting in a pervasive atmosphere of fear and suspicion. Miller appeared before the congressional Un-American Activities Committee for his political beliefs, but refused to name writers who had been to Communist-inspired meetings. Miller appeared before the congressional Un-American Activities Committee for his political beliefs, but refused to name writers who had been to Communist-inspired meetings. Miller was held in contempt of court in 1957 and black listed. The ruling was reversed in Miller was held in contempt of court in 1957 and black listed. The ruling was reversed in 1958.

22 Arthur Miller  Born 1929  Influences - Henrick Ibsen (social protest writer) - Henrick Ibsen (social protest writer) - The Great Depression - The Great Depression - World War II - World War II  Central Themes in Works - Man can survive only by attaining his personal dignity - Man can survive only by attaining his personal dignity - “To thine own self be true” - “To thine own self be true”  1949 – Won Pulitzer Prize for Death of a Salesman  1950’s – Cold War begins after WWII: fear of communism.  Senator Joseph McCarthy starts “Red Scare”. Rational minds affected by fear = witch hunt  1956 – When Miller was called before the House Un-American Committee, he refused to name people he had seen 10 years earlier at an alleged communist writer’s. He was convicted of contempt but appealed and won.  Died 2005

23 Arthur Miller

24 Senator McCarthy & Hearing


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