I had a hard time reading more than 30 pages at a time! It felt like a I loved this book because I got to learn so much about a subject that I've always been really interested in. To make matters worse, Puritanical New Englanders at the time believed the land they were trying to settle had been ruled by the devil and that it was their job to help God conquer this new wilderness. The connections between the residents of Salem, residents of other parts of Essex County, people back in England, etc, is mind-boggling. She begins by pointing out several myths about the crisis: First, the nexus of the crisis actually developed in , which is now the city of Danvers and not in Salem Town, the modern city of Salem where the trials occurred. The difficulty of the passage lies in the word ἐκείνου, which at first sight seems to indicate a different antecedent from the antecedent of αὐτοῦ.
As an academic historian, Norton tolerates none of the lurid aura that floats around the witchcraft crisis, but in the process she throws out Rosemary's baby with the bath water. Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website! Puritans could not conceive the notion that this could simply be misfortune, due to their belief in Gods will. Every day, people would have awakened to a myriad of new horrors. She shows how the situation spiraled out of control following a cascade of accusations beginning in mid-April. I'm a history nerd, love colonial history, and a total dork about community-wide paranoia and I still couldn't get past how dry this book got at times. Norton thinks that too much attention has been paid over the years to debating the accusers in the trial why did they do it, were they just purely faking it all, etc.
These continental affairs, the author adds, demanded readjustments, fiscal, social and administrative within SpainC what were her obligations to other parts of the Empire? Charles was king of Spain for nearly forty years, but he barely spent sixteen in the peninsula. Many believed the witches were burned at the stake, however that is untrue. Norton's interpretation is a pretty convincing one, and ties the Salem witch crisis to other episodes, like Bacon's Rebellion, where conflict between British colonists and Indians led to a severe crisis of colonial political authority. From the Trade Paperback edition. So it was no surprise to discover that the devil was not only attacking them in the form of French and Indians, but also attacking them through witches in their midst. With detailed primary source research, Norton shows how almost all of the accused and accusers had ties to the Indian war which didn't go well and had a number of atrocities in the North. Norton also dispels some of the common assumptions about the witch trials and the mysterious Tituba.
But as far as learning about the witch trials and the events around it this is a good book. In most of the fiction I've come across, the interactions with the Native people has been reduced to wallpaper that just provides a little scene setting for the main events of the outcries, trials, convictions, and executions of many innocent people in Salem and surrounding towns. Nothing else could possible explain the fires, flood, windstorms, droughts, livestock disease, and epidemics raging through the town. Philip turned his attention away from building a strong Spanish nation and in his capacity as defender of the Catholic faith he insisted in conducting a series of ruinous campaigns against the infidels and the heretics, the Ottoman Turks and the English. But she is less convincing in her case that the failure of the military and political leadership in the war was itself a driving force in the crisis erupting out of control the way it did. But as one of America's most often produced plays, it casts a spell over our cultural imagination that complicates the historian's task.
All the while, there is more than just circumstantial evidence that points to one of the victims' stepfather, John Mark Byers. In terms of completeness, her work wins a gold star. Award-winning historian Mary Beth Norton reexamines the Salem witch trials in this startlingly original, meticulously researched, and utterly riveting study. This is where she explains her thesis, which was that witchcraft crisis of 1692 was in large part a reaction to King Philip's War and King William's War, clearly and concisely. Like every issue that has come up, everyone has their own take on it. The fact that Christopher Byers was tormented the most, it comes off as though his murder was something personal and Michael Moore and Stevie Branch just happened to be at the wrong place and at the wrong time.
Therefore, I really had not choice but to believe Norton when she said that her approach to examining the witchcraft crisis was a new one. Unlike those earlier authors, who characterized the witchcraft crisis as the outgrowth of intra-community conflict, Mary Beth Norton observes that the crisis was a regional event that occurred in the context of a disastrous frontier war and a breakdown in provincial political authority. See how often the apostle cautions against disputes in religion; which surely shows that religion consists more in believing and practising what God requires, than in subtle disputes. Moreover, as Norton shows, some judges used this opportunity of blaming witches to assuage their own guilt over their responsibility for political, economic and military mismanagement. The extensive bibliography includes a topical section and several bibliographical essays.
Charles I, Elliot says, was forever embroiled in some conflictC the struggle with France in the 1520s, the offensive and defensive operations against the Turks in the 1530s, 1540s and 1550s, and the impossible task of destroying heresy once the Counterreformation was launchedC that strained the Imperial purse. In New York and Washington, D. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons. Norton makes an interesting case, combining the fear of Indian raids from the outside with the internal fear of Satan and witchcraft within Essex County. Using newly available materials from the trial records, letters and diaries, she argues that a complex of political, military and religious factors led to the outbreak of hysterical fits and other behavior that ended in the infamous trials.
I had the choice of reading The Crucible in high school, but I turned it down and chose to read a different book. They reignited and reshaped a smoldering debate over the proper use of government to peer into the lives of ordinary people. By the specific attention paid to Tituba, Martha Corey, and Abigail Hobbs, Norton shows how these individuals contributed to the linkage between the witchcraft crisis and the military conflict with the natives. In 1692 the people of Massachusetts were living in fear, and not solely of satanic afflictions. Therefore, I really had not choice but to believe Norton when she said that her approach to examining the witchcraft crisis was a new one. The first four chapters deal with the geographical, social and political changes that took place during the reign of Isabella and.
This suggests that the Puritans saw witchcraft as a religious threat, not just a racial one — and in 1692 they may have tied it to another religious threat, namely the one posed by Roman Catholicism. Eventually, the author goes on to say, this right would be extended to all Spanish domains. It is a tremendously ambitious book. The term also refers to the impurity and the lack of physical cleanliness that Brady and Hindley stole from their victims. They knew enough already to be skeptical, but they also believed that malevolent forces were at work in the physical world.
But really, this is one of those books where the central thesis makes so much sense, you wonder how it could have taken so long to write a book about it. This book is a dual-narrative of war and witchcraft, Norton's belief is that the Second Indian War laid the groundwork for the crisis to occur. I paid particular attention to the frontier experiences of participants in the Salem crisis, including judges and jurors as well as accused and accusers. Spain was finally centralized and Castilianized, but according to Elliot, it came too late. One could only imagine such an environment; surrounded in fear from the inside and out. Her observations and speculations on how the Indian Wars were handled by government leaders and how the drumbeats of war affected the general public are an attempt to explain a societal phenomenon that took place over 300 years ago.