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The Puritans - Hope and Hysteria

            When the Puritans, a group of religious people who thought that the reforms of the Church of England weren't enough, set sail for a new land in 1629, they hoped for a new start and a place to continue the reforms of the Church. As soon as they arrived in their new home, they quickly began working on continuing the reforms by setting up the Massachusetts Bay Colony. One main thing the Puritans believed in were the two worlds that existed, the Natural World and the Invisible World. The Natural World being everything that happened in reality and the Invisible World was of the uncertain things that they couldn't explain such as spirits and God. This allowed them to believe in anything that happened spiritually as well as trusting God for everything. The Puritans dreamed of a better life in the New World with better opportunities and hopes but soon fell victim to mass hysteria due to their devotion to the Church, hidden issues, and the corruption in the judicial system. .
             Following the typical customs of the Church, the Puritans believed that God was the Almighty ruler of everything on Earth. The main rule of society was that everyone had to follow God ("Puritan Life"). According to Puritan life, God controlled everything in life including other spirits like Satan himself (Schanzer 15). People said that they were doing God's work and were trying to follow his rules and impress him ("Puritan Life"). With God being the great ruler of life, if anyone strayed or drifted away from the path of God, there were to be very serious consequences as well as God himself punishing sinful behaviors committed by those sinners ("Puritan Life" & "Salem Witch Trials"). In Puritan society, the Church was the main thing in the 17th century ("Salem Witch Trials"). The Puritans had common criticisms of the Anglican Church, English society, and government and also believed in Old Testament lessons ("Puritan Life" & Heyrman).

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