Puritans (not Pilgrims)

**Crucible = severe test**
 Never
formally left the Church of England
(wanted to return and “purify” the church).
 They believed God ruled first, followed by
the church which should have power over
the government. (The purpose of
government was to ensure that people
obeyed God’s commandments.)
 Developed a THEOCRACY – a
combination of state and religious power
whose function was to keep the
community together
Church of England and the Puritans
- Puritans believed the Church of England
was becoming corrupted.
-Too many similarities to Roman Catholic
Church (example: elaborate churches)
 Puritan Solution?
-Leave England and “purify” the Church
elsewhere (Massachusetts Bay Colony ).
-Planned to return later to England and
restore the Church.
Puritan Principles
God is an absolute ruler who is merciless, angry, and
Mankind is evil and helpless.
Humans are born sinful (original sin) and they deserve
the damnation of Hellfire.
Humans can only be saved from damnation through
God’s grace.
God intervenes in one’s daily life (Providence).
Predestination - salvation is predetermined before birth.
God "saves" those he wishes - only a few are selected
for salvation.
How do you know that you are saved?
1. Puritan Ministers preached that leading a “Godly” life
was an outward sign of salvation.
2. Those elected by God have full power to interpret
God’s will.
Puritan Beliefs
Bible should be taken literally
 Believed churches should be simple
 Believed in meeting in congregations
 Belief in:
1. hard work
2. morality
3. independence
4. commitment
**Valued education (founded Harvard & Yale)
Key Concepts of Puritanism
Puritans believed their way of life was right, and
all other ways were wrong.
Puritan views about sin were strict; they believed
every man could be tempted by the devil.
Puritans believed that once a man sinned that he
must openly confess his sin, repent, and perform
an act of penance.
One of the worst sins a Puritan could commit was
For Puritans, the Devil was an active member of
Play - Background Information
Set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692
 Town set-up:
 Meeting house (church for Puritans)
 Small dark houses
 Tavern
 The edge of wilderness was close by
Main Characters
Reverend Samuel Parris – believed he was persecuted
Betty Parris (10) – bewitched in beginning of play
Tituba – slave to Reverend Parris; from Barbados
Abigail Williams (17) – niece to Rev. Parris; the “ringleader” of girls
Mrs. Ann Putnam – mother to Ruth (another bewitched girl)
Thomas Putnam – held grievances against many townspeople
Marry Warren (17) – servant girl to the Proctors
John Proctor (30’s) – farmer; powerful of body, even tempered, and
not easily led by others; respected and feared
Giles Cory (83) – he and his wife Martha stopped going to church
when they were married – others suspicious of this
Rev. John Hale – called in as a specialist in witch trials
Rebecca Nurse (72) – most religious in town; many are jealous of
her good reputation, so they accuse her.