**Crucible = severe test** Puritans 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 Corruption - 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 vengeful. 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 adultery. For Puritans, the Devil was an active member of mankind. 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.