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The Puritans believed that the devil was alive and well in the new country in which they had just recently settled. The forest was a great place for the devil to hide! In order to survive, the Puritan settlements like Salem had to stick together. They needed each other to stay alive in the new, wild country they came to for religious freedom. Everyone had to pitch in to make the community successful and to perpetuate their religion. In addition, and unfortunately, the "savage," heathen Native Americans also lived in the wilderness. The Puritans feared them as well. They considered them subjects of the devil because of their "uncivilized" ways.
To keep the communities together and continue to make them successful, a common enemy was a good way to bring them together. There was no one better to have than the devil as the basis for their fear and to keep them united towards a common cause, the practicing of their religion.
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