What is happening to the colony of Connecticut in The Witch of Blackbird Pond and how does this lead to events in American History?
This book is set in the colony of Connecticut in 1687. At that time period, Connecticut (as with most of modern day New England) was heavily influenced by the Puritan lifestyle and religion. The Puritans were a faction of the Anglican Church in England that felt the Church needed to be purified, hence Puritans. The purification focused on extravagance vs. simplicity. Eventually the Puritans are forced out of England and come to America with a charter for a colony. A charter is like a license to exist with authority from the King of England. It also makes the settlement a colony under the protection and laws of the parent country. The Puritans lived a lifestyle of simplicity but adherence to conformity. Individualism was not appreciated and was taken out of the community through excommunication and sometimes violent removal. Hannah Tupper, the Witch of Blackbird Pond, has been forced out of her home colony of Massachusetts. Connecticut has the same type of settlement as Massachusetts, but will shortly become more welcoming to other groups of people as the Puritans lose their hold over all of New England. Other groups, such as Catholics, Quakers, and Germans will come and settle in the area leading to an opening of ideas and eventual toleration of all groups. The book shows us the early shades of the opening up with Kit's move to the colony from the island of Barbados.