What has happened in Andover that might affect the trials at Salem? (Act 4)

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Andover, as in Salem, many have been accused of witchcraft. Evidently, according to Parris and Hale, the hysteria has grown there as it has in Salem. The authorities in Andover must be as stubborn as those in Salem, if not more so. Parris informs Danforth that there is talk of the people of Andover rebelling against the courts and religious authorities. They are fed up with the accusations, the oppressive condemnations of the authorities, and witchcraft itself. Parris says there is a group (faction) in Salem who, upon hearing of the rebellion in Andover, are considering a rebellion in Salem as well. "There be a faction here, feeding on that news, and I tell you true, sir, I fear there will be riot here." However, Danforth denies that there even is a rebellion in Andover. And Hathorne scoffs at the idea that people would be against executions. They truly show their stubbornness here. 

Shortly after Parris's warnings of rebellion and riot, Hale confirms them. He pleads with Danforth to at least postpone the executions to show some mercy. Otherwise, he says rebellion is a foregone conclusion: 

Excellency, there are orphans wandering from house to house; abandoned cattle bellow on the highroads, the stink of rotting crops hangs everywhere, and no man knows when the harlots’ cry will end his life - and you wonder yet if rebellion’s spoke? Better you should marvel how they do not burn your province!