Why did the Puritans go to the US? What was their goal? Why was it better to confess to witchcraft if you were accuse than to deny it? After some time passed, how did people begin to repent for the actions of the witch trials?

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The Puritans were a religious group that emerged from the religious turmoil of the Reformation. King Henry VIII of England led the country out of Catholicism in the sixteenth century, and the Church of England emerged. The Puritans, however, were not satisfied with the Church of England because they thought...

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The Puritans were a religious group that emerged from the religious turmoil of the Reformation. King Henry VIII of England led the country out of Catholicism in the sixteenth century, and the Church of England emerged. The Puritans, however, were not satisfied with the Church of England because they thought it was too similar to Catholicism. In 1630, the Puritans went to New England to create a religious utopia. Although the Pilgrims had arrived first (1620) in Plymouth, they were soon overshadowed by the much larger Puritan community in Massachusetts Bay. Salem was founded in 1626.

The Salem Witch Trials (1692–93) resulted in the execution of 19 "witches." The hysteria began when some local girls experienced fits and convulsions. Tituba, a slave from the West Indies, confessed and she was not put to death. In fact, she gained her freedom and left the Puritans forever. Others who confessed were also spared because it was thought God would punish them. Those who insisted on their innocence, however, were usually executed. The accusers and judges later admitted they had made a mistake, but they blamed the devil. Some compensation was paid to the aggrieved families twenty years later. The convictions of 11 of the accused were not overturned until 2001.

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