By Philip Jenkins (auth.)
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Extra info for A History of the United States
The depth of the fear and disillusionment in those years is illustrated by the Salem witch panic which erupted in February 1692 following the discovery that some teenage girls were dabbling in folk magic and divination. The resulting spiral of hysteria and accusation resulted in dozens of people being charged with witchcraft by the middle of the year, and twenty being executed. Though again this affair has become part of the common folklore of Puritan America, the incident was wildly untypical and would have been unimaginable in circumstances less desperate or unsettled than those of the early 1690s.
Throughout 1689 all the colonies experienced a greater or lesser degree of upheaval until all eventually proclaimed the new royal family. Even when government had been more or less restored, other questions lingered. The old charters had been forfeited and new documents were often not obtained for years: not until 1691 in the case of Massachusetts. Moreover the new charters were often quite different from the old, and in New England it changed the criterion for political participation from the traditional notion of church membership to the more English property qualification.
The German churches spawned evangelical sects such as the United Brethren and Evangelical Association, which grew dramatically at the end of the century. Revivals and awakenings proved a lively incentive to new settlement, as families and groups set out to form new villages where they could live in godliness and unity: from New England especially, 'New Light' settlers spread west into Ohio. The 'Great Revival' reached its height in the early 1740s, but it is difficult to pinpoint its end. Though other events throughout the century are usually listed as separate and distinct phenomena, these were in fact continuations or outgrowths of the original explosion.
A History of the United States by Philip Jenkins (auth.)