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Witchcraft in the United States: The History of Witches, Practices, and Persecution in America

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*Includes pictures *Includes contemporary accounts of trials *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.” - – Fyo *Includes pictures *Includes contemporary accounts of trials *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.” - – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov When people hear the word “witchcraft,” certain images come to mind. American history buffs will immediately think of Salem, where hysteria in the 17th century led to notorious trials that continue to be the source of several historical studies, with scholars analyzing things from every direction. Was it a religious fervor? Was it a land grab? Was there fungus in the grain? Over 400 years later, there are still fundamental questions regarding the complete breakdown of moral order that pinned friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor. As Salem proved, there has long been a natural curiosity about witchcraft. Some of the best-selling children’s books and adult novels have been about witchcraft, such as The Witch of Blackbird Pond. One of Roald Dahl’s most famous works was The Witches, and Harry Potter became a global phenomenon. As adults, fans of Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman, and Alice Hoffman will find books about witches among their reading list, and there are countless movies and television shows devoted to the topic. All cultures and belief systems have ideas and definitions of what makes a witch, and this ultimately comes down to the human mind’s natural need to break things into opposites. For all good, there must be evil, and for those who started to settle North America in the 17th century and beyond, witchcraft became the perfect explanation for what they couldn’t understand or control. Settling a new land – whether by choice or not – came with its own set of complications and ills. Life was hard in an unsettled area, especially when Europeans and Native Americans clashed in the New World, and when the European settlers started importing African slaves, that introduced new ideas about what constituted good and evil. As a result, while most studies of witchcraft in the United States tend to focus on Salem, that hardly does the subject matter justice, because understanding Native American and African concepts about witchcraft are just as important to American history as European ideas. Witchcraft in the United States: The History of Witches, Practices, and Persecution in America examines how various cultures perceived witchcraft and the impact it had in the United States and the colonial period. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about the history of witchcraft in America like never before.


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*Includes pictures *Includes contemporary accounts of trials *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.” - – Fyo *Includes pictures *Includes contemporary accounts of trials *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.” - – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov When people hear the word “witchcraft,” certain images come to mind. American history buffs will immediately think of Salem, where hysteria in the 17th century led to notorious trials that continue to be the source of several historical studies, with scholars analyzing things from every direction. Was it a religious fervor? Was it a land grab? Was there fungus in the grain? Over 400 years later, there are still fundamental questions regarding the complete breakdown of moral order that pinned friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor. As Salem proved, there has long been a natural curiosity about witchcraft. Some of the best-selling children’s books and adult novels have been about witchcraft, such as The Witch of Blackbird Pond. One of Roald Dahl’s most famous works was The Witches, and Harry Potter became a global phenomenon. As adults, fans of Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman, and Alice Hoffman will find books about witches among their reading list, and there are countless movies and television shows devoted to the topic. All cultures and belief systems have ideas and definitions of what makes a witch, and this ultimately comes down to the human mind’s natural need to break things into opposites. For all good, there must be evil, and for those who started to settle North America in the 17th century and beyond, witchcraft became the perfect explanation for what they couldn’t understand or control. Settling a new land – whether by choice or not – came with its own set of complications and ills. Life was hard in an unsettled area, especially when Europeans and Native Americans clashed in the New World, and when the European settlers started importing African slaves, that introduced new ideas about what constituted good and evil. As a result, while most studies of witchcraft in the United States tend to focus on Salem, that hardly does the subject matter justice, because understanding Native American and African concepts about witchcraft are just as important to American history as European ideas. Witchcraft in the United States: The History of Witches, Practices, and Persecution in America examines how various cultures perceived witchcraft and the impact it had in the United States and the colonial period. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about the history of witchcraft in America like never before.

41 review for Witchcraft in the United States: The History of Witches, Practices, and Persecution in America

  1. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Lowe

    An Excellent and Illuminating Historical Study!!!!! Book Review Written July 29, 2019 Witchcraft in the United States: The History of Witches, Practices, and Persecution in America, By Charles River Editors This is an interesting concise history of the beliefs surrounding witchcraft witchcraft during the North American colonial period. It examines the significant impact that concerns (fears) regarding witches and witchcraft had throughout the period of North American colonization. Importantly, it e An Excellent and Illuminating Historical Study!!!!! Book Review Written July 29, 2019 Witchcraft in the United States: The History of Witches, Practices, and Persecution in America, By Charles River Editors This is an interesting concise history of the beliefs surrounding witchcraft witchcraft during the North American colonial period. It examines the significant impact that concerns (fears) regarding witches and witchcraft had throughout the period of North American colonization. Importantly, it examines, not only the better known European (English and Spanish) settler's beliefs and events these belief engendered, but also how witchcraft beliefs among Native Americans and African slaves influenced their interactions with white European settlers throughout this period. It is supplemented with pictures of important people, places, and events from the period. It is extensively footnoted and includes an excellent bibliography for those people seeking additional information. This book makes clear that witchcraft played a central role during America's colonial period. All cultures and belief systems have ideas and definitions of what makes a witch, and this ultimately comes down to the human mind’s natural need to break things into opposites. For all good, there must be evil, and for those who started to settle North America in the 17th century and beyond, witchcraft became the perfect explanation for what they couldn’t understand or control. Settling a new land – whether by choice or not – came with its own set of complications and ills. The author examines the roots of the pervasive beliefs in witches existing among the first American colonists, especially those from England and Spain, influenced by the already existing beliefs in witchs among the native peoples the colonists encountered. It describes witch trails conducted even as the first ships began arriving in the New World! It then describes how these beliefs influenced life and interactions among the colonists, compounded by the ever present hardships, danger, and fear of the unknowns associated with the day to day struggle to carve out life in the wild and unforgiving North American frontier, especially when Europeans and Native Americans clashed in the New World. In a particularly insightful manner the book discusses how beliefs about witchcraft were influenced when Europeans began importing African slaves, which introduced new ideas about what constituted good and evil. As a result, while most studies of witchcraft in the US tend to focus on Salem, that hardly does the subject matter justice, because understanding Native American and African concepts about witchcraft are just as important to American history as European ideas. This book was professionally researched from numerous primary and secondary sources, written, and published by Charles River Editors. This publishing house has produced an extensive collection of thoroughly researched, concise, informative, and well written historical texts.This collection is focused on chronicling world history, including the lives and contributions of historically significant persons, the course of important events, and the actions of great nations and peoples. I have read a good number of their offerings and found each volume well written, researched, informative and presented with an unbiased perspective. This book delivers an interesting, straight forward account that is enjoyable to read and easy to comprehend. It is well researched and carefully documented for accuracy. The narrative is engaging and insightful, augmented throughout by contemporary accounts that are informative and interesting. This book provides a balanced, factual narrative regarding how beliefs about witchcraft among European settlers, Native Americans, and African slaves, coupled with the existing social, cultural, political, and economic conditions influnced lives and events throughout the North American colonial period. I liked this book and strongly recommend it. Readers that enjoy history in general, and in particular American history will enjoy this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Guy

    Interesting, but .... Quite a tale. Religion gone overboard? Imagination taken to the extreme? In my view, common sense must ALWAYS be applied.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lori Adams

  4. 4 out of 5

    Little

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    Fanny

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    punchie

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    Betty Stowe

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    Alexander Toward

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    Lynne Bassaro

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    Duncan Nyukuri

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    Israel

  40. 5 out of 5

    Grandma

  41. 5 out of 5

    Mark Goodwin

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