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Witch Hunt

Witch Hunt draws upon the expertise of prominent historians and authors in order to provide possible explanations for the spread of the witchcraft accusations and the brutal hangings which followed. These commentators evoke a portrait of an early New England rife with religious conflict as Puritan ideology collided with the belief systems of rural folk life. Threatened by violent interactions with Native Americans and dependent on the labor of slaves, the economic life of Salem was one in which debt was common and simple survival was a daily struggle. This program captures the connections between the social and political spheres in Salem, and will transfix students with its thrilling dramatizations of the accused and their trials. Witch Hunt encourages students to put their minds into the historical framework of the 1690s as they assess the ramifications of this tragic and fascinating chapter in the history of the early colonies. It is an excellent accompaniment to course units on New England and will enrich students’ understanding of the methods historians use for sorting out the complex causes and consequences of events like those which transpired in Salem.

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