"New England Begins" is primarily concerned with the ideas of Puritanism and their influence on the people who settled New England in the seventeenth century. The course begins with a consideration of the rise of Puritanism, then moves to a study of the reasons why some 10,000 English Puritans migrated to Massachusetts Bay in the 1630s, and continues with an examination of the society they founded. Most of the rest of the course is taken up with an intensive study of the evolution of Puritan society and culture in the conditions of the New World, culminating with a month-long study of the Salem witch trials and their enduring impact on American society and culture. As an Honors course, "New England Begins" will require students to make extensive use of primary sources, focusing on texts that address such topics as religious toleration, Puritan society and the Salem witch prosecutions. Students will write several short papers and a research paper, and will contribute to a group oral presentation and weekly e-mail discussions.
CREATIVE THOUGHT MATTERS
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