American History with Three Reponses

Choose one of the following questions to answer and respond to at least three other postings.1. Christopher Columbus is a controversial character in history. Do you consider him a hero or a villain? Why?2. The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay had fled an established church and religious persecution in England. Why, then, did they promptly establish their own church and persecute dissenters?3. How democratic was colonial American society?4. Some consider the Salem Witch Trials to be a persecution of women who lived ‘outside the norm.’ Do you agree? Why or why not?

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Response to these Posts
Student 1
2. The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay had fled an established church and religious persecution in
England. Why, then, did they promptly establish their own church and persecute dissenters?
The Puritans had been persecuted in England because they felt the Church of England had been
moving away from their ideals. When they spoke out against the reforms the church was
making, they had been persecuted for it. The first Puritans left for the Dutch Republic but feared
their children were losing their English identity. They had been called Pilgrims and left the
Dutch Republic bound for Virginia, actually landing in Massachusetts. From that initial colony,
more Puritans arrived and established more colonies. There was a lot of infighting and
dissention among the Puritans over whether they should fully separate from the Church of
England or not. This led to many persecutions of prominent Puritan leaders and even led some
to separate and form a new colony in Rhode Island. The separatist Puritans established their own
Church in New England and started to persecute dissenters of their own movement. This
persecution led to events such as the Salem Witch Trials, where they branded anyone who did
not conform to their ideals as a witch.
In my opinion, this happened because earlier times were not as religiously tolerant as we are
now. If you look back through history, there was a belief that everyone had to think the same or
be killed. Earlier examples of this line of thought are The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition,
and even Sodom and Gomorrah from biblical times. This was the teachings of religion at the
time and it is all the people really knew. As part of human nature, we will all treat other human
beings how we have been taught to treat them. The Church at that time taught that you either
believed how they did or you deserved the wrath of God. Most religions no longer teach this, but
it is still thought in the minds of many people. I know with my Facebook Feed, and I would
imagine many others, we see examples of this all the time. I even read a news article earlier
today where Mitt Romney was stating a speaker at the embassy opening in Jerusalem was
intolerant of other faiths. The article stated that the speaker felt nobody could get into heaven
unless they believed in his Baptist sect of Christianity, not Jews or Mormons or Muslims (Bruton
& Hillyard, 2018). While we have a more tolerant modern society, there are still bastions of
holdouts to the old way of thinking. This is also seen quite often in many Muslim countries,
where some are even banished for practicing any religion other than Islam. These modern
sectarianist thoughts are akin to racism and should have no place in modern society.
Bruton, F. Brinley and Hillyard, Vaughn. (2018). Jerusalem embassy to be opened by ‘religious
bigot,’ Romney says. [News Article]. Retrieved from
Student 2
Sticking with a theme, we will talk about Christopher Columbus today. Christopher Columbus
“discovered America” while searching for a faster passage to the Indies. Because of his efforts
not only was trade being established with what is now the western world. But new disease,
countless deaths, and crime were brought as well. So this begs the question, was Columbus a
hero, or a villain? Now it’s not necessarily am easy answer. Was what he brought and did to the
west horrible, and villainous? Very much so. But because of him, more people followed
westward, which eventually led to colonization and migration to the Americas from Europe
(which is a while other canof worms). So yes, Christopher Columbus was a villain. His actions
towards the indigenous people of the Caribbean and South America prove that. There was no
need for the maltreatment, which to this day, is still felt in some cultures. Other actions could
have been taken that would have gotten him his desired trade routes, and kept people not only
with dignity, but their lives. Christopher Columbus is currently being shown to be more and
more villainous as entire states are even removing Columbus day, and replacing it with
“Indigenous People’s Day”, so that people can start to learn the truth of what happened in the
15th and 16th centuries. Although there will be some resistant to the change, this should
continue, until it is federally recognized, sure to the simple fact that Christopher Columbus is
absolutely not a hero.
Student 3
For this forum I decided to go with option 4 that some consider the Salem Witch Trials to be a
persecution of women who lived â??outside the norm.â?? Do you agree? Why or why not?
I did not have a ton of knowledge about this topic which is why I went with it. The Salem Witch
Trials in the late 1600â??s is pretty high up on the list of notorious events in American history. To
back track a little bit, Puritan colonies were a group of people that sought religious freedom
rather than wealth and adventure like much of the other English colonies. The Puritans were very
traditional in the way the maintained their religious beliefs, thus being skeptical with different
practices outside their beliefs. In 1692, a group of girls from the Massachusetts Bay Colony
essentially started a rumor that the neighbors were practicing witchcraft and casting spells on the
people of the township. Essentially this witchcraft practice did not fit in with the extreme
religious culture therefore was considered â??outside the normâ??. I do agree that they were unfairly
persecuted for not conforming to the culture that was being forced on everyone. If you think
about todayâ??s society what exactly constitutes the norm? Is there one? With so many different
cultures, religions and beliefs people wouldnâ??t have to fear persecution if they didnâ??t fit in with
one specific â??normâ??.

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