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Americans in the colonial period were primarily concerned

with matters of religion and conscience. In every aspect of

their society, religion and morality was one of the first things

that came into focus.

In 1688, a group of Quakers voted in favor of a resolution

against slavery. Their reason for doing this was that slavery

was bad enough for any human being to partake in, let alone

Christians like themselves. The Quakers were a

non-discriminatory group of people who believed in religious as

well as personal freedom.

In New England schools, religion and death were the two

principal themes mentioned the most in textbooks. By stressing

religion in school, it was hoped that children would follow the

right path to their deliverance. They also told children the

truth about death, and that it was cruel and could come at any

moment in their lives. Again, religion was thrust into young

people's minds, pressuring them into thinking about their own

salvation, before it was too late.

The Puritans were also another group in early America who

came to the new world to escape the ways of Europe and to start

a new life. They believed that the Universe was God-centered,

and that man was inherently sinful and corrupt, rescued from

damnation only by discretionary divine grace. They felt they

were duty-bound to do God's will which they could understand

best by studying the Bible and the universe which God had created

and which he controlled.

The Puritans are known most for their involvement in the

Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Trials began when two young

girls, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, began playing with

magic. After strange things began to happen during their

meddlings, they fell ill. Sometimes they would stare into empty

space, choke and cough, or get on their knees and bark as if they

were animals. After doctors diagnosed that the "evil hand" had

touched the girls, their ministers pressured them to confess



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