Puritan Law In The Crucible

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Law was much different in Puritan society from what it is now. In Puritan society, almost everyone had the same beliefs. They believed that their beliefs were the rules people should live their lives by. Many people took advantage of this in various ways. Some people used Puritan law in order to gain power. For example, the better off people were the ones mainly accused of being witches because the accusers would gain more land if they were hanged (Linder 5). The accusers used the logic “guilty until proven innocent” for the trials. This used Puritan law to make sure that anyone accused would be convicted and hanged. Just like in the book, The Crucible, when John Proctor was accused of being a witch, he was asked to prove that he was…show more content…
For example, at one point, even Christmas was banned because they felt it represented England too much (Danko 1). Along with Christmas they also banned gambling and other similar activities and holidays. If someone was caught participating in one of the outlawed activities, they would have to pay a fine (Danko 2). By doing this, the Puritans were getting rid of religious freedom, which is exactly what they fled England to have. Historian John Demos explains, “Throughout the seventeenth century, the Puritans in Plymouth Colony had a steady succession of trials and convictions for sexual offenses involving single persons. Fornication, in particular, was a familiar problem. The punishment for fornication was a fine of ten pounds or a public whipping – and applied equally to both parties,” (Sommer 2). Another crime that had an unfitting punishment was adultery. Its punishment was to wear a big scarlet “A” on their chest for the rest of their lives or even death in some cases (Puritan Life 2).

All in all, Puritan Law gave people more ways to justify abuse of others than it gave people protection from abuse of others. People that ranked highly in the social circles of Puritan towns were able to do whatever they see fit without any circumstances, leading to people with lower reputations being taken advantage of. The laws made it hard for a person accused of a crime to prove their innocence, so anyone
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