Sacrifice In Early American History

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Just as America was not founded as its own nation without outside influence, the customs and traditions practiced by the colonists were not originally created by the Puritans. Because they emigrated from Europe, it is only logical to trace back their witch-hunting customs to early Europe. Jensen suggests that ritual sacrifices grow more common as the society around individuals suffers a disturbance, either internal or external. This idea serves as a bridge between the taboo practice of sacrifice and the frequent use of scapegoats that allows society to blame their problems on innocent groups. As referenced by Jensen, social scientist Trevor Roper (1967) believes that witches were sought after as scapegoats for the Wars of Religion. During…show more content…
Just as the Wars of Religion could have spawned the witch hunt across the Atlantic Ocean, Stanislav Andreski, as referenced by Jensen, thoroughly argues that the New England Witch hunts were initiated by the syphilitic shock from the 16th to 18th centuries. The scapegoat theory above relies on the idea of an disruption in society to introduce the alienation of groups, which this shock unquestionably does. An epidemic disease would have without doubt instilled fear into the colonists, especially due to their lack of knowledge about as well as the means to treat the disease. Finally, Andreski argues that the “sexual depravity” inherently associated with the spread of sexually transmitted diseases further ties the syphilitic shock to the pursuit of witches. These highly conservative societies, in which modesty and purity were valued above all else, would no doubt have associated those who practiced sexual promiscuity with the Devil, and ultimately drawn a straight line from this accusation to
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