The more I study the Witch Trials of the 17th century, the more questions I have about the cause and effect of the trials themselves. Many different aspects of the culture could have easily affected the witch hunts, including, the religious, social, and political life of the colonial town. Although I think that there were social factors in the trials, (http://sites.davidson.edu/his141/witchcraft-and-religion-in-the-colonies/) I think that the religious aspect had the greatest effect on the trials. Religious motivation led to susceptibility of finding guilt in the accused, and this caused more accusations against anyone who opposed the accuser. I like that the essays use links to credit their sources, but I feel like links affected the writers by not explaining their sources as much as they would have in a print essay. When Norton alluded to the study of Ergot and its possible effects on the health condition on the ‘afflicted’, I wish she would have explained the validity of the evidence in the study, rather than leaving the reader to find out for his or herself.
For the most part, I think that Taylor’s analysis of the Great Awakening is very subjective. I wish he would have talked about Edwards more, but that’s little more than an opinion. I think that Edwards had great impact on the awakening, and therefore deserved a little more attention. I did not know that the Great Awakening had a much greater effect in the northern and middle colonies, and did not greatly affect the southern colonies. I like and agree with Taylor’s analysis of the Old Light versus the New Light and the beginnings of Christian Rationalism, but I definitely think that he could have talked about the genesis of Christian Rationalism in greater depth. I ultimately agree with his main argument that the Great Awakening created a desire throughout the colonies for the religious groups to “transcend the world” (362), which grew the idea of differentiation from the British.