Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather


The 17th century presents a time when most Americans believed in mythologized events. For instance, there was the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth. The individual known as Pocahontas reportedly saved Captain John Smith from execution in early Virginia in trials known as the Salem trials of 1692. There are different myths about what exactly happened in Salem relevant to making the tales true or false. There have been the existence of writing platforms like the Crucible that explained the basis of knowledge used in the trials. In addition to the various platforms used in the play, there have been researches conducted on the subject. Some of the writers include Arthur Miller and cotton Mather. Relevant to this essay, the main subject will be on Cotton Mather who is a prolific author and a well-known preacher. He formed a very good account story with his account of details in 1963.

Puritan belief and policies

The puritan belief in New England swayed in different ways. The puritans were a group of English Reformed Protestant. In the 17th century, they influenced the Church of England vis-à-vis Roman Catholic practices. The puritans believe that the Church of England was only partially reformed. The essence of Puritanism was changing the Roman Catholic beliefs. They sought to influence policies to popularize the protestant group. Puritans sought to influence people to refuse the pleasures of the body through their beliefs. However, with the policies they sought to establish, they were severely restricted in England since they had pre-existing laws controlling their religion and beliefs. There were merges made between Netherlands, New England and Ireland on what practices to follow.

Role of Cotton Mather

Immediately after the trials ended, Mather had a group of followers who believed in the intervening from God during the trials. Apparently, Mather and his followers believed that the establishment of the new territories and colonies under which the devil ruled but through the help of God, new territories and colonies were established. Through the trials generated in the year 1692 to 1693, it generated a view where Englanders question themselves as the new generation of men. The trials at Salem were huge due to the beliefs generated by the people of England. As such, the Salem witch scare had very complex social roots that moved beyond the beliefs generated vis-à-vis community religious convictions (Mather, 2012).

Cotton received a very elaborative training in religion and his lessons are displayed in many of his context works (Mather, 2012). The deep convictions were related to the pre-existing rivalries in the rapidly growing Massachusetts as a port town. Despite the beliefs being conditioned for the benefit of the community, there was a major division between the rural and urban people. While performing his research, he understood that people needed a correlation point with their beliefs. According to Cotton Mather, the trials meant that the devil made attempts to ensure that faith diminished from the respective people.


The author reiterates that the best way to crush people’s faith is through witchcraft. Cotton has the belief that Satan employs his minion legions to persecute the innocent. Through the proposed strategy, the legions prey on the innocent and hires others to carry on with the witchcraft strategies. Through divide and conquer, Satan has managed to lay a foundation of religion debauchery eventually creating his regions and colonies.


Mather, C. (2012). On Witchcraft. Courier Corporation.


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