New England Puritans established the Half-Way Covenant, an agreement extending partial church membership to church members’ children who had not yet experienced conversion. Solomon Stoddard, grandfather ofreligious leader Jonathan Edwards, was among the major proponents of the Covenant.
The British Crown merged the English colonies of New England—Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island—into a single province called the Dominion of New England. The Dominion, headed by a single royal governor, was dissolved in 1689 in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution when English colonists overthrew the royal government and sent Crown representatives back to London.
In Salem, Massachusetts, a cluster of accusations of witchcraft led to prosecution. Cotton Mather presided over the trials of those accused of being witches, and eventually eighteen men and women were found guilty and hanged.
Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven established a confederation known as the United Colonies of New England. Also known as the New England Confederation, the alliance served to protect its members from Indian attacks, and its commissioners—two from each colony, with six votes needed to approve any decision—met to resolve disputes over trade, boundaries, and religion. The confederation’s decisions and recommendations were advisory rather than mandatory, however, and its influence proved weak until its dissolution when...