The Massachusetts Bay Colony was settled in 1630 by a group of English Puritans who left England to escape religious persecution. The Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony established a strict theocratic government. In 1684 the Crown, concerned about colony’s growing independence, annulled the colony’s charter and created a royal government under a new charter in 1691.
Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities and Director of the American Studies Program at Columbia University, Andrew Delbanco examines the evolution of the American Dream--the idea that anyone may rise above his or her station, regardless of birth. Beginning with the Puritans, Professor Delbanco traces the origins of the American Dream from the Calvinist fire-and-brimstone of Jonathan Edwards, to the swelling optimism of Emerson and Melville, to the present day.
Mary Beth Norton, Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, reinterprets the Salem witchcraft crisis from a seventeenth-century perspective, drawing not only on court records, but also on correspondence and journals from the late 1680s to the early 1690s.