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Friday, April 24

  1. page War, Strife, and Security edited Warfare is politics by other means - Carl von Clauswitz {War and Security Lecture Notes.doc} - L…
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    What your victory conditions were, what the final result actually was
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Wednesday, February 25

Tuesday, November 18

  1. page prologue - 6 - sectionalism and secession edited Hello, and welcome to the Prologue Podcast. I’m your host, Mr. Henson, that is @vmamrhenson on Twi…
    Hello, and welcome to the Prologue Podcast. I’m your host, Mr. Henson, that is @vmamrhenson on Twitter. I’m broadcasting here from the 310 studio, and today’s topic will be the Deepening Sectionalism dividing the North and South, and ultimately the rebellion of the South against the United States. President James Buchanan was elected in 1856 amid high hopes that he would be able to reconcile the two halves of the country. Within the first six months of his administration, it would be clear that he wasn’t the man for the job.
    In March of 1857, the month that Buchanan took office, the Supreme Court handed down one of its most notorious decisions. In the case of Dred Scott v Sandford, the Supreme Court ruled that once a person was a slave, that slave status held no matter where in the United States he traveled. Dred Scott belonged to a surgeon from St. Louis who traveled throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri. When the surgeon died in 1843, Scott sued, arguing that because he was in a free state, he should be counted as a freeman and not a slave. In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court decided that Dred Scott lacked legal standing to appeal to the court because he was, legally speaking, property. The Dred Scott decision, as it came to be known, also determined that Congress could not prohibit slavery in western territories, because Congress could not strip property from American citizens without due process. In a total perversion of civil liberties, the court condemned all slaves to be eternally confirmed as property without rights.
    The same year, 1857, the economy underwent a small panic. Demand for American grain abruptly dropped, leaving farmers without enough money to pay debts. Railroad construction had proceeded more rapidly than demand for the railroad, and owners began going bankrupt. Northern manufacturing also outstripped demand, resulting in a minor collapse of industry. While this wasn’t a massive financial disruption, the agrarian South was able to recover more quickly than the industrialized North, furthering to northern resentment and southern arrogance.
    The final problem of 1857 came in the form of a series of very public debates. In Illinois, Stephen Douglas was planning on being the president one day. His senate term expired in 1858, and he knew he needed to keep his seat to successfully run for the presidency in 1860. He also represented the one last entity that transcended North-South politics, and united the country: the Democratic party. While the party was split between abolitionists in the North, and southern defenders of slavery, the Democratic party was still the only institution that existed in both. He was up against a 1 term Congressman from Illinois who had recently switched his party affiliation to the brand new Republican Party: Abraham Lincoln.
    Lincoln was born in 1809 in Kentucky, although his abolitionist father quickly moved the family to the free state of Illinois. He served as a ferry boat captain, a commercial shipper on the Mississippi River, the manager of a general store, a land surveyor, served in the Black Hawk war, and a lawyer. He captained flat boats on the Mississippi, which involved sailing a barge down the river, unloading the cargo, and then walking back upstream, since it was cheaper to destroy the boats in New Orleans than move them back up the river. He married a woman named Mary Todd, from a prominent slave-owning family in Lexington. He was also funny; when asked on his wedding day where he was going, he replied dryly “to hell, I suppose.” Lincoln was self-educated, and never joined a formal church throughout his life. He, like his father, believed slavery was evil, but was also firmly convinced that the races could never live harmoniously in the same society. He also didn’t support efforts to eliminate slavery, believing it would die a death of natural causes. The South remained so committed to slavery though that he himself would not die of natural causes. In 1854, he left the dying Whig party and joined the new Republican party, and in 1858, he challenged Stephen Douglas to a series of debates.
    The Lincoln-Douglas debates were held from August to October 1858 all over Illinois. Thousands of spectators watched the two argue over slavery. In contrast to modern debates, each candidate was allowed to speak for 90 minutes, instead of the 60 seconds common in modern debates. Abraham Lincoln argued that “there was a physical difference between the black and white races that forever forbid the 2 races living together on terms of social and political equality,” an idea common even in the abolitionist movement. By the end of the debates, Illinois voters seemed convinced that Lincoln was a radical abolitionist, even though he wasn’t, and that Douglas was apathetic to the issue of slavery, which he also wasn’t. While Douglas (a Democrat) returned to the Senate that year, across the North, Republican congressmen began winning races by supporting abolition.
    This new division of Southern Democrats against Northern Republicans first came to blows in 1858 in the House of Representatives. A melee broke out during a debate over slavery in the House, and 50 Congressmen ultimately joined in the brawl. The fight was only stopped when John Potter, from Wisconsin, pulled the wig off a Mississippi Democrat, and yelled “look boys, I’ve scalped him!” This got such a laugh from the House of Representatives that the brawl was stopped, and war was diverted for another 2 years.
    As we come back from break, think back to John Brown. John Brown was the violent abolitionist that we last saw fighting the civil war in Kansas. He went underground to protect his family, but on October 16th, he popped back up in Virginia. He had vowed to end slavery, and promote racial equality, and saw himself as a religious weapon wielded by God to end the wicked sin of slavery. On October 16th, 1859, he and 20 other men, including his sons and 5 blacks, snuck into the town of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, site of a federal arsenal. His plan was to seize the federal guns, and begin passing them out to slaves, thus beginning a violent revolt in Virginia. He surprised the guards, took 11 hostages, and took cover in a nearby fire house. The local militia kept him bottled up until the US Marines arrived, when Brown sent out 2 of his men to negotiate a truce. Both men were shot, and the Marine commander, Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee, ordered the marines to charge the fire house. Brown was arrested, and sentenced to death on October 31, 1859, and hanged on December 2. To the North, he was a hero, a man willing to lay down his own life to expose the sin of slavery, but to the South, he demonstrated that Northerners were not to be trusted, and that their peculiar institution was under attack.
    By the next November, the last shred of union between the North and South would be destroyed. That year, the Democratic Party, the last thing united the two regions, split itself geographically over its choice of candidates. Northern Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas, the senator from Illinois, and refused to commit to protecting slavery either in the west or south. In response, Southern Democrats chose their own nominee for the presidency, John Breckinridge of Kentucky, who did promise to protect slavery. By dividing themselves in half, the Democrats allowed the new Republican party to successfully elect its very first president, Abraham Lincoln, who won every single free state.
    Lincoln ran for the presidency on a platform of state rights, oddly enough. He argued that Dred Scott was a mistaken ruling by the Supreme Court, but that John Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry was “the gravest of crimes.” His argument in short was that the states should choose if they wanted to be free or not. Despite the fact that only 39% of Americans voted for him, Abraham Lincoln was elected in November 1860.
    Following this event, things quickly spiraled out of control. The month after the election, South Carolina held a convention, and issued an Ordinance of Secession. This document repealed the state’s ratification of the US Constitution from 1789, and issued a Declaration of the Causes of Secession. In essence, South Carolina had declared its own independence from the United States. Their declaration claimed that the Republican Party elected as president a man whose “purpose and opinions are hostile to slavery,” and that slavery “is in the course of ultimate extinction.” Despite the way it’s often remembered, South Carolina left the United States using language squarely focused on slavery, not the rights of individual states. In the next six weeks, the states of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas all issued their own declarations of secession. In Montgomery Alabama, the states gathered together to pass a Constitution of the Confederate States of America, electing Kentuckian Jefferson Davis as their first president.
    Even though roughly a third of his states had left his country, and even though he had sworn an oath to defend the Constitution, which did not have any clause allowing states to rebel, President James Buchanan did nothing to stop the Confederacy. While he didn’t support the secessionist movement, he also lacked the authority (he believed) to force the states to stop. President-Elect Lincoln made no public remarks, and did not intervene in Buchanan’s administration, even as he began to get used to the idea of fixing it.
    That March of 1861, Confederate soldiers loyal to the state of South Carolina seized Union army equipment. The rest of the Confederate state forces quickly followed suit, seizing any federal supplies and weapons in the new Confederate States of America. When South Carolina forces cut off Fort Sumter, on the coast, James Buchanan finally acted, sending a supply ship to resupply the fort by sea. As the ship pulled into the small harbor, Confederate shore cannons began firing on the small ship. Even though rebel troops were now firing on American soldiers and sailors, James Buchanan continued to believe that compromises would keep the United States out of war, failing to realize that the Confederate States had already taken them there. That’s our show for today, we’ll see you next time on the Prologue Podcast, and remember, if it’s past, it’s prologue.

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Monday, November 3

  1. page China Paper Assignment edited ... - due October 29th, 2013 November 17th, 2014 at 11:59pm In an original 5-page (TNR, 2x …

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    - due October 29th, 2013November 17th, 2014 at 11:59pm
    In an original 5-page (TNR, 2x spaced, 12 pt with 1” margins) paper, answer fully ONE of the following questions. Any citations made should be in University of Chicago-style footnotes, see me (or Google it!) if you are having difficulties or are uncertain.
    Which government of China (Qing Dynasty, Republic, Warlords, CCP) was most responsive to its people? How? Why?
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Wednesday, October 22

  1. page The Compromise of 1850 edited Hello, and welcome to the Prologue Podcast. I’m your host, Mr. Henson, that is @vmamrhenson on Twi…
    Hello, and welcome to the Prologue Podcast. I’m your host, Mr. Henson, that is @vmamrhenson on Twitter. I’m broadcasting here from the 310 studio, and today’s topic will be
    The Compromise of 1850. So immediately after the war with Mexico, the United States had picked up a bunch of new territory, territory that was rapidly filling with settlers. As American settlers poured in, the territory began to be divided into states. In addition, the technically independent Republic of Texas was requesting admittance to the United States. This had brought up the problem during the Missouri Compromise: if Texas was admitted as a slave state, there would be more senators from slave states than free states, and the Northern states refused to allow this. By 1850, the tensions between the two sections of the country threatened to boil over.
    David Wilmot was a Congressman from Pennsylvania. As a Democrat, he was in general in favor of slavery and state rights, and proposed the admittance of Texas as a new slave state to the Union. However, as a Northerner, he also proposed that any new territory formed from the Mexican Cession be declared a free state. This deal, which became known as the Wilmot Proviso, was proposed over 40 times in the Senate, and never became a law.
    It never became a law due to the influence of the senior senator from South Carolina, Democrat John C Calhoun. Calhoun was a great protector of state rights, specifically the right of the states to own human beings as property. He argued that the 5th Amendment, which protects the right of American citizens to travel anywhere with their property, protected Americans who wanted to travel with their slaves. Ironically, the amendment that guarantees all citizens their lives, liberty, and property was used to justify keeping many of those citizens as property without liberty. Both Calhoun’s 5th Amendment Strategy and the Wilmot Proviso only encouraged the free and slave states to view themselves as separate.
    Tensions continued to mount when Oregon entered the Union as a free state in 1848 using popular sovereignty to determine its status. In essence, this put the question of slavery up to a vote: more abolitionists in Oregon voted slavery down, but that in no way offered an appealing solution for the rest of the country. Neither side was comfortable leaving the issue up to American voters.
    1848 proved a major year for many countries. While France, Prussia, and the German States all endured violent uprisings, the United States saw the creation of a new political party, the Free Soil Coalition. The new party formed from breakaway groups of northern Democrats upset with their party’s support of slavery, abolitionist Whigs, and the Liberty Party, the first political party whose sole platform was the abolition of slavery. By splitting the Democratic vote between abolitionist northern Democrats and racist southern Democrats, Whig candidate General Zachary Taylor won the presidency with 8 slave states and 7 free.
    1848 also marked the discovery of gold in California. As miners rushed to the territory the next year, they became known as ‘49ers, since they were moving there in 1849. With little interest in permanent settlement, these men (only 8% of those who moved west were women initially) created boom towns that lasted only as long as the nearby gold. One German Jewish immigrant especially struck it rich, although not with gold. He developed a sturdy clothing made from tent material held together with copper rivets that quickly became almost the uniform of the California gold digger. Levi Strauss marketed his product as the ultimate outdoor pair of pants, and after dying the material blue, had created a lasting American icon in blue jeans. Now with so many people flooding into California and New Mexico, they were quickly approaching the necessary population to request entry as American states. This brought up again the question of what kind of states they would become.
    President Taylor, who was raised in Kentucky, wanted to end this dispute forever with California. He wasn’t opposed to the existence of slavery, but did want to restrict its expansion into new states in the West. His plan was to just create California and New Mexico as free states, and ignore the protests of the South. However, those protests reached a fever pitch when the South started to talk about leaving the country entirely, and it was clear that another compromise would be needed.
    In 1850, a Great Compromise was proposed. The principal characters included not just President Taylor, but also three senators, distinguished by their long service to the United States. Senator Henry Clay, from Kentucky, came out of a 7 year retirement at special request to play his old role as compromiser. John C. Calhoun remained the greatest champion of state rights and slavery in the Senate, and Daniel Webster acted as the voice of freedom from Massachusetts. The job of these three men was to resolve the fundamental difference between the northern and southern halves of the United States: slavery. Slavery had become such an explosive issue that many southerners were demanding that their state leave the union. “I avow before this House and country, and in the presence of the living God, that if by your legislation you seek to drive slaveholders from the territories of California and New Mexico, and to abolish slavery in this District of Columbia, then I am for disunion,” said Senator Robert Toombs, a Democrat from Georgia.
    It was into this situation that Henry Clay and Daniel Webster introduced their 8-point compromise designed to save the Union and protect slavery. Under their plan, California would enter as a free state. Utah and New Mexico would soon follow, using popular sovereignty to allow their populations to choose free or slave state. Texas would lose its claim to the New Mexico territory, but the federal government would pay its debt back from its war for independence. Slavery would remain legal in Washington DC, but the slave trade would be outlawed, meaning no one would be able to purchase new slaves in the capital. Clay and Webster’s compromise also ensured that Congress would be unable to prevent the spread of slavery into the west, and created a Fugitive Slave Act. That law would make it legal to chase an escaped slave into a free state, and bring him or her back to the owner. These 8 provisions would be hotly debated by an increasingly fractured senate, and actually claim the life of the American president.
    All through the summer of 1850 the Senate went back and forth on the proposals. The South despised the restriction on slavery in the West, and the Northern states found the Fugitive Slave Act barbaric, and feared it would lead to an increase in the seizing of free blacks in the North. The bill was first proposed in mid April, and by July 4th, there was still no deal in sight. That day, President Taylor listened to hours of speeches in the July heat (with no air conditioning,) complained of a slight stomach pain, and died five days later of gastrointestinal illness. His Vice President, Millard Fillmore, a self-educated farmer from New York, planned to simply support the entire Compromise, but the Senate was no closer to having a majority for the compromise.
    That’s when Senator Stephen Douglas, a Democrat from Illinois, stepped with a new idea: instead of one giant bill, why not split each proposal into its own bill, and vote individually. While the measure as a whole could not find a majority of senators to support it, each individual section remained popular with enough senators to pass on its own. In this way, almost the entire Compromise was successfully passed into law in 1850.
    The final compromise brought California into the Union as a free state. Texas lost its claim to New Mexico, and had its borders set to what they look like today. Utah and New Mexico were esablished as territories. Slave trading was outlawed in Washington DC, and the Fugitive Slave Act was passed into law.
    Yet despite these compromises, many in both the North and South remained unhappy. Fire-eaters was the name given to Southerners who still demanded secession from the Union, even after the concessions to slavery made in 1850. Northerners were incensed by the Fugitive Slave Act, which empowered local law enforcement to apprehend runaway slaves. Any person accused of being an escaped slave was not entitled to a jury trial, meaning that it was very profitable to capture free blacks in Northern states, and ship them south to be sold as property. Without a jury trial, there was no system for slaves to appeal their capture, and many free blacks ended up enslaved.
    1850 also saw the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s work Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Set in Kentucky and Ohio, it told the tale of a suffering slave named Uncle Tom. Stowe wrote the novel in protest of the Fugitive Slave Act, and the book is full of lurid descriptions of the gleeful brutality of Southerners. It earned Stowe death threats from Southerners for daring to question their “peculiar institution,” and when she met Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, he remarked “so this is the little lady that started this war.” One plantation owner in particular sent her the severed ear of one of his slaves, presumably because he was upset that she wrote a book about how violent and brutally southerners treated their slaves.
    Perhaps his broader point was that despite the Compromise of 1850, tensions remained high between the North and South. The new president, Franklin Pierce, would be completely unable to reconcile the two sections to each other. A strong supporter of states rights, but also a Yankee from New Hampshire, Pierce lacked the charisma and political skill to keep the country together. He would be the last president to serve the United States as a complete country, as his successor would see the Union torn asunder. That’s our show for today, we’ll see you next time on the Prologue Podcast, and remember, if it’s past, it’s prologue.
    Intro music: “You Are Now Earthbound” by Chromkayer
    Outro music: “Chrono Trigger - Chronicles” by sixto and Geoffrey Chaucer
    Background music: “Tears of the Stars, Hearts of the People” by Josh Barron, “A Frog, A Sword, and a Spoony Bard” by Daknit, “The Third Dimension” by halc

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Tuesday, October 7

  1. page Prologue - 4 - The Salem Witchcraft Trials edited Hello, and welcome to the Prologue Podcast. I’m your host, Mr. Henson, that is @vmamrhenson on Twi…
    Hello, and welcome to the Prologue Podcast. I’m your host, Mr. Henson, that is @vmamrhenson on Twitter. I’m broadcasting here from the 310 studio, and today’s topic will be the Salem Witch Trials. Now, we’re going to change up the format here a little bit, because I’ve actually got quite a guest star here in the studio with me, why don’t you introduce yourself?
    Hi, I’m, uh, Satan, the uh, Prince of Darkness.
    That’s right, Lucifer the Morning Star is our guest today, straight from the Ninth Circle of Hell. He was nice enough to drop in with us to talk about the Salem Witch Trials, the most famous series of witchcraft trials in American History. Now, Satan, do you mind if I call you Satan?
    Yes, that’s fine.
    Well Satan, you were a central player in these trials right? Tell us a little about them.
    Sure. So the trials took place in the spring of 1692, but to really talk about them, you’ve got to understand how important I used to be in the big picture.
    Right, because people believed that you were present in their everyday lives, correct.
    That’s right. People blamed me for everything: nobody understood germs, so if you got sick, it was my fault. Nobody understood weather patterns, so if your crops died overnight, it must have been me. Everyone knew that there were two worlds: the physical world, and the magical world. Each could interact with the other too, so you’d see ghosts, demons, angels, spirits, all having effects in the physical world. I have to tell you, it was great. I was constantly the subject of sermons, conversations, books, it was really my height of fame. In fact, I was blamed for more than 300 witch trials in America before Salem even happened.
    Yeah, so maybe tell us a little bit about how you got involved with these witches.
    Right, so, uh, I usually tend to work with women because often they’re on the outskirts of society. Older, unmarried, or otherwise marginalized women are the best, because everyone already distrusted them. Tituba was a slave from the Caribbean. Sarah Good was homeless and broke. Sarah Osborne was a grumpy old woman who had stopped going to church, so everyone is kind of already on the outs with these three. So basically I would appear to them, and offer them supernatural powers in exchange for their souls. Since they were usually without any kind of social power or influence, that’s an easy sell for me.
    Sure, so you’re saying that these women were cut off from any kind of social support, and turned to witchcraft for a sense of belonging.
    Oh absolutely, absolutely. Now the way this worked was that I would appear, and offer my powers. If she agreed to the deal, which I think is very fair, I’m a business person here, not a charity worker, mind you…
    Of course
    But if she agreed, then she writes her name down in my big book.
    Like a literal book?
    Yeah, I call it The Black Book.
    Very good title.
    Thanks. So she writes her name in the book, and then she gets my powers.
    So what kind of powers are we talking here?
    Well, a variety really. I have a standard package that I offer for beginners, it includes the ability to wither crops, causes sickness and death, and summon demons to act as familiars, sort of helpers. Now there are various upgrade packages I offer too: in Salem, I had a lot of success upgrading witches to the ability to fly, and cast their specters at people.
    Tell us about the specters, because that’s one of the key points here that started the whole trials in Salem.
    Sure, so casting your spectre at somebody meant that your body could be in one place, but you could appear in another, like an out-of-body experience. Sometimes, you were able to move and change things, but usually you just appear to the individual that you are afflicting.
    This is what the afflicted girls said they saw.
    That’s right, the slave Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne all had the ability to cast their spectres and afflict people.
    They were also the ones flying about too, as I recall.
    Yeah, everybody likes that one. So I sent those three to afflict some of the girls in the village.
    Yes, Betty Parris and her playmates, who started the trials
    That’s right, I had my witches begin afflicting Betty and her friends, and that’s when they called the doctor.
    Doctor William Griggs.
    Yeah, and it was Doctor Griggs who first realized it was me.
    So the girls got sick, Dr. Griggs can’t find what’s wrong with them, so he suggested it was a supernatural cause? Why wouldn’t he just think it was a new disease, or something unknown?
    Well that’s what was so great about the 1600’s, if you didn’t know why a person was sick, you could blame me! It was great! Not like today, where doctors do all kinds of new tests, and think critically about what the cause could be. Nah back then, I tell you, it was the glory days. New sickness? Satan. Indian attacks? Satan. Crop failures? Satan.
    Now you mentioned Indian attacks, why is that important?
    So one of the afflicted girls, Mercy Lewis, was a refugee from Maine. Maine at the time was under constant attack from Native Americans, and the violence there was horrific.
    And if the Lord of All Lies says the violence was horrific, that’s saying something.
    Exactly, I know whereof I speak here. Anyway, the violence was pretty bad, and when Mercy moved to Salem Village, those memories wouldn’t all go away. Today, they’d blame it on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but at the time…
    They blamed you?
    Yeah.
    So you’re pretty important to the thinking of these colonists, right?
    Oh sure, they saw me everywhere. Indian attacks on the frontier, the materialism of Boston and Salem Town…
    Salem Town?
    Right, so Salem is actually two different cities, Salem itself is a large port city on the coast not far from Boston. Salem Village is where the witch trials took place, and people there were worried that materialism was creeping in from the big coastal city.
    So these people are afraid of success, of money?
    Sure, money corrupts people way more easily than I can, and they knew that. So they basically saw demons everywhere, on the coast behind them, in the wilderness in front of them, and in their community among them. So that kind of stress puts a toll on your mind, and I don’t even really have to do anything.
    That must be nice, just take the day off.
    Exactly yeah. So these girls start feeling sick, and they blame those three women: Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne. Now none of these women are important in the community, which made them good targets for me. It also made them good targets of the Putnam family especially, one of the richest in Salem. In fact, it’s weird, now that I mentioned it, because several families accused owned large tracts of land in Salem Village, and those lands would have gone to the Putnam family. Huh.
    So walk us through the trial itself then.
    Well, February 29, 1692 (it was a leap year) arrest warrants go out for those first three witches. They’re arrested and put on trial the next day, March 1. They actually had to move the trial from the court house to the meeting house, because the whole village showed up. It was winter, and farmer’s don’t have a lot to do during the winter. So they show up for the trial, and the girls all begin demonstrating their afflictions: writhing on the floor whenever a witch was near them, complaining of seeing spectres, all the classics. Other people in the village came forward too to say their crops all died, or they had a cow born deformed after a witch visited their farm, those kinds of things.
    The classics.
    The classics, yeah.
    So since they didn’t know about genetics, or climate, or germs, they blamed you.
    Well, the witches. I work in mysterious ways.
    Sure.
    So nothing would have come of all this probably if not for Tituba. Tituba gave up the whole game. She confessed! She said she met a tall man on the road from Boston…
    You.
    ...Hey, I didn’t say that. So she met this guy, and he offered her powers if she would write her name down in his big Black Book, and she did. Then, she confessed that she and four other witches flew around Salem at night, afflicting and casting spells.
    Why would she say that?
    Who can say? Maybe she thought it was true? Maybe she knew that if she confessed and named other witches, she could be forgiven of her crimes and set free. Whatever her reason, it really ruined things for those few people who said the trials were stupid.
    Like John Procter.
    Yeah, Procter. Because how could he say that there was no such thing as witches when a witch had confessed during her trial?
    Right, that wouldn’t have made any sense.
    Nope. So now you’ve got three of the five witches in jail, but there are still two out there. Tituba, Osborne, and Good are all captured. But what about the other two? So that’s when the girls really begin accusing people even more.
    So were all these women really under your command, or were these teenagers just being disruptive?
    So out of Dark Lord-subjugated confidentiality, I can’t really discuss who is and isn’t under my power, but 7 people in one town sounds like a lot. The girls accused one girl who was 4 years old of being a witch!
    Wow, that seems difficult to believe.
    Doesn’t it. But the courts did. She spent 8 months in jail, watched her mother be hanged, and went insane in jail, all at the age of 4. Everybody complains about me, but I’ve got nothing on what you people do to each other.
    Yeah, we’ll work on that.
    See that you do. So by now, so many people were being accused that the jails were becoming full. The governor returned from England, and called for a Court of Oyer and Terminer, meaning a court to listen to many accusations at once. Now their laws were much different than yours: spectral evidence was allowed, which meant that the afflicted could claim to see a spectre, and the court could take that into account. You don’t do that anymore. Witches didn’t get lawyers, and generally had to prove they were innocent. That’s much harder to do.
    Now we’ve talked about the women involved in the trials a lot. Any man?
    Three, actually. Well, two and a half. John Proctor was a tavern owner who was hanged after he complained that the trials were silly and the girls were obviously faking. That earned him an accusation, and he was executed. George Burroughs was a former minister, and he was hanged for being the leader of the group. Giles Corey was the last of the executed men, although his story is different. He and his wife were accused of witchcraft, but he refused to confess or defend himself. If he responded to the allegations, his lands could be seized by the government, so he just ignored it. That earned his execution.
    Grisly too, right?
    Yeah, he’s the only person ever executed in Massachusetts by pressing.
    Pressing?
    So they put him on the ground in the town square, and put a board on top of him, then piled rocks on it until he couldn’t breathe. His final words were “more weight.” When he died, the sheriff of Salem had to push his tongue back into his mouth with his cane.
    So how did all this end?
    Well, to a certain extent, it ended because they ran out of people. As the trials went on into the summer and fall of 1692, more and more prominent people began getting accused of witchcraft. Finally, the Governor of Massachusetts outlawed spectral evidence, and declared that only real evidence would be used. At that point, it was over. The last 33 witches in jail were all acquitted, and 3 of the convicted were turned loose.
    What was the total count then?
    Well, 19 people were executed by hanging, and Giles Corey was killed by pressing. Over a hundred people were arrested, and 2 dogs were killed.
    Sad about the dogs.
    And the people, yeah.
    So I think a lot of our readers will be unsatisfied by blaming you for this. Any other theories out there?
    Oh sure. I mean, mass hysteria, maybe. Here’s a group of people terrified of everything: of committing evil, of doing good, because they might take pride in their accomplishments. They’re obsessed with doubt, and terrified their doubt will send them to me. That’s a lot to live with. Other people have blamed the fact that the adolescents had active imaginations that played into the motivations of adults; that the Putnams were so excited about the trials because they could take the lands of their rival families. PTSD from the native attacks along the frontier. Could be a lot of things, really.
    Well how have things been since then for you?
    Well that was kind of my last hurrah in the colonies. After that, they outlawed spectral evidence, established harsher requirements to find the accused guilty, and then it just wasn’t worth it anymore.
    So you stopped influencing Americans?
    Well I wouldn’t say that. There’s still hatred, intolerance, bigotry, misogyny. So I’ve got a lot going on, really.
    Awesome, glad to hear that. We’re about out of time here, so I just want to say thank you again for being on the show, Satan the Dark Prince.
    You’re welcome, thanks for having me.
    That’s our show for today, we’ll see you next time on the Prologue Podcast, and remember, if it’s past, it’s prologue.
    Intro music: “You Are Now Earthbound” by Chromkayer
    Outro music: “Chrono Trigger - Chronicles” by sixto and Geoffrey Chaucer
    Background music: “Dream of a Night Witch’s Sabbat” by Hector Berlioz

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