America in Class Lessons

Benjamin Franklin’s Satire of Witch Hunting

Author: Schramm, Richard R. (NHC Vice President for Education Programs, 1984–2016)

Many people in the eighteenth century, especially the educated elite in Europe and America, believed that truth was discovered through reason, through the application of principles discovered through science, observation, and experimentation. In “A Witch Trial at Mount Holly” Benjamin Franklin asserts the primacy of reason by satirizing the efforts of those who would seek truth through superstition and irrationality.

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Subjects
History / Literary Criticism / Education Studies / Satire / Witchcraft / Revivalism / American History / Rationalism / Primary Sources /