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"Though European explorers called it ‘the New World’ when they first reached the continent, wizards had known about America long before Muggles."
—America's long existence[src]
The United States of America (more commonly known as America, United States, the States, or simply U.S. or U.S.A.) is a large and very diverse country located in North America. It shares land borders with Canada and Mexico, and a maritime border with Cuba along the Florida Strait, and Russia in the Bering Strait. 48 states are located between Canada and Mexico, while Alaska occupies the northwestern-most region of the continent. Hawaii is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. The capital of the United States is Washington, D.C.

History

No-Maj society

"With the passing of Rappaport’s Law, intermarriage and even friendship between wizards and No-Majs became illegal in the United States."
—Wizarding America has no Muggle relations[src]
Established in part by European Puritans seeking religious freedom, No-Maj settlement began in the 1600s. Their religious beliefs made them suspicious of magic, which led to the Salem Witch Trials, in which both witches and wizards were executed.[1]

In 1790, Rappaport's Law created a strict segregation between the magical and No-Maj communities.[2]

During the 1920s, many No-Majes in New York were baffled by strange disturbances including a black mass causing destruction as reported in the New-York Clarion newspaper.

In 1996, The Guardian reported that the then-current Dalai Lama was given the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States, to which China strongly objected,[3] presumably due to the Tibetan sovereignty issue.

Magical society

Early history

"As No-Maj Europeans began to emigrate to the New World, more witches and wizards of European origin also came to settle in America. "
—The start of the European immigration to America[src]
The Native American magical community and those of Europe and Africa had known about each other long before the immigration of European No-Majs in the seventeenth century.[4] They were already aware of the many similarities between their communities. In the Native American community, some witches and wizards were accepted and even lauded within their tribes, gaining reputations for healing as medicine men, or outstanding hunters. However, others were stigmatised for their beliefs, often on the basis that they were possessed by malevolent spirits.[5]

The legend of the Native American ‘skin walker’ — an evil witch or wizard that can transform into an animal at will — has its basis in fact.[6] A legend grew up around the Native American Animagi, that they had sacrificed close family members to gain their powers of transformation. In fact, the majority of Animagi assumed animal forms to escape persecution or to hunt for the tribe. Such derogatory rumours often originated with No-Maj medicine men, who were sometimes faking magical powers themselves, and fearful of exposure.[7]

The Native American wizarding community was particularly gifted in animal and plant magic, its potions in particular being of a sophistication beyond much that was known in Europe. The most glaring difference between magic practised by Native Americans and the wizards of Europe was the absence of a wand.[8]

Wizardkind was aware of America long before the No-Maj "discovery" of the continent. Through magical means such as visions and premonitions, as well a magical travel by broom or Apparition, European and African wizarding communities had established contact with the Native American magical communities as far back as the Middle Ages.[1]

Purgantes

The Scourers during the height of their influence

Like their No-Maj counterparts, European witches and wizards began arriving in larger numbers to America in the 1600s. Although many fled persecution, many found a harsher environment to contend with due to the lack of wizarding stores and specialists such as Apothecaries. They also faced the poor relations between the native magical communities and the newly arrived No-Majes, and the Scourers, a ruthless band of wizarding mercenaries willing to turn in any witch or wizard that may be worth some money.[1]

These hostilities culminated with the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 and 1693 in which several witches, as well a a few No-Majes, were executed for witchcraft. At least two judges at the trials were two known Scourers.[1]

Founding of MACUSA

"Representatives from magical communities all over North America were elected to MACUSA to create laws that both policed and protected American wizardkind."
—The establishing a wizarding government[src]
Macusa-history

The original twelve Aurors of MACUSA

Founded in the aftermath of The Salem Witch Trials in 1693, the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) is the governing body for the wizarding population of the United States of America. MACUSA first established in North America, a magical world within a non-magical one as seen in other countries. One the first things to be established was an office of Aurors whose first task was to hunt down the Scourers that had betrayed their own kind.[1]

In 1790, MACUSA President Emily Rappaport established Rappaport's Law which strictly segregated the magical and No-Maj communities. This was prompted by the exposure of the magical world by Dorcus Twelvetrees to scourer descendant Bartholomew Barebone, who spread the information widely and attempted to kill witches and wizards in the area. Although Barebone was arrested for mistakenly killing some No-Majes, President Rappaport was unable to assure the International Confederation of Wizards that everyone necessary had been Obliviated prompting both a relocation of MACUSA headquarters and the magical community going into deep hiding.[2]

MACUSA-FB

Inside of the Woolworth Building

In order to maintain their secrecy, MACUSA has had to move headquarters several times throughout the years. Originally, meetings would be held at various locations until an enchanted edifice was created in the Appalachian Mountains. Over time, this proved too remote and the headquarters was relocated in 1760 to Williamsburg, Virginia, and later Baltimore, and then to Washington shortly before 1777. MACUSA headquarters remained there until the Great Sasquatch Rebellion of 1892 forced them to leave for New York and establish themselves within the newly constructed Woolworth Building. MACUSA would remain here until at least the 1920s.[9] The only sigh that the building was the headquarts for the American wizarding government was the owl carved over the entrance.

Recent history

By the 1920s, MACUSA had field offices throughout the United States and departments such as the Federal Bureau of Covert Vigilance and No-Maj Obliviation, devoted to enforcing Rapport's Law and maintaining a strict segregation and secrecy of the magical world in America.

During 1926, the wizarding community in New York was involved with strange disturbances that threatened the exposure of their world. Through the help of British Magizoologist Newton Scamander, with the assistance of Tina and Queenie Goldstein, and No-Maj Jacob Kowalski, these disturbances were traced to Credence Barebone, an rare and unknown Obscurial, who was losing control of his Obscurus energy, prompted in part by the manipulation of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald who had assumed the identity of Percival Graves, MACUSA's Director of Magical Security. The crisis was resolved when MACUSA President Seraphina Picquery ordered the destruction of Credence, Grindelwald was captured, and Scamander was able to obliviate the city through the use of an experimental Swooping Evil venom distributed in a rain storm created by Frank, a Thunderbird.[10]

In 1965, Rappaport's Law was repealed.[11]

By 2014, the President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America was Samuel G. Quahog. The current seat of the American magical government is Woolworth Building in New York.

Magical education

Many young American wizards and witches attend Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the most well-known American wizarding school.

The Salem Witches' Institute is in Salem, Massachusetts for adult witches.

Magical creatures

Native species

Species native by region

Species found within the United States

The ashwinder, basilisk, bundimun, chizpurfle, clabbert, fairy, flobberworm, ghoul, hippogriff, jobberknoll, kneazle, merpeople, mooncalf, plimpy, puffskein, salamander, streeler, werewolf and winged horse are all found throughout Canada and the United States of America, existing worldwide.

Magical games and sports

Quidditch is played, but the similar sport of Quodpot is more popular. The U.S. has its own Quidditch League: the United States League. The Sweetwater All-Stars is a Quidditch team based in Sweetwater, Texas. Another team is the Fitchburg Finches, a team in Massachusetts.

The U.S.A. has its own National Quidditch Team: the American National Quidditch team. In the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, the American team beat Liechtenstein's team and shot red, blue and white sparks into the air in jubilation.

Known Americans

Kendra Dumbledore was possibly born in the United States or Canada, as she was thought to have been of Native American descent, meaning that her sons Albus and Aberforth and her daughter Ariana may have had Native American blood as well. This suggests that Kendra's husband, Percival, may have visited the U.S. or Canada. or that Kendra visited Britain, either being curious about the other's home country.

Amarillo Lestoat, the vampire author of A Vampire's Monologue, was born in the United States.

In 1926, British Magizoologist Newton Scamander visited New York and became acquainted with several Americans including sisters Tina and Queenie Goldstein, Polish-born No-Maj Jacob Kowalski, and President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America Seraphina Picquery.[12]

Known locations

Locations known to have some sort of wizarding presence in America are, but not limited to:

Behind the scenes

  • J.K. Rowling said in an interview that Voldemort affected American wizards as well, possibly hinting at his eventual plan to take over there as well.[13]
  • As J.K. Rowling wanted a "strictly British cast" while also including Irish actors as well as French and Eastern European actors for the fourth film, with more European nationalities in the final film, the only American cast members of the series are Eleanor Columbus (Susan Bones) and her sibling Brendan and Violet, Zoe Wanamaker (Rolanda Hooch), and Verne Troyer (Griphook).
  • The state of Massachusetts seemingly plays a large part in the American wizarding community; the city of Boston was featured in the Daily Prophet, considering its weather of note for reporting in its international weather section, Fitchburg is home to the Fitchburg Finches Quidditch team, and Salem is home to both the Salem Witches' Institute and the infamous witch trials.
  • Both the book and motion picture of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone were released in the United States under the name Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, because the publishers were concerned that most Americans were not familiar enough with the term "Philosopher's Stone" to gain the correct impression from the title. The renaming of books for international distribution is a common practise, even for highly known and internationally recognised authors. The decision was made to choose a title that was "more suggestive of magic"; the naming of "Sorcerer's Stone" was used with J.K. Rowling's endorsement after the contemplation of several possibilities. The change had no effect on the sales figures, and the Harry Potter series rapidly became one of the most in-demand among young readers, who seemed to be undaunted by the ever-increasing length and complexity of the novels. The same changes were made for the film adaption and the video game adaptions, along with other American-translated media the "Philosopher's Stone" is mentioned in.
  • The "Harry Potter effect" in education was not as strong in the US as it was in the UK, but it did have noted effects after the debut of the books. This was a study in economics that throughout much of the 1990s, attendance at boarding schools had been lacklustre and generally considered unpopular, being seen as antiquated compared to a more mainstream government-run school. Following Harry Potter's introduction and the telling of Hogwarts, attendance at boarding schools spiked as it seemed to give an impression to children that boarding can be a positive experience on a child's development.
  • Another phrase adapted for the American market was the Muggle sport of football. Because association football is different from American football, the sport is called "soccer" in the American editions of the books.
  • Due to the Salem Witch Trials, many Pure-blood families chose not to emigrate to the New World. This lead to many No-Maj-borns starting their own wizarding families.
  • It is currently unknown how race affects one's social status & standing in the American wizarding community (as is prominent in the No-Majs' society either past or present), but information releases (from Pottermore & the upcoming film) implies that, as in the Old World, race is a negligent factor as opposed to being "magical".

Appearances

Notes and references