Pottermore Reveals Magical History of MACUSA
There’s just over a month to go until we get to enjoy the full magic of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and find out just what Newt Scamander got up to in New York in 1926. Today, Pottermore has given us a more detailed look into the history of MACUSA, the Magical Congress of the United States of America. The new writing from J.K. Rowling concludes the “Magic in North America” series from Pottermore.
We’ve previously seen glimpses of MACUSA in the film trailers, and we’ve learned a little bit about 1920s MACUSA President Seraphina Picquery in the lead-up to the film release, but now we finally get to know more about the early beginnings of MACUSA. In the new history on Pottermore, which charts the beginnings of MACUSA, J.K. Rowling states that
MACUSA was modeled on the Wizards’ Council of Great Britain, which predated the Ministry of Magic. Representatives from magical communities all over North America were elected to MACUSA to create laws that both policed and protected American wizardkind.
The name of the first MACUSA president is revealed as President Josiah Jackson, and the names of the first 12 Aurors that made up the law enforcement are also listed, including some with curious connections to wizards we already know through Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts.
Of these twelve, only two survived into old age: Charity Wilkinson, who would become MACUSA’s third President, and Theodard Fontaine, whose direct descendant Agilbert is the present[-]day Headmaster of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Also of note are Gondulphus Graves, whose family remains influential in American wizarding politics, and Abraham Potter, whose distant relationship to the famous Harry Potter would be uncovered by eager genealogists centuries later.
The history gives us details about how and why MACUSA was forced to move all over the country looking for a permanent home.
America remained one of the most hostile environments for magical people, mainly because of Scourer descendants who had vanished permanently into the No-Maj community and who kept suspicion of magic alive. Unlike most Western countries, there was no cooperation between the No-Maj government and MACUSA.
Plus, we learn how the magical community dealt with Muggle and No-Maj conflict, such as in 1777 when
thousands of witches and wizards from all over America descended upon MACUSA to attend this extraordinary meeting, for which the Great Meeting Chamber had to be magically enlarged. The issue for discussion was: did the magical community owe their highest allegiance to the country in which they had made their homes, or to the global underground wizarding community? Were they morally obliged to join American No-Majs in their fight for liberation from the British Muggles? Or was this, simply put, not their fight?
Bringing us up to the 1920s, it is also revealed that
Rappaport’s Law was still in operation in the 1920s and several offices in MACUSA had no counterpart in the Ministry of Magic; for example, a sub-division dealing with No-Maj Fraternisation and an office issuing and verifying wand permits, which everyone, citizen and visitor, was supposed to carry within the States.
Let’s hope that there aren’t too many consequences for Newt Scamander following his adventures in New York in Fantastic Beasts!
We also find out just how we’re meant to be pronouncing MACUSA, which is
commonly pronounced as: Mah – cooz – ah.
Finally, in a new video, J.K. Rowling talks about MACUSA and how Newt’s arrival in New York opens his eyes to a whole new magical world. Check it out below.
You can read the full history here.
What do you think of the new history? What did you find most fascinating, and what do you think will have an impact upon Newt’s adventures in Fantastic Beasts? Let us know in the comments!