As more information about American witches and wizards comes out, there are pieces that don't make a lot of sense to me.

My main question is, why does the wizarding governing body (MACUSA) not interact with the government? J.K Rowling has stated:

Unlike most Western countries, there was no cooperation between the No-Maj government and MACUSA. https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/macusa

Why? From their interaction during the time of the American revolutionary war it seems like MACUSA has correspondence with the Ministry of Magic in London (further down in the same article above), so they would know the benefit from that, and would have even been under the same government since they were still technically British colonies.

Once the war started:

While officially the American witches and wizards did not engage in battle, unofficially there were many instances of intervention to protect No-Maj neighbours and the wizarding community celebrated Independence Day along with the rest of American society – although not necessarily alongside them.

Even if they didn't interact with the British government, that seems hard to believe they weren't doing anything with the American Government given the statement above, especially since everything that is mentioned is on the East Coast, Baltimore, New York, Washington, Virginia, etc..

Anyone have any extra insight on this?

1 Answer 1



Before the creation of the Magical Congress of the United States of America in 1693 there existed no unified Wizarding government in the US to interact with the No-Maj government. Individual wizards were keen to remain hidden due to the likelihood of persecution by Puritan fundamentalists.

It would appear that after the creation of the MACUSA, their first priority was to deal with the Scourer threat, something that would have been made more difficult had more No-Maj's been aware of the existence of the Wizarding world.

Perhaps the most significant effect of Salem was the creation of the Magical Congress of the United States of America in 1693, pre-dating the No-Maj version by around a century. Known to all American witches and wizards by the abbreviation MACUSA (commonly pronounced as: Mah – cooz – ah), it was the first time that the North American wizarding community came together to create laws for themselves, effectively establishing a magical-world-within-a-No-Maj-world such as existed in most other countries. MACUSA’s first task was to put on trial the Scourers who had betrayed their own kind. Those convicted of murder, of wizard-trafficking, torture and all other manners of cruelty were executed for their crimes.

Several of the most notorious Scourers eluded justice. With international warrants out for their arrest, they vanished permanently into the No-Maj community. Some of them married No-Majs and founded families where magical children appear to have been winnowed out in favour of non-magical offspring, to maintain the Scourer’s cover. The vengeful Scourers, cast out from their people, passed on to their descendants an absolute conviction that magic was real, and the belief that witches and wizards ought to be exterminated wherever they were found.

History of Magic in North America: Seventeenth Century and Beyond


The article on Pottermore titled Rappaport's Law contains a great deal of relevant additional information. In short, the decision to completely withdraw from contact (at any level) with No-Maj's was driven by the indiscretion of a prominent witch. She exposed the wizarding world to the descendant of a Scourer (a wizard mercenary who had married a muggle) who then used this knowledge to persecute wizards at their supposed secret locations.

Rappaport’s Law further entrenched the major cultural difference between the American wizarding community and that of Europe. In the Old World, there had always been a degree of covert cooperation and communication between No-Maj governments and their magical counterparts. In America, MACUSA acted totally independently of the No-Maj government. In Europe, witches and wizards married and were friends with No-Majs; in America, No-Majs were increasingly regarded as the enemy. In short, Rappaport’s Law drove the American wizarding community, already dealing with an unusually suspicious No-Maj population, still deeper underground.

Note also that this law came on the heels of censure from the International Confederation of Wizards, described as a "humiliation".

  • That is a good point and I missed that part of the article, thank you. However, I still don't think it fully answers my questions since Rappaport's Law was in 1790. Most of what I discussed was before that.
    – Majaii
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 15:59
  • @Majaii - I've added additional info about the period pre-1790. There's not a lot to go on, but the lack of a friendly govt to interact with seems to be the major reason not to interact at all.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 16:10

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