Witch hunting was the persecution and possible execution of individuals considered to be ‘witches’ loyal to the devil. It was an all too common occurrence from 1603-1712 all over Europe. However in order to understand why this happened the context must be taken into account. It was a time of change, the Renaissance - the rebirth of culture, ideas and attitudes to living. The Reformation had also only been implemented in England in the last 80 years back from 1603, when it had previously been catholic for centuries. The English civil war from 1642 to 1651 is argued to have played a part in the intensification of the witch hunts in England due to the peak in executions whilst it was on going. Some historians have taken the view that in time of crisis certain groups can be victimised like in wars, famine, disease outbreaks and changes in society structure.
The Influence of Witchcraft on Feminism The witch-hunt that blazed a trail across Europe (and indeed the world) over the 15th to 18th centuries stripped women of much of the power they had historically held. Not 100% of all accused Witches were female but 75% to 90% of accused witches in Europe were in fact women (Levack, 1987, p.124).
In response to The Hammer of Witches and the papal bull issued by Pope Innocent VIII, major witch hunts broke out in Europe. Moreover, these were aided by new technology, the printing press, which helped to spread the mania, even across the Atlantic to America. It is not surprising that the witch hunt started around the13-15th century. During this time, Europe was overpopulated and in a poor condition with dirty streets, crime and diseases everywhere. There had to be a scapegoat for all of the mess which the church decided was witchcraft. A complex social matrix was created once an accusation was made: the accusers would try to prove the source of what had been troubling them, and ideally to gain control over that source by forcing her to back away and remove the
Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings The evidence of witchcraft and related works has been around for many centuries. Gradually, though, a mixture a religious, economical, and political reasons instigated different periods of fear and uncertainty among society. Witchcraft was thought of as a connection to the devil that made the victim do evil and strange deeds. (Sutter par. 1) In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and twentieth century, the hysteria over certain causes resulted in prosecution in the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze, and the McCarthy hearings. These three events all used uncertain and unjustly accusations to attack the accused.
European Witch Hunts Witch hunts blazed across Europe over the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries not just killing innumerable innocent people, but stripping women of much of the power they had once held, and changing society's perceptions of women all together. The economic hardships, religious rivalries, and troubled politics of the
The Authority of Religious Elites in the 1640s Witch-Hunts The large-scale witch-hunts that occurred from 1638 to 1651 gathered momentum via major happenings in the political, societal, and religious domains developing at the time. Individuals who had either political, religious or economic power in society, also known as elites, together had absolute control over the pursuit and prosecution of individuals who partook in witchcraft. The clergy played a crucial role in the witchcraft prosecutions and were slower than the state and localities to desert their beliefs in the reality of witches as the prosecution of witchcraft was, in their eyes, an effective tool to eradicate social deviance. Though local authorities and the Parliament did contribute to the witch-hunts significantly, without the kirk of Scotland declaring and encouraging this sanction on witchcraft, both other parties would not have taken the actions they ultimately did. This essay will provide a brief description of events that took place from 1638 to 1651 and then utilize evidence from a multitude of sources to argue that the religious elites were the most influential of these forces during the witchcraft prosecutions that occurred in the 1640s.
Witch Hunt A present day crucible in today’s world that has been occurring more and more is kneeling to the national anthem and how people that kneel don’t like our country, are only focused on helping one group/race of people, and people are being kicked off teams because of them making protests.The Anthem protests started last year in August when Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench at an NFL game during the National Anthem. After the game reporters asked him why he sat and he said, “I am not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that opposes black people and people of color” (Wyche ). Since this first incident it’s spread across all of the NFL, high school sports, NHL, women's professional soccer, and even in the MLB. This protest has even been caught in the eyes of the president and there is no sign of this protest slowing down.
For more than two hundred years, individuals were persecuted as witches throughout the continent of Europe, even though the witch hunt was concentrated on Southwestern Germany, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Poland, and parts of France. In a collective frenzy. witches were sought, identified, arrested, mostly tortured, and tried for a variety of reasons. The total number of witches tried exceeded 100,000 people. This essay is supposed to identify three major reasons for the witch craze in sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe.
Furthermore, another cause for the witchcraft frenzy was religious uncertainty (Spielvogel 439). There were numerous witchcraft trials in the region where “Protestant-Catholic” arguments still fumed (Spielvogel 439). According to Spielvogel, “[a]s religious passions became inflamed, accusations of being in league with the devil became common on both sides” (Spielvogel 439). Additionally, another contributing factor to the widespread witchcraft hysteria was the escalating amount of trials and executions of alleged witches (Spielvogel 437).
The 1486 Malleus Maleficarum set up the precedent for the witchcraft craze, which came to its prime in the mid 16th century, during the Renaissance period. Though the Malleus was not the only factor in this craze, as Margaret Sullivan notes, ‘it made no discernable impact… for nearly half a century’ , it, with a number of other social factors, provided a wealth of information to witch hunts and hunters. This treatise further established several of the basic ideas essential to the identification of witches such as the identification of witches as largely women; through the treatise’s continual argument that women were of gullible and carnal nature the text further advocated ideas of fear and hatred in regards to women.
The Devil in the Shape of a Woman by Carol Karlsen Carol Karlsen was born in 1940. She is currently a professor in the history department a the University of Michigan. A graduate of Yale University (Ph.D, 1980), she has taught history and women’s study courses at Union College and Bard
The Causes of the Salem Witch Hunt Many American colonists brought with them from Europe a notion in witches and an intrigue with alleged manipulation with the devil. During the seventeenth century, people were executed for witchcraft all over the colonies, chiefly in Massachusetts. Various of the accused were women, inducing some recent historians to recommend that charges of witchcraft were a way of dominating women who endangered the present economic and social order at that time. In 1692 the famous Salem, Massachusetts, witchcraft trials took place, and that summer hundreds of people in the colony were taken into custody without any reason whatsoever. To comprehend the events of the Of these nine girls, only one is related to me, Ann Putnam. Her grandmother was Priscilla Gould, the sister of Zaccheus Gould. Ann was born in 1680 to Thomas Putnam and Ann. The affair, which led to the Witch Trials, as a matter of fact turn out in what is now the town of Danvers, then a district of Salem Town,
The belief of witchcraft is common, but can also be seen in different time periods mostly in times of uncertainty, such as strange illnesses rising, scarcity of food, droughts, accidental deaths, economic uncertainties, as well as other events that could disorganize the society. Therefore, some people have an assumption on who practiced witchcraft and caused the events. In Patrilineal or patrilocal societies, older widowed, childless, women are often accused. 50,000 witches in the 16th and 17th century were tried for witchcraft with about 80 percent being female. Still, men were also accused of witchcraft, but not as much as women, in matrilineal or matrilocal societies. Because people were accused of witchcraft, the rest of the society was left worried or scared of being accused. It pressured them to suppress some personality traits that may be related to
In parallel with all the events occurring in the colonies, the villagers of Salem were at odds one another. Residents of Salem village expressed their dissatisfaction with Salem Town and spoke about become an independent community. Unfortunately for the village, it was in Salem Town’s territory and could not gain sovereignty (Godbeer, 19). The town did not support the separation because they needed the food produced by the village and the taxes that the villagers payed (Godbeer, 19). Some villagers proposed to build their own church so that there was no inconvenienced in trying to reach the church in Salem Town. Many people did not agree to this because they preferred to travel to Salem Town than pay for the church through their taxes (Godbeer, 20). This feud between the villagers manifested itself later when the witch hunt occurred. It shined a light on the rivalries that took place and maintained grudges by the neighbors for various reason that led them to accuse fellow neighbors of witch craft.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Europe experienced a widespread belief in witchcraft and a subsequent witch craze. The witch craze spread like wildfire throughout the continent and many were hunted, persecuted, and executed for proposed maleficent acts. Economic hardships, religious fervor, and political support helped to fuel the fire that blazed through the continent. Those accused were predominantly women of low socioeconomic status. Life was precarious during this time period resulting in malnourishment and rampant disease. Ignorance and a highly superstitious population saw witchcraft as an explanation for sickness, death, failed crops, or any other mysterious malevolent acts. As a result of the geographical separation of the British Isles, the witch trials of England and Scotland were unique and differed from the mainland. Also, by comparison, the witch trials of England and Scotland were very different from one another. The two cultures differed in their accusations of witchcraft, the nature and extent of their trials, and the use of torture.