The European Witch Craze

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The European Witch Craze started roughly during conclusion of the 15th century and peaked during the first half of the seventeenth century. When it came down to it women were accused as being witches in Salem more than men and a lot of women confessed. Maybe women were being accused because of the Puritans attitudes towards women, sin, and the devil. There could be many reasons why women were accused of being witches than men. It could have been their appearance, the time, or the gender roles. According to the OAH Magazine of History during the witch craze time Puritan New Englanders considered themselves to rather be more enlightened than others when it came to women’s place in society and in their cosmology (Reis). European view on women…show more content…
In fact, elderly widows were probably a minority of accused witches in England (Jones, Karen, and Michael Zell). According to “the Divels Speciall Instruments’: Women and Witchcraft before the Great Witch-hunt’.” In France in the years around 1400, men and women were accused of sorcery in equal numbers. In Europe generally, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, women outnumbered men by about two to one as defendants in witch trials, with female predominance becoming greater in the late fifteenth century. So basically women were coming to power and because of that men were basically accusing them of being a witch. There was a gender imbalance during this time which was basically starting some of the women being accused. This article was saying that the whole reason of the witch-hunt has been attributed variously to the religious, economic, demographic, social and political changes of the late sixteenth century. Moreover, it is often assumed that these changes must somehow account for the womanhood of most of the witch-hunt’s victims. The article overall view was that the expectation that ‘bad’ witches would be female, then, seems to have been established long before the beginning of the Elizabethan witch-hunt and to have merely persisted into the early modern period. Its origins can have had nothing to do with the economic or other problems of the later sixteenth century and that a universal explanation for why the ‘witch-craze’ happened when it did will probably always escape us, for there are too many unknowable
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