Witch Hunt Dbq

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During the early modern period of the European history, spanning from roughly 1450 to 1750, approximately 110,000 people, most of them women, were accused for the crime of witchcraft. Its geographical distribution was illogical, as well as its chronological distribution. I agree that the changing judicial processes was a causation of the early modern period witch-hunt, but naturally, as with any phenomenon, the witch hunts emerged from a culmination of not only a change in the law or the tension in society, but also how the concept of witchcraft and the increasing prominence in societys along with the Reformation and other events that caused the call for the extinction and persecution of all witches. Indeed, the tension in this ‘Age of…show more content…
The implicit hatred had readily existed within the society well before 1480. It was the author of Malleus who had detected this hatred and enhanced it through their literature. In Stockholm, in 1596, a woman confessed to having had intercourse with devil, but the judge said this was nonsense and acquitted her. In 1590, it was James VI of Scotland who began one of the largest witch hunts. That is because for a large witch-hunt to happen, one must have the power to muster the secular judicial power against the witches. Therefore, it was vital for the ruling elites to believe in the aspects of witchcraft. It is no coincidence the more intense witch-huntings occurred in areas undergoing the greatest religious reform, the Reformation, or in religiously pluralistic areas. In France, the religious toleration, 1598-1685, led to many religiously divided areas and later religious conflicts, such as the massacre of Huguenots at Paris in 1572. This event suggested that religious dissent, instability and diversity encouraged the prosecution of witches because people in religiously divided area were more anxious as they felt the immediate rebellion closing by. Since the religious conversion was a sign of the devil's presence, therefore they felt the need to maintain in power and counteract the preoccupation of Satan by conducting a witch-hunt. Therefore, there was a prevalence of anxiety among elites in religiously complicated areas and it was this prevalence of fear within this spasmodic period, denoted as "The Age of Anxiety”, that greatly encouraged the process of witch-hunting. At that time, Europe was undergoing rapid changes such as the Thirty years war, the destruction of the unity of Christendom, the Rise of Capitalism. The worrying anxiety experienced by the population was obvious during the time of reformation, when many villagers were made
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