Preview
Preview

Essay on European Witch Hunt

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 891 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The epoch of Medieval European history concerning the vast and complicated witch hunts spanning from 1450 to 1750 is demonstrative of the socioeconomic, religious, and cultural changes that were occurring within a population that was unprepared for the reconstruction of society. Though numerous conclusions concerning the witch trials, why they occurred, and who was prosecuted have been founded within agreement there remains interpretations that expand on the central beliefs. Through examining multiple arguments a greater understanding of this period can be observed as there remains a staggering amount of catalysts and consequences that emerged. In the pursuit of a greater understanding three different interpretations will be presented. These interpretations which involve Brian Levack’s “The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe,” Eric Boss’s “Syphilis, Misogyny, and Witchcraft in 16th-Century Europe,” and Nachman Ben-Yehuda’s “The European Witch Craze of the 14th to 17th centuries: A Sociologist’s Perspective,” share various opinions while developing their own theories. The comparison of these observations will focus upon why the witch trials occurred when they did, why did they stop when they did, why did the witch trials occur when they did, and who was persecuted and who was responsible for the identification and punishing of witches.

Concerning why the witch hunts occurred when they did the agreed upon opinion by all three author’s is the social unrest and uncertainty felt due to the Protestant Reformation and the schism it created amongst the populace, the effects of recovering from plague and war, and the enforced patriarchal structure of a society that was changing. It was during the Reformation that Christian...


... middle of paper ...


...nt of the world with a broader awareness and accepting of the world without a “reliance upon supernatural explanations...and encouraged...scientific manner,”8 abolishing the need for scapegoats. A view that both Levack and Ben-Yehuda share is the result of religious changes. There emerged a new religious tolerance attributed by Ben-Yehuda to the Peace of Westphalia, stating that
“once stability was achieved and religious pluralism accepted, the witch-hunts weakened, finally disappearing altogether.”9 Though Boss does not exclusively establish a view it can be inferred through the understanding of disease and medicine, the end of persecution due to death and illness would cease.


Works Cited

1 Nachman Ben-Yehuda The European Witch Craze of the 14th to 17th Centuries: A Sociologist’s Perspective. The University of Chicago, 1980. 15. 2 Levack! 123.3 Levack 164.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
European Witch Hunts 1350-Present Essay - In order for history to repeat itself, it has to start somewhere right. The European witch hunts can be traced back to around 1450 and last well into the 18th century. The European witch hunts, much like the Salem witch trials happened because of rejection of rapid social, economic, and religious transformation. (Jones Gendercide Watch: European Witch Hunts). Often during times of rapid change it takes a while for reforms to be made or for citizens to adjust to the new arrangement. The result of the rejection of change during this time period was mass hysteria and moral dilemmas....   [tags: History]
:: 5 Works Cited
1339 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Connection of European Trials Essays - Connection of European Trials The witch hunting trials that took place in Early Modern Period occurred across the expanse of Europe, including in its believers groups of people ranging from kings and popes to peasants and servants. Some historians argue that the witch trials of the Early Modern Period where not connected; that the trials where not related to each other and are not part of one large witch-hunt. Other historians argue that the witch hunting trials are related to each other by there similar characteristics....   [tags: Witch Witches Hunting Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
2952 words
(8.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Witch Crazy Essays - In England, during the 15th and 16th centuries, the previously underground and ignored practice of witchcraft became an offense that was punishable by death. Women were the majority of the citizens who were tried for the crime of witchcraft. The belief that they were given their supernatural powers by the devil and aimed to crush all Christian values and people caused their excessive persecution.1 This paper will explain why most individuals accused of witchcraft in England were women and will be backed by primary sources from a variety of historical individuals and also secondary sources from various historical backgrounds....   [tags: European History ]
:: 3 Works Cited
1318 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Salem Witch Trials Essay - The Salem witchcraft trials began in the year of 1692. The trials caused hysteria in Salem Village. There were twenty people accused of witchcraft and executed. Over one hundred people were thought to be guilty and were placed in jail. However, “The Salem witch-hunt was remarkable not for the numbers hanged and imprisoned but for happening when it did” (Hill 1). The trials began over forty years after the initial European witch-frenzy (Hill 1). Superstition was being challenged by scientists at the time....   [tags: literary analysis, culture, ergotism]
:: 4 Works Cited
960 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
History of Witch Hunts Essay - History has a way of repeating itself. This is most likely the result of human nature. Humans, despite years and years of evolution, still have some quirks they’ve always had. One such quirk is the fear of things that are different; a quirk displayed throughout history in an event known as a witch hunt. The concept of a witch hunt seems pretty self-explanatory; an angry mob chasing down some questionable old hag. Well, not exactly. The online Merriam Webster dictionary defines a witch hunt as, “the act of unfairly looking for and punishing people who are accused of having opinions that are believed to be dangerous or evil.” Hold on, that didn’t say anything about witches: what’s more, it sa...   [tags: Witches, Church, Catholics, Pope]
:: 6 Works Cited
1535 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Salem Witch Trials Essay - Nothing in history happens as an isolated event. All of time is a continuous cycle of cause and effect, each decision and event leading to another. Eventually all the pieces fall into place to form the landscape of time. It is the job of historians to study this process and determine exactly what each piece of the puzzle is. From the building of the pyramids to America’s war on terrorism, people can eventually trace everything back through time. Of course, attempts to discover the exact causes often lead to controversy....   [tags: American History, Witchcraft, Controversy]
:: 5 Works Cited
1065 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Great Witch Hunt Essay example - Humanity had gone through a number of challenges that tested our beliefs and morals throughout history. In 1692, our humanity was tested in a significant manner when the Great Salem Witch Hunt erupted on the puritans of colonial America. Fear spread among the people and the drive to get rid of the bad was strong, causing many innocent people to be killed. These type of events repeats itself throughout the course of time. It is as if we humans are oppressed for a certain amount of decades and then once fear takes root in our society, we act harshly upon it, as if releasing emotions of desire for personal freedom....   [tags: Salem, Massachussets witch trials] 849 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on The Salem Witch Trials - In 1692 everyone was sure that the Devil had come to Salem when young girls started screaming, barking like dogs and doing strange dances in the woods. The Salem Witch Trials originated in the home of Salem's reverend Samuel Parris, who had a slave from the Caribbean named Tibuta. Tibuta would tell stories about witchcraft back from her home. In early 1692 several of Salem's teenage girls began gathering in the kitchen with Tibuta. When winter turned to spring many Salem residents were stunned at the acts and behaviors of Tibuta's young followers....   [tags: teenage girls, witch hunt] 1555 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Alice Kyteler Sorcery Trial Essays - Alice Kyteler Sorcery Trial The sorcery trial of Alice Kyteler was an important aspect and a contributing factor of the European With-Hunt. The trial helped to set a precedent and a point of reference for later witch-hunts and later trials. The trial of Alice Kyteler helped make the link between heresy and witchcraft, helped in making witchcraft a crime punishable under heretical laws, helped define what the acts of witchcraft are, and allowed for the authority of the church in matters of witchcraft, such as torture, to be defined....   [tags: Witchcraft European History Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1853 words
(5.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Salem Witch Trials Of 1692 Essay - The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 In colonial Massachusetts between February of 1692 and May of 1963 over one hundred and fifty people were arrested and imprisoned for the capital felony of witchcraft. Trials were held in Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town of Essex County of Massachusetts, but accusations of witchcraft occurred in surrounding counties as well. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged at Gallows Hill near Salem Village. Hysteria had swept through Puritan Massachusetts and hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft....   [tags: Witch Salem History Hunt] 1056 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]