Essay on The Witch Trials

Essay on The Witch Trials

Length: 996 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the three documents, “Bull Summis desiderantes” written by Innocent VIII, “The Ant Hill ”, written by Johannes Nider and Extracts from “The hammer of witches” written by Malleus Maleficarum, regarding the hunting of witches, the beliefs of witchcraft and the trail process for those accused of witchcraft all show a great deal of evidence that those accused of witchcraft had no chance at a fair trial.
In the document, “Bull Summis desiderantes” written by Innocent VIII, sheds light on how the catholic faith viewed those whom were thought to be practicing witchcraft. For the accused, there was little to no hope of a fair trial, for the accusers had already made their minds up on what they believed to be true about witchcraft. Innocent VIII spoke on the cruel intentions of witchcraft, claiming those whom practiced gave themselves to the devil and for all intensive purposes these witches had powers that threatened the faithful. An example of the believed threat from witchcraft came when Innocent VIII wrote, “[those whom practice witchcraft], ruin and cause to perish the offspring of women, the foal of animals, the products of the earth” ("Witchcraft Documents [15th Century]”).By addressing the general public in this way, one-sided to his faith, and fear mongering, Innocent VIII basically signed off on the killing of all those whom were not of Catholic faith and suspected of witchcraft ("Witchcraft Documents [15th Century]”).Innocent VIII then justifies his wishes by claiming heretical pravity in the areas of “ upper Germany, the provinces, cities, territories, regions, and dioceses of Mainz, Ko1n, Trier, Salzburg, Bremen, and throughout certain parts of the Rhine” ("Witchcraft Documents [15th Century]”). Innocent VIII believed he w...


... middle of paper ...


...as Johannes opinion bias on women witches but that his beliefs were shared amongst those noble and trust worthy men whom he shared stories with.
In the “The Hammer of witches” written by Malleus Maleficarum, Malleus writes,

Here it may be asked whether the judge, in the case of a prisoner much defamed, convicted both by witnesses and by proofs, nothing being lacking but his own confession, can properly lead him to hope that his life will be spared when, even if he confess his crime, he will be punished with death ("Witchcraft Documents [15th Century]”).

There is little doubt according to the three documents that there was ever, if any fair trials for those accused of witchcraft.


Works Cited


"Witchcraft Documents [15th Century])." Internet History Sourcebooks Project http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/witches1.html (accessed 12 February 2014).

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- Do you want your life resting in the words of your worst enemy. Before the formation of the American legal system, accusations determined outcomes. In the late 1600’s the Puritans in New England were just starting to build civil resolutions to village disputes. A notable conflict was based on their strong belief in the devil and witchcraft creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion. Instead of seeking justice of those accused of witchcraft, the inexperienced magistrates were led to presume guilt simply because of odd behavior....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, The Crucible]

Better Essays
1291 words (3.7 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- Accusations of witchcraft ran rampant in the 17th century colonial settlements in the United States. The individuals accused, mostly women, were put on trial and punished, if found guilty. The most well-known of such cases on public record are the Salem Witch Trials. Between February, 1692 and May, 1693, hearings and prosecutions were set up to deal with those accused of dabbling in the dark arts in the cities of Andover, Salem, and Ipswich, all in Massachusetts Bay. These trials came to commonly be referred to as the Salem Witch Trials because some of the most notorious cases were heard in the Oyer and Terminer courts in Salem....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]

Better Essays
2209 words (6.3 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- The Salem Witch Trials took place in the summer and into the fall of the year 1692, and during this dark time of American history, over 200 people had been accused of witchcraft and put in jail. Twenty of these accused were executed; nineteen of them were found guilty and were put to death by hanging. One refused to plead guilty, so the villagers tortured him by pressing him with large stones until he died. The Salem Witch Trials was an infamous, scary time period in American history that exhibited the amount of fear people had of the devil and the supernatural; the people of this time period accused, arrested, and executed many innocent people because of this fear, and there are severa...   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]

Better Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

The Trials Of Salem Witch Trials Essay examples

- The Salem Witch Trials were a series of gruesome trials that began in Salem Massachusetts in 1692 and lasted until 1693. During that year, more than 200 Salem residents were accused and convicted of witchcraft, 19 of whom were hung for the crime (List of 5…). This was a bloody time for Salem that left many of its citizens broken and scared. Although the main cause for these trials seems to be fear from breaking the Partisan religion, Greed and revenge come in a close second. Not to mention, cold weather and disease which contributed highly to the outcome of the trials....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Salem]

Better Essays
738 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Trials Of Salem Witch Trials

- Salem witch trials The Salem Witch Trials were a series of harsh, unconstitutional, and even chaotic trials that killed several innocent people and harmed others. There were several reasons different sources have come up with that are said to have cause in the trials and the way they played out. Some of the reasons that cause the trials to go how they went is the weather, religion, and lust. Through out my research over the topic I learned that the judges in charge of the trials let fear and conspiracy control their judgment in the trials and caused several innocent people to die....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, The Crucible]

Better Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay example

- The Salem witch trials is possibly one of the most controversial events in early American history, where many innocent individuals were wrongly accused of witchcraft. Even though the trials occurred over three hundred years, ago, they still continue to be studied with great interest; however there is still not a conclusion to what truly caused the hysteria. Although the settlers in Salem, Massachusetts were superstitious, they could have prevented the trials from occurring, a possible similarity to our modern judicial system....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Jury, Salem]

Better Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- In 1692 the town of Salem, Massachusetts was home to one of the most controversial upsets in judicial history. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions in which several people in colonial Massachusetts were accused of performing witchcraft. The supernatural was a commonplace observance in 17th-century North America. “:Witchcraft cases were hardly unknown in New England in the 1600s—more than a hundred were recorded before 1692—but they were mostly isolated, widely separated in time and space, scattered around the colonies”(Brandt 38)....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Witchcraft, Puritan, Salem]

Better Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

The Trials Of The Salem Witch Trials Essay

- The Salem Witch Trials began in 1692, and over the course of only one year, over 200 people were accused of witchcraft and 20 were executed. The trials created a panic among the people of Salem as religious leaders and afflicted girls furiously accused their fellow man of witchcraft. At the center of all this chaos stood Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris. The girls screamed out in pain, had horrendous fits, and cried that they were being possessed by the devil. Local religious leaders took immediate action against these so-called witches....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Samuel Parris, Schizophrenia]

Better Essays
1362 words (3.9 pages)

The Salem Witch Trials Of 1692 Essay

- In the sixteenth century, witchcraft accusations were more prevalent and somewhat common than they are in modern society. One of the most popular witch hunts of American History of the sixteenth century, that has received popularity amongst modern culture and scholars, was the Salem witch hunts otherwise known as the Salem witch trials of 1692. But, Salem was not the only town in New England that had witch trials in 1692. Richard Godbeer’s book, “Escaping Salem, The Other Witch Hunt of 1692,” is one of the very few books that talks about the other witch trials that took place in New England....   [tags: Witchcraft, Salem witch trials, Witch-hunt, Magic]

Better Essays
967 words (2.8 pages)

Salem Witch Trials Essay

- Some people say that the Salem Witch Trials were less a religious persecution than economic in purpose, using religion as a guise to gain property. I believe that the Salem witch trials were less a religious persecution than economical. I believe this for several reasons; one being that the accused witches were using their witchcraft on other people in the town and it was affecting them. Many people were accused of performing witchcraft and were persecuted for doing so. But I believe that people in towns accused others of "witchcraft" whenever something went wrong, because "witchcraft" was such a common thing back than....   [tags: Witch Trials]

Free Essays
1747 words (5 pages)