What were the causes of the European Witchcraze?

The European Witchcraze

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  • What were the causes of the European Witchcraze?
    • Religion
      • Calvinist movement and other extreme reformation movements emphasised the purge of demonic influences
      • Reformation - Protestantism
      • Counter Reformation - Catholicism
      • Protestant vs Catholic rivalries in territories or on borders
    • Warfare
      • The Thirty Years War in Germany (HRE) -The Holy Roman Empire
      • The French Wars of Religion -conflict between Catholics and Protestants
      • The English Civil War
    • Intellectual
      • Witches were part of the Black Sabbat/ Sabbat
      • Witches could fly
      • Witches recieved a mark as a servent to the Devil
      • Being a witch meant denying God
      • Witches could change form/had the power of metamorphisis
      • Magis was Demonic rather than Traditional
      • Eliteists began to believe in bad magic
    • Social and Economic
      • Famine
      • Capitalism
      • Inflation (in money)
      • Poor Harvests
      • More poverty
    • Legal
      • Change in legal systems from accusatorial to inquisitorial meant that state intervened rather than the long trial of ordeal
      • Some countries allowed the use of torture to gain confessions since Witchcraft was a hard crime to prove
      • Witchcraft became a secular crime in many countries so was upholded by the state
      • Lack of centralised control in many areas
    • Misogyny
      • Women were more likely to succumb to the Devil
      • Adam and Eve - Eve succumbed to the Devil so will women
      • Old and frail women ( and widows) were seen as burdens upon their community
      • Unmarried women were deemed as untamed therefore dangerous and more likely to worship the Devil

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