Reasons- Patrichal Society - male dominated and women were 'SCAPEGOATS' for male problems.
- Printed Works often specifically targetted women.
EG. MALLEUS MALEFICARUM blames women 'therefore a woman by nature is quicker to waver in her faith' - religeous significance as relates to eve's temptation from the devil in the bible.
- Women were often given the domestic role in society and this had many complications.
EG. Disease, infant mortality, crop failures. NO UNDERSTANDING OF HYGENIE OR SCIENCE. Therefore the wome got the blame.
- Old Ages - more women lived to an older age than men so were seen as burdens in society.
Germany 82 % were female. Essex 92% and Basel 95 %
- damaged unity of Europe - lead to boarder disputes as some places like Germany were a mixture of Catholic and Protestant
- took away protections so people felt vunerable.
- Vernacular Bible - words of the bible for accessable to people. Bible condems witches 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'
- Eve tempted by the devil. Printed works 'Maleus Maleficarum' excentuate this.
Tension between Catholics and Protestants
- lots of tensions - French War of Religeon - Thirty Years War - Apocalyptic fears.
HOWEVER GENEVA IS CONTRASTING BECAUSE STRONG CAVLVINIST STATE ALL ONE RELIGEON AND HAD A VERY CONTROLLED WITCH HUNT.
Social and Economic
Huge Population Increase - competition for resources.
Rising Crop Prices 1618-1648 - leads to famine.
Remy - in his works makes a link between beggars and witches.
Plague and War resulted in a population decrease of 30 %
War - General Problems
Problems War Causes
- lack of harvest
- lack of employment
- lack of central authority
- rise of radical individuals EG. Christian IV of Denmark, Matthew Hopkins
- power into local institutions
- anxiety and fear (religeous fear of the devil)
- religeous division
- plague and disease.
Thirty Years War
- Catholic Emperor versus the protestant princes
- German population decreased by 30%
- cause bad economic problems in germany
- these lead to an increase in witch hunts -
EG WARZBURG - 214 killed due to witch accusation.
ENDED BY THE TREATY OF WESTPHALIA
French Wars of Religion
FRENCH WARS OF RELIGION 1562-1598
- Northern Catholics and Southern Protestants against eachother.
- More about power than religeon as Henry of Navarre changed to catholicism to gain control of northern france at the end of the war.
- Rise in Apocalyptic fear - more witch hunts as witches were the associates of the devil and as the end was near - there was more of them.
- Remy (wrote books on witch craft) had over 900 witches killed for their crimes.
English Civil War
ENGLISH CIVIL WAR - 1640-1649
- Division in England between religion and also beliefs.
- This limited efficiency of institution like jury systems (england had very fair system)
- lead to rise of radical Individuals such as Matthew Hopkins who appointed himself and travelled the country searching and accusing witches. NO CENTRAL AUTHORITY TO STOP HIM.
EG. East Anglia 290 witches were accused by him.
'Meggs' travelled to Hopkins and was killed because she had marks. Highlights paranoia that war brings because she thought she was a witch and he checked her.
Before. - Individuals would accuse others.
- non rational as would often look for intervention from god.
- risk of prosecution if not found guilty
- communities could accuse a person
- judge would base decision on evidence (confessions would be evidence0
-MORE WITCH ACCUSATIONS BECAUSE NOT THE CHANCE OF BEING TAKEN TO TRIAL
EXCEPTIONAL CRIME IN RELIGEOUS TERMS. 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'
Johannes Junis confessed after 8 DAYS of torture. - Germany
The Carolina law in Westphalia meant someone could only be tourtured once. Shows central authority allows more control.
1628 - 29 & 1560 BAD YEARS OF WEATHER
Europe was affected by a 13 year cycle of cold weather and a mini ice age!
Triggered many crop and food failures FAMINE
Correlation between years of bad weather and years with the most witch accusations 1626 - most witch accusation in germany and very bad weather.
Many people had never witnessed the weather like this before (NO IDEA OF SCIENCE AND WHAT CAUSED IT)
Brung great fear that the world was ending (more witch accusations)
'in the rhine hailstones fell as large as walnuts'
'lake constance froze over twice'
'grindlewald fluctuation 1570-1630' cummilative cold sequences
- thirty years war - spread diseases from the troop movement cost some some german towns almost 1/3 of their population.
- lack of proper food and hygenie and increasing poverty allowed disease to thrive.
ITALIAN PLAGUE 1629-31 spread by TYW soldiers
Plague visited paris for almost 1 year of every 3.
MATTY HOPKINS (matthew)
Appointed himself witchfinder general in the english civil war.
had over 300 people killed for witchcraft.
evidence was is the form of devils marks - did torture people
English civil war was to his advantage as no central authority to stop him.
- Renaisaance Philosopher
- believed witches made a pact with the devil
- sermon in 1581 had harsh ideas about tourture (seem reasonable at the time)
CHRISTIAN IV OF DENMARK
-very vicious streak of witch hunts
- enfatuated with witch trials and witnessed one where 11 women were executed.
-employed by Balthasar von Durnbach to conduct a wide scale witch hunt in central germany.
- caused the death of about 250 people.
KING JAMES VI of SCOTLAND
- terrible storms when he was travelling to denmark - blamed on witches
- wrote a book about witches 'daemonology'
-durring his reign 3,837 witches came to trial and he often attended.
-Agnes Sampson was accused at pendle witch trials of 'storm brewing' something that James I bought to scotland from mainland Europe.
England had differences to central europe and also did not have as large a witch hunt.
- no belief in witches covens
- no burning at the stake.
- no tourture (saved for treason only)
-jury so trails were more fair.
- only during the civil war when central authority broke down is when levels of witch hunts rose.