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1542- Henry VIII passed law which made witchcraft a crime

1563- Elizabeth I started persecutions for witchcraft. Defined Major and Minor Witchcraft.

Major Witchcraft: Trying to cause a death/raise spirits of dead. Punishable by death.

Minor Witchcraft: using magic and charms. Punishable by imprisonment or stocks.

1604- James I enforced all other witchcraft laws. James I believed and was afraid of witches, and wrote a book on them called Demonologie. 

What made witchcraft a more serious crime?

1) Religion- After Henry VIII broke avway from Rome, witchcraft was seen as a crime agaisnt the state rather than agaisnt the church.

2) Economic hardship- Gap between poor and rich widened, number of beggars increased which lead to bad feelings amongst villages and neighbours. Crop failures and death of animals were also blamed on witches.

3) Social Changes- Many families broke off to find work. Old women, who were supported by families now found themselves on their own. Many turned to magic and charms to improve their luck and earn a living.

4) Civil War- Tensions in communities heightened because of the war. 

Why was it women accused of witchcraft?

1) Many men feared/hated women, which is called misogyny. 

2) Christianity portrayed women as morally weaker than men (adam and eve) so women were more likel


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