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Ap Euro Witchcraft Dbq

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From about 1480-1700, many individuals in Europe were accused of being witches, put on trial, prosecuted and later executed. This witch craze was concentrated in southwestern Germany, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Poland, and parts of France, and resulted in 100,000 witches put on trial. The three main reasons for the persecution of these "witches" were economic greed, religious beliefs and social prejudices.

Most of those who accused the witches as being so ultimately sought profit and wealth. The Canon Linden, an eye witness to the prosecutions in Trier, Germany, described the financial motives of the accusers. He concluded that they promoted the movement in hopes of achieving wealth, and that they succeeded. Many notaries, innkeepers and copyists grew rich. He also noted that the children of those prosecuted had their goods confiscated. Professor Brian Levack also tells about this, but he focuses on the women. In his book, "The Witch," he talked about how women incurred hostility of men when they wanted to inherit their property. They had no reason to accuse these men except for their own economic desires. Also, Alan MacFarlane studied the occupations of the husbands of those accused of witchcraft, and the results are very clear. The women who were accused the most had husbands with good jobs financially (laborers, farmers, tailors, etc.). It is not a coincidence that the wives of the Beer Brewers, Shoemakers, Weavers, and Gentlemen, had a combined three accusations. Most of the proclaimed "witches" were simply targeted because the accusers wanted to take their goods, and achieve wealth.

Another major reason for the persecution of individuals as witches in Europe was religious beliefs and superstitions. The testimony of a licensed midwife at Dillingen, Germany describes Walpurga Hausmannin's confession. Before she was burned in 1587, she confessed to getting involved with the Evil One (the devil), and being a witch. It was said that the Evil One had compelled her to kill young infants at birth and to suck out the blood of children. (Document 1). The accusers of Hausmannin and many others believed that being involved with the Devil meant that that person was a witch. Also, Thomas Ady, when describing the feelings of an English householder, circa 1650, spoke about his superstition. He notes that after he denied an old woman, who showed up at his door, of some relief, his child, his wife, himself, and all of his animals started behaving very strangely (Document 3). Things around him and his house were not normal, so he immediately concluded that the woman who came to his door was a witch. Roger North, the brother of the Chief Justice in Exeter, England, addressed the relation between witches and the Devil in 1682. He stated that the Devil has the power to torment and kill innocent children, and that any judge that does not believe in witches, has no religion (Document 6). Anyone who completed Devil-like actions was declared a witch, and North makes it clear that anyone who disagrees simply doesn't follow a religion. Pope Innocent VIII spoke on the issue in "The Witch Bull," 1484. He stated that those who give themselves over to devils are forsaking the Catholic faith, and that they should be corrected, imprisoned, and further punished (Document 9). Getting involved with the Devil was against the religion, and was dealt with by the Papacy. Due to his important position in the Catholic faith, Innocent VIII had to stand by his religion and come up with consequences to the actions of the witches. Martin Luther, an important religious figure that led the Protestant Reformation, preached



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