The Witch, Witch Hunts And Trials Essay

2033 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 9 Pages
The early modern period, was a time plagued by large scale witch-hunts and trials across Europe. During this period the classification of a witch changed, and the attitude towards those who practiced witchcraft shifted away from the medieval ideas of white and black magic, to a vision that all magic not given by god, must have come from Satan there therefore be evil. The ways witchcraft occurred, and the ways it was dealt with varied greatly across Europe, as did the peaks of witch activity in individual countries. The witch craze was at its height in Britain during the 16th and 17th centuries, although the case of Britain is different in many ways to other countries in Europe at the time. Britain was not typical to Europe. There were no major witch-hunts, with the exception of the trials instigated by Mathew Hopkins and John Stearn during the Civil Wars, and the laws in place were nowhere near as extensive as those in the likes of Scotland and Germany. The number of trials of witchcraft in Britain vary depending on the region, the subject of a book written by Alan McFarlane. As well as a regional divide, there is also a notable difference in the nature of the way accusations were made, and the types of crime committed by witches in Britain, to those which occurred in other European countries.
There are many arguments in the historiography on this question. Witchcraft is a subject which has been copiously covered from most angles by many disciplines of academic study.…

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