Witch Hunt Essay

1355 Words 6 Pages
The idea that a group of people possessing supernatural powers exist among us has proved to have been an alarming concept throughout history from the Classical Era to some cultures in the modern society. The depiction of witchcraft in the 21st century is usually complete with protagonist witches fighting malicious villains, however, witchcraft and the hunt of witches that has left an execution of 40,000 to 50,000 “witches” in Europe has been a predominant practise in Early Modern Europe (c1560-1660). Witch hunting was profoundly centred in England, Germany, and Scotland, and occurred during 1560 to 1660, accusing innocent scapegoats of practising witchcraft which conflicted with Christian beliefs. “Witches” were blamed for natural occurrences …show more content…
Interpretations of witch-hunting in Early Modern Europe can be divided majorly into two parts of ‘from above’ and ‘from below’. The ‘from above’ interpretations denote that the start of witch-hunting in Early Modern Europe was influenced by the members of the elite and the upper class. This could be due to the fact that they were educated which allowed the spread of information regarding witchcraft and witch-hunting, and with the invention of the printing press, the demonological concepts were effectively spread across Europe even to the members of the lower class. On the other hand, ‘from below’ interpretations suggest that the members of the lower class had provided the fundamental support and basis for the spread of witch-hunting throughout Europe and when the members of the elite had been informed, they had only facilitated and had not specifically caused the witch-hunts in Europe. Some historians perceive this witch hunt as a tool used by people to obtain wealth and build their career. This perspective suggests that whether or not they believed witchcraft actually existed, the pure objective of establishing a career of witch-hunters were to make profit and to gain …show more content…
This led to poverty in Europe, where in some regions, the degree of poverty was severe. This had led to various consequences, in which the poor diets and diseases had major influence over people’s lives, and specifically the lower class, and due to the lack in medical knowledge, people tended to blame these inexplicable disasters on vulnerable individuals of being a witch. They were accused of causing deaths, unusual and unexplainable diseases and illnesses, and also drastic changes in weather, since people during the time could not scientifically explain these phenomena. An historian who supports this argument is Robin Briggs, who claimed that economic tensions had built up and resulted in hatred towards each other’s neighbours, therefore blaming each other of practising witchcraft and bringing

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