Witch Craze Dbq

Kaylie Daniels
October 5, 2010
Period 4 Modern Euro
Witch Craze DBQ

      The witch craze during early modern European history arose during a period of social, economic, political, and religious unrest. The people of Europe, being in such a state of rapid transformation, were especially susceptible to fear and superstition, much like the fear that occurred during the Black Death. This state of mind caused people all over Europe; from France to Poland, to question every aspect of their daily lives, and in return; witches were to blame for trivial, or inexplicable problems. Witches were persecuted because of religious beliefs, not necessarily of their own but the beliefs of the accuser also, and a third, for the self-profit or greed of the accuser himself.
      After the devastation of the Black Death, (1347-1349) the number of witch persecutions rose slowly but steadily throughout the fourteenth century. The witches were at first claimed to be “plague-spreaders”, and were blamed for the deaths of the many struck by plague. Because the sickness was so sudden, and the fact that there was no scientific explanation for that kind of catastrophe; people jumped unto unrealistic conclusions, such as the theory of witches. People not only blamed deaths of the plague on witches, but death in general was blamed on them if it happened to be auspicious. A midwife from Germany recalls, “also compelled her to do away with and to kill young infants at birth…a child of the Governor here…she had so infected with her salve that he died within three days…” (Doc. A1). This shows how little scientific knowledge was accessible; the medical advancements for giving birth were still unsafe, putting both the infant and mother in danger. Heartbroken mothers may have clung onto any explanation for such a dramatic event, and dealt with the grief by inflicting pain unto someone else. Along with death, women were accused of being witches for lustful or inappropriate actions. “…Him she...