The Witch DBQ
The witch craze in Europe lasted from the fifteenth century through the seventeenth century. Women were targets to persecution. Witchcraft had already been considered evil but religious conflicts from the Reformation started another uprising. People, women in particular, were being persecuted as witches for suspicious behavior, fear of the unknown and religious beliefs along with ignorance. People being suspicious and accusing of others was a main source for persecution.
Women who didn’t act like “proper women” were outcast as witches. For instance, if a woman were not obeying her husband’s every command then she wasn’t playing the expected gender role, therefore she was a witch. Outcasts were different, otherwise they wouldn’t be outcasts. People who were exiled were weird in that they lived life their own way, making people judge and want to get rid of them. If a person who was considered an outcast were using herbs as medicine or staying out late and spending time alone, then they were persecuted as witches. A woman accused of being a witch said that she was pinpointed as being a witch because society saw her as different. She wrote, “some call me witch, and being ignorant of my self, they go about to teach me how to be one” (Doc 5) People were also persecuted for “suspiciously” being selfless. A report of Churchwardens in Gloucestershire, England claimed that a woman, Alice Prabury, “ useth herself suspiciously in the likelihood of a witch, taking upon her not only to help Christian people of diseases strangely happened but also horses and all other beasts.” (Doc 4) Women and men who were less fortunate were those most wrongly persecuted. From a regional and comparative witchcraft study done in 1970, it showed that from 1546-1680, woman who were the wives of laborers were more accused than wives of the wealthier men. (Doc 10) This was suspicious in that society and culture were doing the wrong thing, not those who were persecuted. Women...
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