Witch Trials Dbq

Topics: Religion, Religious persecution, Witchcraft Pages: 3 (1084 words) Published: September 11, 2011
“We shall be rich’eth! Death to the peculiar ones!…. I mean witches!”

In 1480, a greed-spawned genocide began in Europe. It spread across England, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, and parts of France. Over 100,000 people were tried, tortured, and executed; because they were ²witches². Although many of these victims were probably not witches, in that era they didn‘t know better. People had very strong personal beliefs, religious views, and their so called ²scientific² reasons for believing someone to be a witch.

With this in mind, it can be understood how people were so consumed by greed that they would dismiss the value of human life so quickly and easily. Basically, the rich and powerful liked being rich and powerful. So, if all they had to do to become more rich and more powerful was to simply call someone a witch? Surely it was too good to be true. According to The Canon Linden, an eyewitness to persecutions in Germany in 1592, the “anti-witch” “…movement was promoted by many in office, who hoped for wealth form the persecution…throughout the towns and villages…scurried special accusers…in great numbers…their goods were confiscated”. Simply stated: the rich and powerful had one of their pawns accuse and convict an innocent, then when they were out of the way, they took everything of value and got their fill. The rich personally believed in wealth an power, and using that power to get more. On the other hand, Thomas Ady described the feelings of an English householder in 1650 to be quite honest; he genuinely believed that on of his neighbors was a witch. “…for saith he, such an old man or woman came lately to my door and desired help an I denied it… and presently my child, my wife, myself [etc]… was thus and thus in such a strange manner, as I dare swear she is a witch, or how else should these things be.” Because his whole family became ill after he denied the old person help, the only reasonable explanation he could come up with was that...
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