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Witchcraft in the 17th Century

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Witchcraft in the 17th Century Witchcraft in Europe during the 17th century was common. It mainly took place in Germany, but also took place in England. Witches were associated with evil; it was believed witches inherited magical powers from Satan in exchange for the witch's soul. Some of these magical powers included outrageous claims such as flying, being able to transform and cursing bad luck on others. It was extremely dangerous to be accused of being a witch as the most common punishment was death, often by beheading or even being burnt at the stake. A large proportion of society in England believed in witchcraft, but the reasons as to why a country which was developing a belief in science and logic had faith in such a very much mythical based idea still remains a question. ...read more.


These types of person were believed to be weak and therefore likely to give into the temptation of Satan, make a pact with him and inflict harm upon society. One of the most famous ways in history to test if one was guilty of witchcraft was the 'swimming of witches' method. This type of trial involved attaching a rope around a person's body and dunking them in the water, if they were to float then they would be considered guilty. The water was supposed to represent purity, anybody who floated was thought to have a pact with Satan and therefore rise to the top. Although this technique was not meant as a punishment many people drowned as a result. This type of trial was later outlawed as a superstitious and disorderly practice. ...read more.


Although it is not known whether Hopkins was present or not it is known that later that year he created a pamphlet as a response to the criticism he faced titled 'Discovery of the witches'. This pamphlet was a point-by-point reply to the critique; the content itself was full of lies and had no sense of logic to it. Although Hopkins defended by this point in time the public were becoming disillusioned and Hopkins did not continue his witch-hunts. So in conclusion witchcraft in took place in England for only a short-period before the witch theory died out, however it was obviously a very much widely believed idea created to answer the questions irresolvable by society in that period. Although there were more hangings and prosecutions in other parts of Europe, Witchcraft was a very dark period in society where science and logic took a serious beating. ?? ?? ?? ?? James Wilhelm 1 ...read more.

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