Why did regional variations exist in the prosecution of witches between 1560 – 1620? Give examples from at least 3 countries to support you answer

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History Coursework – Knowledge

Why did regional variations exist in the prosecution of witches between 1560 – 1620? Give examples from at least 3 countries to support you answer

The European Witch Hunt is one of the most fascinating and amazing events in the middle Ages. It developed from a small matter, which was investigated due to the lack of knowledge about witches and eventually turned into a continent wide campaign to wipe them out.
The coursework title that I have been asked to write about enables me to explain the reasons for why the small-scale witch hunts turned into large-scale hunts. It also enables me to outline the differences in the way these hunts were conducted in different regions of Europe. I plan to outline the different factors, which determined the prosecution of the witches and explain how each one contributes to a hunt. I will also attempt to explain how these factors developed and changed and also how each one helped to determine regional differences between countries.

Before I start entering the essay and answering the question I will give a bit of background information about the witch-hunts, which I feel, will enable me to give a full and complete answer.

The main three countries that I will be focusing on in this essay are England, Germany and Scotland. This is because they are all countries full of examples and contrasts in the way they prosecuted witches. England, famous for its Essex trials, which were the biggest in the country, will prove to be a very good example of how the hysteria of witchcraft spreads around Europe. Germany on the other hand is a country, which is famous for a large amount of hunts in their country, such as in the south of Bavaria. Scotland is also a very good example to use because although geographically it was very close to England, it took a very different view towards witchcraft.

The main thing that we must remember when we try and define the ways of the different countries is that each country is original and unique. They all have different rulers who naturally will have different opinions about the threat of witches. They will also have different views on how witches should be dealt with and to what extent they should attempt to persecute them. For example the rulers of England at the time in question, Elizabeth then James were much more relaxed and content as rulers of their country. They were at the top of a country with a

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The different judicial systems played a major part in the way witches were hunted and eventually prosecuted. There were different styles of judicial systems and as a result, the ones picked in different areas had a different effect. The two main judicial systems that there were at the time were the Accusatorial and the inquisitorial systems. The difference in systems means that the amount of witches that were persecuted varied a lot and this meant that in some countries the size of the witch-hunts were far greater than in others.

The difference between the two systems was the way ...

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