16th Century Witchcraft

450 Words2 Pages
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw a transition of Western Europe, when a series of inspiring historical events took place, such as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the discovery of new world, and the emergence of nation-state. However, what existed in the same period were social impoverishment caused by economic development, political chaos caused by the rise of nation-state, and the religious conflict caused by the Reformation. The life of civilians was pushed to edge by the infertility of land and famine because of the climatic change. People believed that these disasters were the sabotage of devil and his servants, who used thunder, hail, frost, storm, flood, plague, pests to impair the will of God and brought…show more content…
Numerous witches were imprisoned and many of them were executed to the stake. The witch-trials eventually declined in number in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.Previous historians often neglected or simplified the study on earlymodern Europe. Witchcraft and witch-hunt can be a good perspective to re-examine this period of European history and to complete the historical picture. Study on the topic will further the understanding on the transition of Western Europe from a different angle and on the transition of other societies as well.The dissertation will be divided into three parts. In the first part, the author analyzes "long-term" and "middle-term" factors to re-produce the historical vision of early modern Europe. The analysis focuses on the social context of witch-hunt including the living environment of Western Europe in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (geographical and climatic factors), social life (economic change the political turbulence) and the mentality of early modern Europe (cosmology, death and
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