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Why did witchcraft happen in the 16th and 17th centuries?

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Nov 18, 2009
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Human Nature and Fear
by: Ken

I'm not sure I understand your question. Witchcraft didn't just happen in the 16th and 17th centuries, it had been part of the culture since before the Romans.

What happened in the 16th and 17th centuries, is that certain people started a hysteria about Witches being amongst them, and Witchcraft became the prime suspect in anything that went wrong.

At first, it was religious fervor that caused the Witch Hunts, but later people realized that they could gain from it.

If your neighbor had land that you wanted, all you had to do was accuse him (or more likely his wife) of Witchcraft. They would be arrested, and you could pick up the land cheap, because you were just trying to help the poor soul.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, it wasn't the inquisition that accused people of Witchcraft, it was your neighbors and friends.



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