2.21.08 - a Salem witch scare 1 more than 95 of all legal...

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a. Salem witch scare 1. more than 95% of all legal accusations of witchcraft in the english north american colonies occured in new england ii. all new england colonies imposed the death penalty on convicted witches b. background of witchery i. phenomenom of northern european countries ii. 1487- the mallelus maleficarum is published in germany. a treatise which proved witches existed and an instruction on how to identify, interrogate and convict witches iii. condemned by academics of the church as unethical and illegal, banned by the church in 1490 iv. widely available and popular in new England c. Who was Accused i. Women beyond childbearing age ii. Economically independent women iii. Outspoken women iv. Women estranged from their husbands or widows v. Any woman who violated acceptable gender norms of subservience in a patriarchal society d. Power of the witch a. Challenged god’s will b. Challenged the standing of men as heads of family c. Challenged the rulers of society d. Misogynistic response to female power e. Why Salem? a. Region under great duress both internally and externally b. Frontier and Indian wars raging-many refugees had fled to region
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c. Town divided into two political factions at odds with each other d. So a nativistic type of response to societal pressure e. Also existence of witches allowed in New Englander’s to more easily consider themselves saints rather than sinners.
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