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Witchcraft in the 17th Century - Essay Example

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In the paper “Witchcraft in the 17th Century” the author discusses why women were much more likely than men to be accused of witchcraft during the 17th century. Until the late 16th century, women did not have the right to property and were vastly depended on their male family members…
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Witchcraft in the 17th Century
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Download file to see previous pages Many women owned property and operated farms and businesses in competition with their male neighbors. Disputes arose, especially after a husband died and left property to his widow.” (Wilson, 78) This period of history was marked by politico-religious turmoil too. The gender politics that began as a reaction to women’s economic empowerment got mixed with bigotry. Hence, women were now much more likely than men to be accused of witchcraft and tortured that way. The events like the Salem Witch Trials (1692) manifested as an orgy of violence, mainly targeted against women. The policymakers were then frightened to witness the mass hysteria associated with the power of the Puritans. Hence, banning this practice became a legislative imperative. Hence an effort to make the politico-legal system of America more even-handed towards women began which continued even during the 19th century as has been pointed out by Gretchen. As shown in the film ‘The Crucible’, in relation to the Salem Witch Trials, Nilan has pointed out, “Nineteen villagers were hung as witches, four died in prison and one was pressed to death.” This sort of superstitious terror inevitably led to policy reforms and prohibition. 2. Which one of the following do you think were the main two winners and which were the main two losers in England’s Glorious Revolution of 1689, and how and why did the Revolution lead to an expansion of the British Parliament’s policy of Salutary Neglect toward its American possessions? Parties involved: British Monarchy, British Parliament, Church of England, Protestant Dissenters, and Catholics. Answer: The Glorious Revolution of 1689 in England was an event of tremendous importance in the history of not only Europe but also America. The revolution although strengthened the Parliament and democracy, it also encouraged discrimination against Catholics. The main winners: 1. British Parliament: By inviting the William of Orange to invade England, the British Parliament ensured the partnership of the superior Dutch naval fleet. After deposing King James II, the Parliament now did not give much power to the new monarch William III (the William of Orange). Instead, it began to increase its power more and more as it levied maritime advantage by the merger of English and Dutch fleets. 2. Protestant Dissenters: Members from both the Tories and the Whigs united under the common umbrella of Protestant reaction against a possible Catholic Monarchy, and they ultimately established a parliamentary system that strongly favored the Protestants. In this way, Protestants prevailed. The main losers: 1. British Monarchy: Since King James II was deposed, not only the possibility of a Catholic dynasty was destroyed but also the very institution of the Monarchy itself began to decline rapidly under the pressure of the British Parliament. 2. Catholics: Protestants were the majority in the British Parliament after the events of 1689. They eradicated the Catholics from the political system. Thousands of Catholics lost power and property in the subsequent decades. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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