Witchcraft in Europe Essays

Submitted By suzie_na
Words: 902
Pages: 4

It was during the Middle Ages in Europe when the belief of witchcraft began. It was a time where there was not much knowledge of diseases and when a lot of crops failed. People were dying from illness or old age, but others made themselves believe it was witchcraft that was the cause (Olsen 1). Even in modern day, there are still people who are seen as witches along with superstitions. The fear and jealousy of the powers that witches had, and the Christian beliefs along with their fear that witches were associated with the Devil are what eventually led to the major witch hunts in the fifteenth century. Witches were believed to have many powers, which made it easier for other people to blame the misfortunes on witches. Pressure was put on witches to nurse the mother and to help her and her child to be in good health during childbirth. If they failed to heal their patients, they were seen as witches (Levak 12). The witches also had the pressure of not letting all the crops in the village fail. They had the power to create a hail storm to destroy anything (Levak 1). Although witches had the power to do physical damage, they did not have the power to convince the village people of the good in their powers. People feared witches because of all the power they had to destroy their villages. A lot of people were jealous of each other, which also led to witch hunts. If one person had more success than another with their crops, they were accused of being a witch even though they weren’t. People accused others of witchcraft instead of believing in and seeing the unfairness of life (Lewis 12). It was easier to blame They were jealous that their crops were not flourishing as their neighbors would. People also believed the poor were witches and blamed them if tragedies happened because they did not have much compared to the rich (Levack 14). People went to all measures to accuse people of being witches instead of accepting the way of life. Despite all the negative powers witches were accused of containing, there were also positive beliefs. People believed some witches had greater intentions, including telling the future and creating medicines to help cure diseases (Saari 1). Although there were some positive beliefs, that did not help the witches when theologians began to believe that witches were in threatening covens, whose violations were leading them against the religion (Levack 3). The starting belief that witches were associated with the Devil led to it becoming a crime because of the Christian beliefs. Christians believed all types of magic came from the Devil (Levack 2). They did not want people converting to other religions or being atheists, so they used their power to try and change the beliefs of others. Christianity was the main religion during the Renaissance in Europe, so the Christian church officials had the most power to convince others in believing in what they believed. Christians despised the Devil, and witches were thought of as the Devil’s worshippers, so they believed all witchcraft should be ended before any major consequences occurred in the world (Russell 23). People assumed everything said about witches were true since the Bible itself said it was (Olsen 3). Followers of God fought against witches because God fought against the Devil, and witches worshipping the Devil (Compton 3). Christianity had a huge impact on the accusations of women being witches. The people…