Black Death Epidemic Analysis

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After the Black Death swept through Europe during the early modern period of European history, societies were left in a state of chaos. The economy was destabilized and the Church lost most of its power as citizens looked at the plague as punishment from God. In looking to be back in God’s grace, societies looked to purge their communities of those they thought responsible; about 100,000 people, most of them women were tried for the crime of witchcraft. About half of these people were executed, some by fire and others by hanging. Societies ravaged by the Black Death were left vulnerable, weakened, and paranoid thereby allowing conspiracy theories to spread. The Black Death epidemic killed a sizeable part of the European population. In wanting…show more content…
Bodin’s piece was highly influential and exhibited an extremely hostile view towards witchcraft and those who practiced it (Levack 128). Most notable in Bodin’s piece are the unorthodox judicial tactics he sanctions in the investigation and trial of witches (Levack 128). Understanding that witchcraft was the ultimate sin against God and being so difficult to prove, Bodin sets parameters that were used in order to entrap and prosecute those accused. Some tactics employed are as follows; testimony of any accomplices were allowed, cases initiated in secret by judges as opposed to prosecutors, anonymous accusations by the public, twisting the obscure testimony of a witch into a confession, and a person’s refusal to confess after torture as a confession justifiable of…show more content…
Witchcraft being practiced in secret was difficult to witness and even more difficult to prove, for this reason it became common to seek out suspects without any formal arrests or investigations by the authorities. The laws of the land were skirted around in many ways in order to persecute those accused of witchcraft and many officials either removed themselves from involvement leaving it to those under them or even the public to carry out punishment or took it upon themselves to impose special procedures or guidelines to get convictions. In recognizing witchcraft as an exceptional crime, Henri Boguet, a Burgundian judge and demonologist presented a series of articles regarding the proper procedures for the trying of witches. Boguet was very liberal in his views, in Article II Boguet writes, Witchcraft is a crime apart, both on account of its enormity, and because it is usually committed at night and always secretly. Therefore the trial of this crime must be conducted in an extraordinary manner, and the usual legalities and ordinary procedure cannot be strictly

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