Plague, famine, preach of clergy, etc, may have caused a hunt in one area, but it can’t explain hunts in areas without these. Usually an individuals personal strategy or misfortune is responsible for causing witch hunts. What perspective does this refer to?
The functionalist ‘pressure from below’ perspective whereby accusations from neighbours etc caused investigations.
(-) judicial officials control how prosecutions are carried out and choose who to convict so the way hunts developed was still very much down to ‘the above’
Explanations for Germany
- impact of thirty years war: disease spread as they marched across germany + influenced trade and development
- climate conditions = crop failure = scape goats. explained cold weather that froze rivers
why were there so few witch prosecutions in the dutch republic AND denmark and norway
- the use of torture wasn’t allowed (suggests judicial reasons are important). however it could be due to being rational nor judicial, Dutch judges
didn’t believe witches were engaged in a diabolical conspiracy
- torture wasn’t allowed also and testimony’s of the convicted couldn’t be used to convict someone else
Why did Bamberg see so much witch prosecution
- use of torture: most accused kept in prison with torture chamber and thumb screws etc were used. caused a chain reaction of confessions and accusations
- witch hunting began in bamberg under prince bishop JOHANN GOTTFRIED VON ASCHHAUSEN, wanted to re-catholicise
Why did Trier see so much
- Individuals: Peter Binsfeld (assisted bishop) wrote influential book on dangers of witchcraft
- authorities may have wanted to make money by confiscating possessions of rich victims