Mother Jones

A BRIEF HISTORY OF WITCH HUNTS

1500s-1600s: Social upheaval and sectarianism lead to witch trials across Europe—tens of thousands are executed. Older women, outcasts, and healers are particularly vulnerable. The trials, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English note in their book Witches, Midwives & Nurses, were “a ruling class campaign of terror directed against the female peasant population.”

1641: Moral panic

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