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date: 19 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the political aspects of witch-hunting. It suggests that the political system of the state, its changing distribution of power, and its inherent tensions must be regarded as some of the many factors which influenced witch-hunting. However, witch hunts also helped shape administrative structures and they provoked political tensions. Indeed, the witch trials helped to shape the map of Europe. The two most aggressive types of witch-hunting agency – the grassroots witch-hunters’ groups and the special witch-finding institutions of the princes – were eventually doomed to failure because they ran contrary to the general trend of state formation.

Keywords: witchcraft, witch-hunts, witch trials, political aspects, witch-finding institutions, communal groups

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