Show Summary Details

p. 786. Ragelocked

  • Malcolm Gaskill

Abstract

In first half of the 17th century, Europe was especially prone to witch-panics fuelled by war, rebellion and economic crisis. Rather than allaying fears, witch-hunts spread them. ‘Rage’ asserts that, in the age of statebuilding, a concerted witch-hunt was an aberration, destabilizing, likely to exacerbate social division. Pressures from below could be considerable, but governors had to resist them. The Salem witch-panics were made possible by the weakness of the state. By 1750, however, the line between the spiritual and the material had shifted decisively towards the modern scientific view. In the developing world, witch-hunts still further political ends, usually without much hope that central authority will intervene constructively.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.