I am Spartacus

More or less simultaneously with Liebknecht’s declaration, SPD minister Phillip Scheidemann raced to the Reichstag window and announced “the formation of a labor government to which all socialist parties will belong…long live the German Republic!”.[1] While Ebert furiously told Scheidemann that “You have no right to proclaim the Republic”, the ad-libbed declaration decided the course […]

Read more "I am Spartacus"

The November Revolution

Sometimes a slip of the tongue or a rhetorical flourish can decide the shape of government, or the future of entire nations. At least once in Germany’s history it conjured an entire republic into being, one that no one had asked for but one that many would die trying to save before it collapsed. That […]

Read more "The November Revolution"

The Decline of the Witch Trials

Just as the beginning of the Witch Craze varies based on region, so too does the end. The last legal executions for witchcraft by state authorities occurred in England in 1684, in the Colonies in 1697, in Scotland 1727, France 1745, and 1775 in the Holy Roman Empire.[1] This did not mean trials or community […]

Read more "The Decline of the Witch Trials"

The Salem Witch Trials

The spark for the Salem trials began like some in Europe, with the testimony of children. Mather would specifically connect Salem’s trial to a contemporary outbreak in Sweden that killed 70 supposed witches, primarily on the basis of children’s accusations.[1] The Salem trials began in Reverend Samuel Parris’ own home. In February 1692 nine year […]

Read more "The Salem Witch Trials"

Darkness in Puritan Salem

  The Witch Craze reached the New World colonies on a time delayed fuse. The first recorded execution for witchcraft occurred in Connecticut in 1647, around the same time that self-appointed Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins was busy hanging everyone in East Anglia. The charges continued at a relative slow burn, with roughly a hundred indictments […]

Read more "Darkness in Puritan Salem"

The Necropantsers of Iceland

Hovering half forgotten on the edges of Europe Iceland was not immune to the witch craze, but the associations of the Sabbath fit poorly over the actual magic still practiced on the island. Iceland had been a late convert to Christianity, and only then under duress. At the annual gathering known as the Allthing in […]

Read more "The Necropantsers of Iceland"

The Hounds of God

As might be expected, the Witch Craze peaked and subsided at different times across Europe. Historian Amanda Wahlers notes that, viewed from a distance of centuries, the first outbreak of the Witch Craze began in Switzerland in 1430, roiling along until the 1630s as witches were variously blamed for everything from conjuring the climactic shift […]

Read more "The Hounds of God"