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By Hugh Trevor-Roper

The Civil conflict, the recovery, and the fantastic Revolution in England laid the institutional and highbrow foundations of the fashionable knowing of liberty, of which we're heirs and beneficiaries. The hindrance of the 17th Century uncovers new pathways to figuring out this seminal time. Neither Catholic nor Protestant emerges unscathed from the exam to which Trevor-Roper matters the period during which, from political and non secular factors, the id and extirpation of witches used to be a primary occasion. Trevor-Roper issues out that "In England the main energetic part of witch-hunting coincided with instances of Puritan strain - the reign of Queen Elizabeth and the interval of the civil wars - and a few very fanciful theories were equipped in this twist of fate. But...the persecution of witches in England was once trivial in comparison with the event of the Continent and of Scotland. Therefore...[one needs to learn] the fashion as a complete, all through Europe, and [seek] to narrate its upward push, frequency, and decline to the overall highbrow and social routine of the time...".

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The Civil battle, the recovery, and the fantastic Revolution in England laid the institutional and highbrow foundations of the trendy knowing of liberty, of which we're heirs and beneficiaries. The situation of the 17th Century uncovers new pathways to realizing this seminal time. Neither Catholic nor Protestant emerges unscathed from the exam to which Trevor-Roper matters the period during which, from political and spiritual motives, the id and extirpation of witches used to be a vital occasion.

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They became court financiers or monopolists, and because the free-trade area within which they operated was larger than before, they sometimes made spectacular fortunes. But except when whole cities obtained exceptional monopoly positions in the new empires—like Genoa in the Spanish empire—these individual gains of state capitalists were offset by losses among private capitalists, who, since they no longer controlled the State, were powerless to redress it. Naturally, they drew the consequences. If one great merchant saved himself by becoming court purveyor or financier to the prince, others brought up their sons to be not merchants but ‘‘officers’’ of the new Court, or of the expanding Church, thus contributing to the burden which was crushing their class; and they invested their capital more heavily in land.

W. Sarmenhaus, Die Festsetzung der niederländischen Religions-Flüchtlingen im 16ten Jahrhundert in Wesel (Wesel, 1913). Paul Koch, Der Einfluss des Calvinismus und des Mennonitentums auf der neiderrheinischen Textilindustrie (Krefeld, 1928). 19. Baron de Grenus (Notices biographiques) describes François Grenus as a native of Morges, in the Pays de Vaud; but H. Lüthy, La Banque protestante en France,  (Paris, 1959), 38, 42, refers to him as an immigrant from Armentières. 22 It would be easy to multiply instances.

These Erasmians were Christian and Catholic, but they rejected or ignored a great deal of the new external apparatus of official Catholicism: an apparatus which, since it absorbed energy, consumed time and immobilized property, without having any necessary connection with religion, was equally disliked by educated, by pious, and by active men. So, instead of ‘‘mechanical religion,’’ and of monasticism which had come to represent it, the Erasmians extolled ‘‘primitive Christianity,’’ private devotion, the study of the Bible; and they believed intensely in the sanctification of lay life.

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