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salem witch 13.docx

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HIST 201
James Scow

11/16/12 Economies and Witchcraft First Point: Witches came from several social levels • European witches tended to be ‘moderately poor’ • New England witches ran the spectrum • Rich witches tended not to be convicted or executed, though • Note: this was very true of the Salem outbreak Second Point: New England’s Inheritance Law • This has to do with who has money • Widows and Dower o When a woman’s husband dies, they would get 1/3 of his wealth (that’s the dower), and you wouldn’t be able to just go and spend it all, but you would get to keep whatever profits come from it (like interest) • Surviving Children – are the object of money. o Women inherit money as a part time accident o Their way of thinking of money was very patriarchal in that the father would have money, and he hands it over to the sons. o If 1/3 goes to the widow, then you take the rest, and give the most amount of money to the eldest son then divide it up for the rest of them o The concept of Femme couvert – she’s now really responsible for herself or her money, she has no legal rights o If a woman inherits money, and she gets it, it is because she either didn’t have
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