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Caliban and the Witch

Caliban and the Witch

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  • preface
  • Introduction
  • All the World Needs a Jolt
  • The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women:
  • The Great Caliban
  • Te Great Witch-Hunt in Europe
  • Colonization and Christianization

Caliban andthe �.� Witch

Silvia Federici



To the many witches I have met in the Women's Movement, and to the other witches whose stories have accompanied me for more than tweney-five years, nevertheless leaving an inexhaustible desire to tell, to let people know, to make sure that they will not be forgotten. To our brother Jonathan Cohen whose love, courage and uncompromising resistance to injustice have helped me not lose faith in the possibility of chang­ ing the world and in men's ability to make the struggle for women's liberation their own. To the people who have helped me to produce this volume. I thank George CafTentzis with whom J have discussed every aspect of this book; Mitchel Cohen for his excdlent comments, his editing of parts of the manuscript, and his enthusiastic support for this project; Ousscina Alidou and Maria Sari for introducing me to the work of Maryse Conde; Ferruccio Gambino for mak­ ing me aware of the existence of slavery in 16th- and 17th-century Italy; David Goldstein for the materials he has given me on the witches'''pharmakopeia''; Conrad Herold, for contributing to my research on witch hunting in Peru; Massimo de Angelis. for giving me his writings on prinutive accumulation and for the important debate on this topic which he organized in TIlt Commm,er; Willy Murunga for the nl2terials he has given me on the legal aspects of witch­ craft in East Africa. I thank Michaela Brennan and Veena V isW2natha for read­ ing the manuscript and giving me advice and support. I abo thank Mariarosa DaUa Costa, Nicholas Faraclas, Leopolda Fortunati, Everet Green, Peter Linebaugh. Bene Madunagu, Maria M,ies, Ariel Salleh, Hakim Bey. T heir works have been a reference point for the perspective that shapes

CaUbml and

the Wi"".

though they may not agree with all that r have written here.

Special thanks to Jim Fleming, Sue Ann Harkey, Ben Meyers and Erika Biddle, who have given many hours of thcir time to this book and, with their patience and assistance, have given me the possibility of finishing it, despite my endless procrastination. - New York, April 2004

Autonomedia POB 568 Williarnsburgh S.. t;on, Brooklyn, NY 11211-0568 USA www. autonomedia.org info@autonomedia.org

Text anti-copyright @ 2004 Silvia Federici This text may be freely reproduced for non-conunercial purposes. Please inform the author and publisher at the address above of any such use. Designed by Sue Ann Harkey First edition, 2004.Third printing, 2009 ISBN 1-57027-059-7 Printed in the United States ofAmerica

Table of Contents
Preface Introduction All the World Needs a Jolt
Social Movements and political Crisis in Medieval Europe

7 11 21

The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women
Constructing "Difference" in the "Transition to Capitalism"


The Great Caliban
The Struggle Against the Rebel Body


The Great Witch-Hunt in Europe Colonization and Christianization
Caliban and Witches in the New World

163 219

Index Image sources Bibliography

244 271 272

Woodcut "7 PnHONICIS MUUERlBUS rY1v. .J SooII""Y"') (1489). DE UtMt111S (a. So"""" m.uhtS co.nl.. In Ulrich Molitor.yuring tI shoWtr oj min. n".

was that it failed tion. The most influential among them were Mariarosa Dalla Costa's lM>me" alld rhe Sub". in a set of documents that in the 1970s were very .ocial ribelle lIella prima jase del (apitale (Milano: Franco Angeli) [11Ie Great Caliball. Socialist Feminists. But the limit of their position. recog­ nized that the history of women cannot of exploitation and. Its first resultS appeared in a hook that we published in Italy in 1984: II Grallde Caliballo. first articulated by Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James. in collaboration with an Italian feminist. rtied rhe development of the Feminist Movement in the United tills research cates concerning the roots of women's "oppression. and capi­ talism. in my understanding of it at the time.s the main themes of a research project on wOlnen in the "transition" from feudalism to capitalism that I began in the Inid-1970s. In my view.a stand which again compelled us to rely on cultural schemes to account for the survival of sexism within the universe of cap­ It was in trus context that the idea of tracing the history of women in dle transi­ tion from feudai l sm co capitalism took fonn.rsio" of til. to acknowledge the sphere of reproduction as a source of value-creation and exploita­ be separated from dle history of specific systems COntroversial." and the political strategies which the movement should adopt in the struggle for women's liberation. but eventually reshaped the discourse on women. rhe leading theoretical and polit­ ical perspectives from which the reality of sexual discrimination was analyzed were those proposed by the two main branches of the women's movemem: dle Radical FeministS and the Socialist FemiIUs[S. reproduction. patriarchal rule on dle basis of uanshiscorical cultural structures.m). presumably operatil. gave prioricy to women as workers in capicalist soci­ ery.preface Calibatl and tile Witch presenc. however. Rae.The thesis which inspired this research was italist relations. Leopoldina Fortunati. neidler provided a satisfactory explana­ tion of the roots of dle social and economic exploitation of women. At the time. Hi.tory oj the Rebel Body ill the My interest in was originally motivated by the debates that accompa­ First Phase of Capitali. I objected co the Radical Feminists because of their tendency to account for sexual discrimination and. as well as other activists in the Wages For Housework Movement. and thus traced the roots of the power differential between women and men to wom en's exclusion from capitalist development . by contrast. and Sebna James' Sex. in dleir analyses.g independendy of relations of production and class. Commullity (1971). Storial del (orpo . alld Cia" (1975).

"wage slavery. we must analyze the changes ." and began to search for a history that we had not been taught in school. Sexual hierarchies. The book that resulted from this research. and gave patriarchy a specific his­ torical content. the specifically capitalist use of tile wage to command the labor of the unwaged. but proved to be decisive for our educa­ tion. and the devaluation of women's social position with the advent of capitalism. and a source of capital accumulation. Dalla Costa andJames showed the possibilicy of tran­ scending the dichotomy between patriarchy and class. was an attempt to rethink Marx's analysis of prim­ itive accumulation from a feminist viewpoint. It was in tills spirit that Leopoldina Fortunati and I began to study what can only be euphemistically described as the "transition to capitalism. The main thesis in II Gra"de Calibnno was that in order to understand the history of women in the transition from feudalism to capitalism." has been built. as we argued. the received Marxian categories proved inadequate. It also pro­ vided a genealogy of the modern concepts of femininity and masculinity that challenged the postmodern assumption of an almost ontological predisposition in "Western Culture" to capture gender through binary oppositions. But in we found. Dalla Costa and James argued that the exploitation of women has played a central function in the process of capitalist accumulation.an irrelevance belied by the strict rules that have governed women's lives . Rather. n Grande Cnlibnno: storin del corpo socia/e ribelle lIella primafase del capitale (1984). it should be interpreted as the effect of a social system of pro­ duction that does not recognize the production and reproduction of the worker as a social-economic activity. As Dalla Costa put it. those it intends to rule. on a continuously renewed basis. women's unpaid labor in the home has been the pillar upon which the exploitation of the waged work­ ers. but mystifies it instead as a natural resource or a personal serv ice. They also opened the way for a reinterpretation of the history of capi­ talism and class struggle from a feminist viewpoint. which explained women's "oppression" and sub­ ordination to men as a residuum of feudal relations. willie profiting from the wageless conclition of the labor involved. the power differential between women and men in capitalist societry cannot be attributed to the irrelevance of housework for capitalist accumulation . n Grande Caliballo was also critical of Michel Foucault's theory of the body. are always at the service of a project of domination that can sustain itself only by divid­ this process. insofar as women have been the producers and reproducers of the most essential capitalist conullodicy: labor-power.Among the casualties was the Marxian identification of cap­ italism with the advent of \vage labor and the "free" Jaborer.nor CO the survival of timeless cul­ tural schemes. and the secret of ies productivity (1972:31) . This hiscory not only ofe f red a theoretical understanding of the genesis of house­ work in its main structural components: tile separation of production from reproduc­ tion.Thus.I Preface Against the Marxist orthodoxy. which contributes to hide and naturalize the sphere of reproduction. and has been so disinterested in the "disciplining" of women that it never mentions one of the most monstruous attacks on the body perpetrated in the modern era: the w1tch-hunt. has collapsed female and male histories into an unclife f rentiated whole. By rooting the exploitation of women in capitalist society in the sexual division of labor and women's unpaid work. ing. Foucault's analysis of tile power techniques and disciplines to which the body has been subjected has ignored the process of repro­ duction.

These were the years when. and how many people still see their lives in \vays radically antagonistic to the requirements of capitalist production. especially. sexuality. international market.Thus. male-female relations. worldwide. But for me this planet. the scope of the present volume differs from that of n Grande CalibatJo. and. which enabled me to better understand the struggles that Nigerian WOmen have been making to defend their resources and to refuse the new model of patri- �oreign investors. I saw unfolding under my eyes processes very were the attack on communal lands. Before leav­ ing. Along with these policies. however.Preface alism has introduced in the process of social reproduction and. I left the United States and rime. in tllis case. women's work. the book examined the reorganization of housework. and a rationalization of social reproduction aimed at destroying the last vestiges of cOl1ununal property and cOllunullity relations. reduce the size of a population that was deemed too demanding and indis­ ciplined from the viewpoint of its prospected insertion in the global economy. to the 17th century querelles \ intense forms of labor exploitation. the The declared purpose of the program was to make Nigeria competitive on the soon apparent that this involved a new round of prim­ itive accumulation. It Was a source of great strength. realized that the struggle against structural adjusonent is part of a long struggle against land privatization and the "enclosure" not only of conununal lands but also of social rela­ In this context. Among them by World Bank) in the reproduction of the work-force: to regulate procreation rates. which eventually resulted in the adoption of a Structural Adjusmlent Program. fornudable forces still con­ trast the imposition of a way of life conceived only in capitalist terms. and the development of a heated debate similar. touching on every aspect of the reproduction of labor-power: the family (Polygamous vs. monogamous. child-raising. in many respects. Thus. where I remained for nearly three years." I also witnessed the fuel­ ing of a misogynous campaign denouncing women's vanity and excessive demands. as it proved that. For the developers. child-raising. the multinational agencies and .The strength I gained Was also due to my encounter with Women in Nigeria (W lN). But the circumstances of my stay in Nigeria did not allow me to forget this work. the country's first fenu­ niSt orgaluzation. male and female identity and relations. aptly named the "War Against Indiscipline. This analysis is reproduced in CalibtJlI and the Witch. I had buried my papers in a cellar. as it responds to a different social context and to our growing know­ ledge of women's history. the Nigerian gov­ enunent engaged in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and the World World Bank's universal recipe for economic recovery across the planet. the chat capit af labar-power. my work on the transition took on a new meaning. extended). and a decisive intervention by the State (instigated des femmes. nuclear vs. In Nigeria I J also realized how limited is the victory that the capitalist work-discipline has won on tions that stretches back to the origin of capitalism in 16th-century Europe and America. as for most African coulltries. But it was Bank. tOok a reachjng posicion in Nigeria. and thereby impose more similar to those that I had studied in preparation for n Grande Caliballo. Shortly after the publication of n Grande Caliballo. not expecting that I should need them for some The years between 1984 and 1986 were a turning point for Nigeria. production re I fanUly life. in response to the debt crisis. tlus was and remains the problem with places like Nigeria. and the relation between pro­ duction and reproduction in 16th and 17th-century Europe.

In the United States. the desire [0 restudy "the transition to capitalism" has been with me since my return. the debt crisis reached the academic institutions and. I left Nigeria.the increasing loss. For this possibility will depend on our capacity to hear the voices of those who have walked similar paths. that is. My goal in doing so is not only to make available to non-specialists the evidence on which my analysis relies.no longer able to support myself. By the end of1986. I also began to teach in an interdisciplinary program for undergraduates where I confronted a different type of "enclosure": the enclosure of knowledge. Thus. in and out of Europe.Preface archy imposed on them. of the historical sense of our conUTIon past. in body if not in spirit. . it was the Nigerian pro­ letariat that brought me back to the struggles over the commons and the capitalist dis­ ciplining of women.among the new gen­ erations. This is why in enlibml and tIle Witch I reconstruct the anti-feudal struggles of the MjddIe Ages and the struggles by which the European proletariat resisted the advent of capitalism.but [0 revive among younger generations the memory of a long histOry of resistance that today is in danger of being erased. I had read the Nigerian events through the prism of16th-cencury Europe. But the thought of the attacks launched on the Nigerian people never left me. Upon my return. now promoted by the World Bank. Saving this historical memory is crucial if we are to find an alter­ native to capitalism.

inist viewpoim. the obeha woman who poisoned the master's food and inspired the slaves to revolt. who to a remote background. as the embodiment of a world of female subjects that capitalism had to destroy: the heretic. more CalibtUl amllhe Wiuh. Not surprisingly.' This volume is conceived First. are workers on a mass scale still defined as paupers.Introduction scholan convinced that the first task on humanity's agenda is the construction of an rerurned [0 the "transition to capitalisrn. studying the genesis of capicalism has been an obligatory step for activists and has and uncovering new grounds of exploitation and resistance. Most important [or this book has been the . the figure of the witch. again reminiscent of �he "Bloody . with the genesis of capitalism. Most important.. in this volume is placed at the center-stage. the return of witch-hunting. of a set of phenomena usually associated expropriated millions of agricultural producers from their land. and outlaws? How are land movements accompalued by the persecution of nugrant workers. vagabonds" available for local exploitation. specifically. 11lt Tempest. Intensific ation of violence against women. this effort. South Africa and Brazil). at the same time. including. Among them are a new round of "enclosures" that have pauperization and crinunalization of workers. for the proletarian body as a terrain and instrument of resistance to the logic of capitalism. In my interpretation. with the new global expansion of capitalist relations. through a policy of mass incarceration recalling the "Great Confinement" described by Michel Foucault in his study of history of madness . but two considerations in particular have motivated this work. after 500 years of capital's rule. the healer."bringing to it the perspectives of new social subjects within alternative to capitalist society. reflects Caliban represents not only the anti-colonial rebel whose struggle still resonates in comemporary Caribbean literature. inspired by Shakespeare's tills trndition. and the mass disobedient wife. the in 17lt Tempest is confined The second motivation behind this volume has been the worldwide return.g. there has been the desire to rethink the development of capitalism from a fem. We have also witnessed the worldwide development of new diasporic Laws" that were introduced in 16th and 17th-century Europe to make . The title. avoiding the limits of a "women's history " separated from that o f the male part o f the working class. in some countries (e. witches. every new revolutionary movement Since Marx. however. at the begimung of the durd millemuum. Why. but is a symbol for the world proletariat and. while. the woman who dared to live alone.

Each of these concepts refers to a conceptual framework that is a ref­ erence point for this work: the Femjnist. and yet have been extremely important for capitalist accumuJation. But its importance lies.2 Thus. It is a useful term. when the exploitation and disciplining of labor would be accom­ plished mostly through the workings of economic laws (Marx 1909 Vol. past and present. above all.its history. Most unportant.. the Marxist. he was deeply mistaken. into a machine for the production of new work­ ers. based upon the exclusion of women from \vaged­ work and their subordination to men. and the Foucauldian. demon- 12 . However. the body.there can be no doubt that he viewed it as a nec­ essary step in the process of human liberation. and pruni­ rive accumulation.UVfl expropriation and mass pauperization related to the continuing attack on women? And what do we learn about capitalist development.Though Marx was acutely aware of the murderous character of capitalist development . A return of the most violent aspects of primitive accumulation has accompanied every phase of capitalise globalization. I examine it from the viewpoint of the changes it introduced in the social position of women and the production of labor-power.I J rurUUU(. for it provides a common denominator through which we can conceptualize the changes that the advent of capitalism produced in economic and social relations. In this. W hereas Marx examines prim. in Capita/Vol. and that it increased (to a degree unmatched by any other economic system) the productive capacity of labor. arguing that the persecution of the witches. as unportant as colonization and the expropriation of the European peasantry frol11 its land were for the development of capitalisnl. my description of primitive accumulation includes a set of historical phenomena that are absent in Marx. Thus. (ii) the con­ struction of a new patriarchal order. to charac­ terize the historical process upon which the development of capitalist relations was premised. (ill) the mechanization of the proletarian body and its transformation. They include (i) the development of a new sexual division of labor subjugating women's labor and women's reproductive function to the reproduction of the work-force. revealing the structural conditions for the existence of capitalist society. I have placed at the center of my analysis of primitive accumuJation the witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries. in the case of women.itive accumulation from the viewpoint of the waged male proletariat and the devel­ opment of commodity production. in the fact that "primitive accumulation" is treated by Marx as a foundational process. my analysis departs from Marx's in two ways. He also assumed that the violence that had presided over the earliest phases of capitalist expansion would recede with the maturing of capitalist relations. "Primitive accumulation" is the term that Marx uses. He believed that it disposed of small-scale property. My analysis also departs from Marx's in its evaluation of the legacy and function of primitive accumulation. including the present one. "is written in the annals of human­ ity in characters of fire and blood" . was in Europe as in the New World. thus creating the material conditions for the liberation of humanity from scarcity and necessity. I will begin my introduction with some observations on the relation of my analysis to these different perspectives. once we examine it through the vantage-point of a feminist perspective? It is with these questions in mind that in this work I have revisited the "transi­ tion" from feudalism to capitaJism from the viewpoint of women. he declared. 1. This enables us to read the past as something which survives into the presem. a consideration which is essential to my usage of the term in this work. 1).

e MooII. a number of works appeared that took a more critical approach.istory of enslaved women in the Caribbean plantations. the main framework that shaped women's history was a chronological one. "Did Women have a Renaissance?" (1984) tal ways the accepced hiscorical categories and to make visible hidden structures of dom­ Women or to look at history from a feminist viewpoint means to redefine in fill1damen­ this scholarly production has confirmed is that to reconstruct the history of unde rmined the classical historical periodization that celebraces the Renaissance as an OUtst anding example of cultural achievement. and the Witdles (1987). women were exploited in ways similar to slavwer e always treated as socially inferior beings and perspective from which to reconsider the history of capitalist relations. For this (0 human liberation had he tory shows that. and Maria Mjes' Patriarchy and cif Barbados (1995) which. and Hilary BeckJes' Natural Rebels. I n the 1980s. 13 . therefore. Carolyn Merchant's TI.'. however. could designate the 13th or the 17th century. Forcunati 1995). For a while. war and plunder on a stracing that the continuous expulsion of w. This project is not new.To these works we must add the many monographs that over the last two decades have reconstructed women's presence in the rural and urban econonues of medieval and early modern Europe. but a particular form of exploitation and." which. and providing for a new underscanding of women's place in capitalism an d the globalization process. a unique hav e revisited the "transition to capitalism" even though they have not always recog'luzed it. Among them were Joan Kelly's essays on the Renaissance and the Q"erelles des femmes . Renaissance Germany (1986).e Deatll if' Nature (1980).e major texts on d. the first account on the witch-hunt in colonial Peru. signifies notJ" usc a hidden history that ery. Thus. Carolyn Merchant's n. Leopoldina Fortunati's L'Arcano della Riproduziolle (1981) (now available in English. A Social History Working Women . arguing that the advent of scientific rationalism produced a cultural sluft from an organic to a mechanical paradigm that legitimized the exploitation of women and nature. Merry W iesner's A(cumulation Oil a World Scale (1986). depending on the author. I want to remember in particular Irene Silverblan's TI. that re-exanuncs capitalist accumulation from a non­ Eurocentric viewpoint. and the vast literature and doc­ umentary work that has been produced on the witch-hunt and the lives of women in pre-colotual America and the Caribbean islands. "Women .orJd scale. connecting the destiny of women in Europe to that of Europe's coiotual subjects. in needs [0 be made visible. is one of d.e Dealh of Nature (1980) challenged the belief in the socially progressive character of the scientific revolu­ tion. tlte SUII. The most conUTIon designation feminist historians have used to describe the tran­ sition period has been "early modern Europe." then . and the degradation of women are necessary conditions for the existence cap italism in all times. Especially important has been Maria Mies' Patriarchy mId Awmtulatiotl 0" a World &ale (1986).of farmers from the land. I should add that Marx could never have presumed that capitalism paves the way his looked at its hiscory from the viewpoint of women. Kelly's essay.e h.even when I11CI1 achieved a certain degree of formal freedom. From the begilllung of the Fenutust Movement women the comcxt of this volume. Among the latter. together with Barbara Bush's SIQlle Women ill Caribbean Socifly:1650-1838 (1990). What ination and exploitation. now a classic work.

If the answer is a negative one (as it must be when we consider the present organization of repro­ ductive labor). however. However. then gender should not be considered a purely cuJrural reality. then "women's his­ tory" is"class history.sands of"witches" at the beginning of the modern era. To rephrase the poine I already made: if"fem­ illinity" has been constituted in capitalist society as a work-function masking the pro­ duction of the work-force under the cover of a biological destiny. but should be treated as a specification of class relations. it confirms that "the transition to capitalism" is a test case for feminist theory. the contemporary development of a new sexual division onabor. confining women to reproductive work. Feminist scholars have developed a framework that throws much light on this question. as the redefinition of productive and reproductive tasks and male-female relations that we find in this period. and how to explain why the rise of capitalism was Caliban mId t"� Wiuh bu. have been misguided. From this view­ point. as on the studies contained within n Grande Calibatlo (a work I discuss in the Preface). to what Marx defines as the "formation of the proletariat. The analysis I propose also allows us to transcend the dichotomy between "gender" and"class. This is the task I take on in was was rooted in the social transformations that accompanied the rise of capitalism. and define feminism purely in oppositional terms. and the reasons why the rise of capitalism demanded a genocidal attack on women have not Caliba" mId tire Witch." There are other ways in which Caliban mId tire Witch speaks to "women's history" and feminist theory. in Europe as weU as in the "New World. then "women" is a legitimate category of analysis. as they were 14 . My work here only a sketch of the research that would be necessary to clarify the connections I have mentioned. as the book connects the development of capitalism. and the activities asso­ ciated with "reproduction" remain a crucial ground of struggle for women. It is also argued that the witch-hum cific historical circumstances under which the persecution of witches been investigated. and the land and labor policies of the mercantilist era. leave no doubt concerning the constructed character of sexual roles in capitalist society. on one side. and especially the relation between the witch-hunt and . to the social struggles and the reproduction crisis of the late feudal period and. its historical scope is coeval with a war against WOmen. the book addresses a number of historical and methodological questions that have been at the center of the debate on women's history and feminist theory." Ifit is true that in capitalist society sexual identity became the carrier of specific work-functions. It is sufficient." and the question that has to be asked is whether the sexual division of labor that has produced that particular concept has been transcended." In this process. on the other. The most important historical question addressed by the book is how to aCCOUnt for the execution of hundreds of thou.ilds upon these works. But the spe­ unleashed. to demonstrate that the persecution of witches (like the slave trade and the enclosures) was a central aspect of the accumulation and fomlation of the modern proletariat. both realized with the maximum of violence and state intervention.broader. the debates that have taken place among posmlOdern feminists concerning the need to dispose of "women" as a category of analysis. First. as I begin to analyze is the witch-hunt in the context of the demographic and economic crisis of the t 6th and 17th centuries. It is generally agreed that the witch-hum aimed at destroying the control that women had exercised over their reproductive function and served to pave the way for the devel­ opment ofa more oppressive patriarchal regime.

falsifying the perception conUllon among academics which attributes its dis­ covery to Michel Foucauk ized [he comemporary philosophical and political discourse. and co create a more holistic vision of what it means to be a human being) This valorization has taken various forms. the many feminist studies which have been pro­ duced since the early 1970s on the policing of women's reproductive function. battering. Can an analysis of [he transition to capitalism and primjtive accumulation help us IS .� of the "body" as key to an understanding of the roots of male dominance and the conidentity. Nevenheless.This has been a necessary step both to counter the negativity attached to the identification of femininity with corporeality..such slogans as "repossessing me body" or "speaking me body"S have been criticized by post-structuralist.ct [hat it views [he body as constituted by purely discur­ sive practices. who reject as illusory any call for being oblivious [Q sexual differentiation. but mey have also begun [Q Starting &om an analysis of"body-politics/' feminists have not only revolution­ ses of sexuality. that his analysis practically rules out any critique of power-relations. . From the beginhistory the of Jtions co an understanding . ferninists have accused Foucault's discourse on sexuality of the insights developed by the Ferninist Movement. Foucault is so intrigued with the "productive" character of the power-tech­ niques by which the body has been invested. the effects on women of rape."4 As Rosi Braidotti has pointed out. connected itself \Vich the for the of the witches. mId tire Witch IS raised by the conrrasong FoucauJdian analyses of the body in their appli­ erspccrives offered by the feminist and of capicalist development. on this basis. Indeed.rang­ ing from the quest for non-dualistic forms of knowledge. the privileged sites. disconnected from social and economjc relations. the body that is reclaimed is never to be understood as a biological given. In particular. feminist activists and theorists have seen the concept lU feminist movement of the 1970s which. Across ideological differences. The nearly apologetic qualiry of Foucault's theory of me body is accentuated by [he f. A funher question addressed by Calibm. Thus. [he Power by which [he body is produced appean as a self-sub­ sis tent. This criticism is quite appropriate. In turn. and is more interested in describing how power is deployed than in iden­ tifying its source. to the attempt (with fcminiscs who view sexual "cli£ference" as a positive value) to develop a new type of language and "[rethinkJ the corporeal roots of human intelligence. analy­ n of solidatio . are a monumental contribution to the discourse on the body in our times. demonstrating that women's revalorize the body. Thus. feminiscs have uncovered and denounced the strate­ attempted to discipline and appropriate the female body. gies and the violence by means of which male-centered systems of exploitation have bodies have been the main targets. and mothering have been at the cemer of feminist theory and women's history. for the deploymem of power­ techniques and power-relations. Moreover. the femjnists have real­ struction of fcma1e social of human faculties and the identification of women with ranking hierarchical ized that a reality has been instrumental. Foucauldian theorists.to the con­ corporeal of conception a degraded patriarchal power and the male exploiration of female labor. ubiquitous.IIg of the Women's Movement. and the imposition upon them of beauty as a condition for social acceprability.hiscorically. hlsCOry . while at the same time appropriating many of instinctual liberation. procreation. and as mysterious in its permucations as a godly Prime Mover.metaphysical entity.

Indeed." stripping it of the mystery by which Foucault surrounds the emergence of this regime. as the female body has been appro­ priated by the state and men and forced to function as a means for the reproduction and accumulation of labor.!IUI VIA. they would have inspired different conclusions had they been included. for in many historical cir­ cumstances . the accumu­ lation of labor-power can only be aclueved with the maximum of violence so that. at the service of the production of labor-power. childbirth. in Maria Mies' words.has acquired in femirust theory and women's history has not CaJiban arid lite Witch also confirms the feminist insight which refuses to can identifY the body with the sphere of the private and. For both demonstrate the repressive character of the power that was be for women both a source of identity and at the same time a prison. We can also see that the promotion of population growth by the state can go hand in hand with a massive destruction of life."""'UV" to go beyond these alternatives? I believe it can. at the same time.one is a condition for the other. such as population growth. in different ways. have been re-Iaunched in the face of every 16 . if we place this shift in the context of the rise of capitalism the puzzle vanishes. since the goal of capitalist society is to transform life into the capacity to work and "dead labor." From tlus viewpoint.mater_ nity. better." Further. in his History oj Sexllalily (1978).A1ong these lines. its original historical exemplar has sed­ imented strategies that.witness the history of the slave trade . Caliban and lite Witch shows that the body has been for women in capitalist society what the factory has been for male waged workers: the primary ground of their exploitation and resistance. and why it is so important for fenunists and. sexuality .I . Not accidentally. Thus. he would have recogtuzed that torture and death can be placed at the serv­ ice of "life" or. proving that it can be defended only at the price of outstanding historical omissions. primitive accumuJation has been a universal process in every phase of capitalist development. what Foucault would have learned had he studied the witch-hunt. rather than focusing on the pastoral confession. A study of the witch-hunt also challenges Foucault's theory concerning the devel­ opment of"bio-power. to a different one exercised through the adnulustration and promotion of life-forces. Yet. Further. abstract. violence itself becomes the most productive force. our first step should be to document the social and historic conditions under which the body has become a central element and the defining sphere of activity for the constitu_ tion of femininity. in a system where life is subordinated to the production of profit. speaks of"body poli­ tics. the importance which the body in been misplaced. and the implau­ sibility of the complicity and role-reversal that Foucault imagines to exist between vic­ tims and their persecutors in his description of the dynamic of nucro-powers. asexual sub­ ject. Foucault registers the shift . for the promotion of life-forces turns out to be nothing more than the result of a new concern with the accul1luJation and reproduc­ tion of labor-power. unleashed against women. all its aspects . is that such history cannot be written from the viewpoint of a universal. in this vein. With regard to the feminist approach. it explains how the body so problematic to valorize it.presumably in 18th-century Europe .from a type of power built on the right to kill. Undoubtedly. The most obvious is the ol1ussion of the witch-hunt and the dis­ course of demonology in his analysis of the disciplining of the body. the history of primitive accumulation otTers many coumer-examples to it. As for Foucault's theory. but he otTers no clues as to its motivations. In conclusion.

. Indeed.igrating the "nature" of those it exploits: women.This is also what is happening today. is necessarily committed to racism and sexism. The difference is dut today the resistance to it has also achieved a global dimension. together with it. If capitalism has been able to reproduce itself it is only because of the web of inequalities that it has huilt into the body of the world proletariat. Paris COllunune.who. For capitalism must justify and mystify the contradictions built into its social relations ." with the difference that today the conquistadors are the officers of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. the political lesson that we can learn from was the first effect of the devel­ · italism.ing the worth of a penny to the same populations which the domi­ nant world powers have for centuries robbed and pauperized. the reality of widespread penury . as demonstrated by the institutional investment in the development of new reproduc­ tive technologies that.and colonial subjects. with their bodies. feminists.o r 13J 11 capicalist crisis. their work.the promise of freedom vs. if large-scale violence and enslavement have been on the agenda. undermined the sexual and international division of lahor. much of the violen ce unleashed is directed against women. the reality of widespread coercion. when the responses to the rise of social. who are still preach.students. the dialectics of accumulation and destruction of labor-power. At the core of capitalism there is not only the symbiotic relation between waged­ contract ual labor and enslavement but. It is not surprising. serving to cheapen the cost of labor and to hide the exploitation and the struggles of other rebel subjectS . the descendants of Mrican slaves. Tllis process is still unfolding under our eyes. and the promise of prosper­ ity vs.following the expulsion of women from the economic waged work-place. colonial subjects. then. and the accumulation crisis of 1873 were the "Scramble for ISll l. for which women have paid the h. tile A frica" and the simultaneous creation in Europe of the nuclear family.by den. their Lives. reduce women to wombs. as a social-economic system. for in the age of the computer.. of women This is what occurred in the 19th century.ighest cost. Also the "feminization of poverty" that has accompanjed the spread of globaliza­ tion acquires a new significance when we recall that this opment of capitalism on the Lives of women. as it has for the last 500 years. centered on the dependence of women to men . the con­ quest of the female body is still a precondition for the accumuJation of labor and wealth. It is impossible therefore to associate capitalism with any form of liberation or attribute the longevity of the system to its capacity to satisfy human needs. and because of its capacity to globalize exploitation. as they were in the period of the "transition. blue collar workers . Once again. more than ever. in the 19605 and 1970s. the inunigrants displaced by globalization. Caliba" a"d the Witch is that cap­ 17 . as a new global expansion of the labor-market is attempting to set back the clock with respect to the anti-colonial struggle.

the rise of new socialist scates in Europe and Asia. across great geograpluc and cultural boundaries.The "transition" was again revisited in the 1960s byTlurdWorldist theorists (SanurAmin. I would say . Endnotes The study of the transition to capitalism has a long history.as I argue in this work ." If the female body . W ithout our doing. in the wake of the debates generated by the consol_ idation of the Soviet Union. takes time. Marxist lusto­ rians such as Maurice Dobb.is a signifier for a field of reproductive activities that have been appropriated by men and the state.I 1. pointing to the streets and squares and forests of the globe swarming with black and white and coffee-colored inhabitants . What is your excuse? It is all very weU for you to say. and what at the time appeared as an impending capitalist crisis. we have had other work on our hands. On this ground.odney Hilton." and the "unequal exchange" between the "First" and the "Third World. in my analysis. Not surprisingly. Virginia Woolfs A Room of O"e� OIVII (1929) anticipates fume Cesaire's Retum to tile Natillf! Land (1938). according to statistics. for not having managed to produce anything but children." 2. These two realities.. however. allowing that some had help.Andre Gunder Frank). as a personal service and even a natural resource. belund it. 18 . and that. aesthetic canons. We have borne and bred and washed and taught. It is an illusion. The plays of Shakespeare are not by you .. as it has characterized the literature produced by the anti-colonial revolt and by the descendants of the enslaved Africans. R. in the context of the contemporary debates over neo-colonialism. since in capitalism repro­ ducing workers on a generational basis and regenerating daily their capacity to work has become "women's labor. because of its un-waged condition.. a valorization of the body has been present in nearly all the liter­ ature oC"second wave" 20th-century feminism.. at present in existence. then the body is the site of a fimda­ mental alienation that can be overcome only with the end of the work-discipline which defines it. a broader female world. Christopher Hill revisited the "tran_ sition" in the 1940s and 1950s. the one thousand six hundred and twenty-three million human beings who are. is the power of the fel1linist"discourse on the body. . [y]ou have never made a discovery of any son of importance. You have never shaken an empire or lead an anny into battle. "underdevelop_ ment. are closely connected. 3. and corporeal­ ity. and turned into an instrument for the pro­ duction of labor-power (with all that this entails in terms of sexual rules and regu­ lations. and punishments). perhaps to the age of six or seven years.. which not accidentally coincides with that of the main political movements of this century." that tries to unbury what male control of our corporeal reality has sufo f cated. matter. when she mockingly scolds her female audience and." though mystified." (Woolf. those seas would be unsailed and those fertile lands a desert. "Young women. to conceive of women's liberation as a "rerurn to the body. 1929: 112) This capaciry to subvert the degraded image of fenuniniry.. which has been con­ structed through the identification of women with nature.

). although he recognized that workers in capicalist society become so alienated from their labor. however.a productivity that becomes for him the condition for the workers' future mastery of society. among fenUn. Marx's portrait of the worker who feels at home only in his bodily functions already intuited this fact. Marx. from their rela­ tions with others. who were seeking to create a language expressing the specificity of the female body and female subjectivity (Braidotti. especially Chapters 3 through 5. Marx did not see that the development of workers' industrial powers was at the cost of the underdevelopment of their powers as social individuals.This thesis holds true for men as well. and Rosi Braidotti's Partems o f DissolJQlIce (1991) especially the section entitled "Repossessing the Body: A Timely Project" (pp. I am referring here to the project of ecriturejemilJi1le. like Michel Foucault. Ironically. 19 . Marx too stressed the pro­ ductiv ity of the power to which workers are subordinated . 5. op. a literary theory and move­ ment that developed in France in the 1970s.ist students of Lacanian psychoanalysis. see Ariel Salleh's EcoFemi"ism as Politics (1997). For a discussion of feminist thought on the body. as if by an alien force. never conveyed the magnitude of the attack to which the male body was subjected with the advent of capitalism. 219-224). Brnidotti (1991) 219. cit. and the products of their work as to become dominated by them 4.

s olle oJ II.cir kllow/edge oj ri.e properties oj herbs . 1385.e secrets they l!llt/ded dO/III/ from gellemtion to geru:ratioll. Itllfilm. H1mlctl ill the Middfe Ages ofietl kept gflfdells. c. 17. . UlIII:rc they grew medical "eros.HtOmall carryillg a Ixuket ofspinach.

From the vantage point of this struggle. we can also see that capitalism was not the �roduct of an evolutionary developmem bringing forth economic forces that w'ere maturing destroyoo for capitalism to develop.e feudal lords. artisans.e old order.. 1524 does continue to exist. shook In the womb of d. d. Memory of its Error. -Pierre Dockes. the striving for liberation ..1t had emerged &om d." Capitalism d'a. and truly gave "all dlC world a big jolt. as it smalJ peasants.possibilities the coumer-revolution 21 . Medieval Slavery alld Liberatioll.ld Otl the Testi". widl their rich cargo of demands. -Thomas MUlltzer. the bishops and popes. and antagonistic practices. Opell Dellial o f tile False Beliif if the Godless 1MJ. Only if we evoke d.istetldom it. destroyed the possibilities th. and why their power had to be - A history of women and reproduction in the "transition to capitalism" must begin with the merchants. The surplus labor There is no denying that. Capitalism was the response of d. day laborer> waged against feudal power in all its fonns... Presented to Miserable and Pitiful Ch. after centuries of struggle. But the change in the conditions of exploitation is not in my view negligible .� in dle cnd..e patrician \vas their PO\\lCr.Only its form has changed. and the downtrodden will rise.All the World Needs a Jolt Social Movements and Political Crisis in Medieval Europe All the world must sufe f r a bigjolt. What is important is the hismry. can we under­ stand the role that women had in the crisis of feudalism .mty o f the Gospel o f Luke. t 982 I I n t r o d u c t ion struggles that the European medieval proletariat was by the three-century-long persecution of the WItches.ese struggles. to a centuries-long social conflict d13..There will be such a game tim the ungodJy will be thrown off their seacs.e anti-feudal struggle . exploitation extracted here and there by the masters of tocby's world is not smaller in proportion to the toral amount af labor than the surplus extracted long ago. social and political aspirations.

until the 14th century. which. The struggle against feudal power also produced the first organized attempts to challenge the dOlninant sexual norms and estabHsh more egalitarian rela­ tions between women and men. for despite their defeat. Instead of the heavenJy kingdom. - --- .. of socia1life has not yet been dispelled. however." and the extension of state control over every aspect of reproduction. the focus of anti-feudal struggJe. war.This chapter searches for some answers to this question.the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.ich was the domjnant class relation in feudaJ society and.. demonstrating that another world was possible. as represented in Albrecht Durer's famous print . Tills much must be stressed. At their best. if realized. if we concern ourselves only with the classic terrains of class struggle . These were not negligible. while exam­ ining how the relatiolu between women and men and the reproduction onabor-power were redefined in oppositon to feudal rule. the attempts that the medieval proletariat made to "turn the world upside down" must be reckoned with. these conscious forms of social transgression constructed a powerful alternative not only to feudalism but to the capitalist order by which feudalism it was was replaced. they called for an egalitar­ ian social order based upon the sharing of wealth and the refusal of hierarchies and author­ itarian rule. It is in the course of the anti-feudal struggJe that we find the first evidence in European history of a gr.and ignore the new visions of social life and the transformation of gender relations which these conflicts produced. they put the feudal system into crisis and. .I . How the history of women intersects with that of capicalist development can_ not be grasped. and above all unearth some of the reasons why in the 16th and 17th centuries the extermination oCthe "witches.labor services.." as they could not have succeeded without "a radical reshaping of the social order" (HiltOn.true harbingers of the new capitalist era.These \. 1973: 223-4). Carnine. Reading the "transition" from the viewpoint of the anti-feudal struggle of the Middle Ages also helps us to reconstruct the social dynamics that lay in the back­ ground of the English Enclosures and the conquest of the Americas. and urging us CO question why not realized. I Serfdom as a Class Relation While the anti-feudal struggles of the Middle Ages cast some light on the development of capitalist relations. The social struggles of the Middle Ages must also be remembered because they wrote a new chapter in the history of liberation. 22 . became the cor­ nerstones of printitive accumulation.vere to remain utopias. and death . Nevertheless._ .ce will remain hidden unless we frame them in the broader context of the history of serfdom. whose advent was prophesied in the preaching of the heretics and millenarian movements. their own political significan. wage races. rents and tithes . they were "genuinely revolutionary.assroOtS women's movement opposed to the established order and contributing to the construction of alternative models of conununal life. what issued from the demise of feudalism were disease. Combined with the refusal of bonded labor and COm­ mercial relations. for the belief that capitalism "evolved" from feudalism and represents a higher fom._-- . wh. in their time. might have spared us the immense destruction of lives and the narural envi­ rorunent mat has marked the advance of capitalist relatioru worldwide.

e feudal The most important aspect of serfdom. (rusticus..� soilfor sowing.D. on which the economy of imperial Rome had been built. viJIallus) would be synonymous with As a work relation and a juridical status. who.serfdom was an enonnous burden. their persons and possessions were their masters' property and their lives were ruled in every respect by the law of the manor.. serfdom redefined the class relation in temlS more favorable CO the workers.! At the same time. 23 . although at the COSt of their independence. Nevertheless. while slavery was never completely abolished. in order to stem their revolts. from the viewpoint of the changes it inn'O­ du ced in the master-servant relation. On cl. "peasant" "serf" (servus) (Pirenne. the sem were subjected to the law of the lord. fiI. the landlords began to subjugate the free peas­ al1[S. me landlords had to grant the slaves the right to have a plot of land and a fa.ulSgre iollS were judged 011 willch slavery had relied. Thus. In exchange for the work which they were bound to do on the lords' on the basis of "customary" agreements and. It was me result of two related phenomena. English ".1956: 63). between the 5th and 7th cemuriesA.� serfs. By the 4th century. even of a peer-based jury system.inituurr. the bUrllln&".''us lll�joundtlliotl oj Serfdom developed in Europe.mily of their own.oflife in the "1I.ri"g tI.tll� power of tl.III{a. the crucifixions) estates. in the Roman territories and the new Germanic states. but their tr. a new class relation developed that homogenized the conditions of former slaves and free agr icultural workers (Dockes 1982: 151). in time. placing all the peasantry in a subordinate condition. Serfdom marked the end of gang-labor. Accm 10 Illlfd .2 and a lessening of the atrocious punislmlents (the iron coUars.The serfS were bonded to the landlords. turned to the lords for protection. so that for three cen­ turies (from the 9th to the 11th). is that it gave the sem direct access to the meallS of thei r reproduction. 1340. and pre­ vent their flight to the "bush" where maroon cOl1ununities were forming at the mar­ gins of the empire. ruined by the expansion of slave-labor and later the Germanic invasions. Fanll�rs prept.in response to the breakdown of the slave system.

..� ... the exploitation of labor always depended on the direct use of force. d.As Pierre Dockes points out in Medieval Slavery and Liberation (1982). This is why . Despite the prevalence of col­ lective forms of work and collective "contracts" with the landlords. lakes. the medieval village was not a community of equals.vage on tile lord's demesne. having the effective use and possession of a plot of land meant that the serfS could always support themselves and. and despite the local character of the peasant economy.. Shaha! 24 . and should not be ide­ alized as an example of conununalism. rich and poor peasants.ltion. even at tile peak of their confrontations with the lords. timber for building. to all effects.I . the lord could throw recalcitr:lnt seru off the land.• The medieval servile community fell short of these goals..6 Women were also excluded from the offices to which the better-off male peasants were appointed.. As established by a vast documentation coming from every country orwestern Europe... the sern received a plot of land (mansus or '. can be the substance of social relations.. and pass down to their children "like a real inheritance.... they could not easily be forced co bend because of the fear of st:lrv. grazing grounds for animals) and fostered com­ munity cohesion and cooperation (Birrell 1987:23). as they could now dedicate more time to their reproduction and negotiate the extent of their obligations.. H'" .. given the difficulty of recruiting new laborers in a fairly closed economy and the collective nature of peasant struggles. though there: were many cases of women who inherited it and managed it in their name. from the Mexican and Russian revolutions to the contempo­ rary struggles against land privatization .. J . peasants with secure land tenure and land­ less laborers working for a .l n fact. So important were the "conunoos" in the political econ­ omy and struggles of the medieval rural population that tlleir memory stiU excites our .y and improved tlleir living conditions..) The experience of self-reliance wllich the peasants gained from having access to land also had a political and ideological potential.. control over these resources even provided the basis for the development of communal self-adnlin­ istrations (Hilton 1973: 76).as Marx noted . and.. imagination. � land (the demesne)... tllis arrangement increased the serfS' 3utonom.S Land was usually given to men and tr:lnsmitted dlrough the male lineage..." .. there were many social differences within the peasantry that separated free peasants and those of servile status.that provided crucial resources for the peasant economy (wood for fuel. . forests. by simply paying a succession due" (Boissonnade 1927: 134). "Land to the tilIe.. In Northern Italy... wild pastures . Most important.. This was nOt the case with the serfS on the feudal manors.ide) which they could use to support themselves. But the strength of the "villeins" stemmed from the fact chat access to land was a reality for them.the demand that has echoed through the 20th century.e seru began to look at the land they occupied as their own. itS example reminds us that neither"com­ munalism" nor "localism" can be a guarantee of egalitarian relations unless the com­ mUluty controls its means of subsistence and all its members have equal access to them.is a battle cry which the medieval serfS would have certainly recognized as their own....on the feudal manor. In time.meadows. and to view as intolerable the restrictions that the aris­ tOCr:lCY imposed on their freedom. and women and men. instead of being treated like chattel subject to an unconditional rule. but this \Va< r:lrely done. fishponds. projecting the vision of a world where goods can be shared and solidarity rather than desire for self-aggrandizement. With the use of land also came the use of the "conIDlOos" .. T rue. they had a second-class status (Bennett 1988: 18-29.

cooking. in some areas even clauning the ius primae "Ollis the right to sleep with a serf's wife on her - wedding night. xcept for those of the courts in which the serfs' transgressions differentiated from less kin. and tried to control every aspect of possession ed daim to marriage and sexual behavior. and keeping an herb garden. however. socially. determined by the struggles which dleir conullUltities fought agaillSt the land­ lords. and psychologically. the ir It was the lord who commanded women's work and social relations. and women not only worked on it but could dispose of the produc[S of their labor. at all times. massified. and were less subserviem to men's needs th e m ec" women were to be later in capitalist society. in addition to raising children.� were recorded. the revolt of the peasantry against the landlords had ecollle endentic. The authority of male serfS over their female relatives was further lim­ . and tending to animals on dle commollS) were done in cooperation with other women. when housework would cease to be viewed as real work. of isolation. their domestic activities were not devalued and did not involve different social relations from those of men. was a source of power and protection for women. we then realize that the sexual divison of labor. male their on less dependent were serfS female ss. taking it again in both his name and that of his wife" (Hanawalt 1986b: 155). since work on the servile farm was organized on a subsistence basis. were a static reality. Women worked in the fields. and frequently armed.ct that the land was generally given to the fantily unit. who fact that over dle of the serfS' persons and property. despite the fact that dle Church preached women's submission to men. spilllting. than "Cr Women's dependence on men within the servile cOllununity was limited by dle 1983). the organizational strength 29 . all work contributed to the family's sustenance. as if it familial ones. However. deciding. for instance.8 For dle power of women and their relations with men were. ited by the f . washing. In the feu­ dal vil1age no social separation existed between the production of goods and the repro­ duction of the work-force. and the changes dlat these struggles produced in the master-servant relation. far from being a source his wife. over If we also take into account dlat in medieval society collective relations prevailed harvesting. the sexual division of labor in it was less pronounced and less discrim.ic Law sanc­ tified the husband's right to beat The position of women on the feudal manor cannot be treated. rthelc eve physically.inating than in a capitalist farm. and most of dle tasks that female serfS performed (washing. work from lives. and Canon. audlOrity of their husbands and fadlers prevailed that of the lords. in a money-economy. It was the basis for an inte nse female sociality and solidarity that enabled women to stand up to men. The partnership of the wife in land posses­ sion was so well understood in England that "lw]hen a villein couple married it was common for the man to come and turn the land back to the lord. �Y I The S t r u g g l e on t h e Commons the end of the 14'" century. spinning. This perhaps is why their names are rarely mentioned in the manorial registers.7 Further more. whether a widow should remarry and who should be her spouse. as they would later. and did not have to depend on their husbands for support.

as evinced by this reconunendation: Le[ <he bailiff and [he messor. who had been busy in the morning.that the peasancs demonstrated in tllis period was the Outcome of a long con£lict tl13t. 1955: 35-91. bo<h on <he lay and ecclesiastical estl[es. Most frequently. as labor services were also called. These two aspects of servile Struggle were closely connected. be all <he time wi<h 'he ploughmen. in 13th. on certain days of <he week. <he scm had [0 carry ou' on <he land of [he lords." (c. pursued even by appeal to the royal court (Hanawalt 1986a: 31). the most importaJlC terrain of servile suuggle was the work that. Contrary to the schoolbook POrtrait of feudal society as a static world. Hil[on. a challenge <hat could result in a bitter litigation. Hanawal[ 1986a: 32-35). when the villagers killed the bailiff or attacked their lord's castle. and beside the bailiff must oversee all. so <hat <he crops would spoil. which allowed them to avoid the onerous taxes <hat ti. the evidence speaks for a "massive wi<hdrawal" of labor (Hil. 1985: 158-59). As the records of the EngJish manorial courts indicate. Thus. and a[ [he end of [he day see how much they have done . in which each estate accepted ics designated place in the social order. the medieval village was [he <heater of daily warfare (Hilton 1966: 154. A[ times. as many obligations issued from <he scm'legal sta­ rus. or grind their grain. <his reached moments of great tension. more or less openly.. Hence the lords' need for conscant and close supervision and vigilance. or tI. A similar siruation is portrayed in Piers Plol"m. 'hey do <heir work well and <horoughly. it consisted of an endless litigation. where in one scene the laborers. further it is necessary that they are overseen often. tha. [0 see [ha.e lords imposed for [he usc of these facilities (Bennett 1967: 130-31. Coulton. William Langland's allegorical poem. The main objective of <he scm was [0 keep hold of <heir surplus-labor and prod­ ucts and broaden the sphere of their economic and juridical rights. where the penalties imposed on the tenants were recorded. These "labor services" were the burdens that most inunediately afe f cted the serfS' lives and. transpires through the entries in the books of the manorial courts.on 1985: 130-31)." and reduce the many trib­ utes which they owed them in exchange for tile use of the land (Bennett. however.9 The serfs' attitude towards the {OOO.The tenants would neither go nor send their children to work on the land of the lords when sununoned at harvest time. Peasants were also fined for refusing CO bake their bread at the oven of the lords. <hey work well and if [hey do nO[ do well.10 or they would go '0 'he fields '00 late. tak­ ing long breaks and generally maintaining an insubordinate attitude. through the 13t1l century. let <hem be reproved (Bennett 1967: 113). However. by which the serfs tried to limit the abuses of the lords.And because customary servallCS neglect their work it is necessary to guard against their fraud. they were the central issue in the servile struggle for freedom. male peasants were frequently fined for claiming [hat <hey were not sem but free men.. fix their "burdens.cenrury England. or olives at dleir mjlls. By the mid 13 th century. 26 . ran through the Middle Ages. 1362-70). 1967...ey worked sloppily. Dockes 1982: 176-79). the picture tllat emerges from a swdy of the feudal manor is rather that of relentless class struggle.

S. in 1280. .000 remained. Similarly. ru Also the obligation to provide military services at \""'3. the merrheta (a tax on marriage that increased when a serf married someone from another manor). were rife in the medieval village. more than 3.he waters and the meadows" (Hilton.. increasingly the king of the wave.rtlm e was strongly re5lstedO. that or other bene6a. These were no idle threats. idle people flocked in at assed the afternoon sitting and singing time seeking "no deed to do. (Scott 1989: 5) These "everyday forms of resistance. These included the manomorta (a tax which of the deceased). dissimulation. again and again. a sum of money arbitrarily decided.600 could be mustered and this "was the crest ord ered to enlist in June. a village ofYorkshire. the scm of Hedon. which the serfS considered a collective property.. but usually coUected by the lords in the clergy's nanle. Exemplary are the pay-roUs of campaign of the year 1300. they would rather go to live in the nearby towns of tillage. in another one. which indicate that while 16... after pocketing their pay. 1973: 71). a deceased serf for the right to gain entry CO his holding. they revealed all the arbitrariness of feudal power. . . these taxes "against narure and freedom" were the scm of d. . including woods." and. Last but not least was the tithe. Another source of con£lict " _ the serfs declared in a mid 1 2lh-century English chronicle -"and take what we want.e tallage was not abolished.. and. they were stren­ 1299. for which subjugated peasants have been famous in all times and places: "fo OCt dragging. let it be understood that. "men are reported to be fUgitives.: 295-96). we'll have our will in the woods. on some English manors. without which no adequate account of class relations is pos­ . the town continues to shelter them. PI � rvest . 'J 967: To these forms of open confrontation we must add the manifold. invisible forms of resistance. so that. hills. a viUages. and no tallage" (ibid. had to rely on pardoned criminals and oudaws IncdievaJ and.: 141). false compliance. feigned ignorance. 139). declared that "they would rather go down to hell than be beaten in this matter of uously resisted..000 recruia had been . but to drink and to sleep" (COU]eoll 1955: 87). smuggling. the from the jurisdictional power of the nobility. pilfering." they bought their freedom from it (Bennett. SIb le.he Scot tish by mid July only 7.. poaching . in Revensered and Hull"which have good turbou" growing daily. conunander rarely managed to keep his men at war. Thus.e monks of Dunstable who..ity. "after much controversy. and although order is given dlat they be brought back."[W]e can go to the woods . take fish from the fish pond. Bemlert reports. Typical was the attitude of the most resented among the feudal dues. and game from the forestS. byAugust little ro bolster his army (Bennett 1967: 123-25). a tenth of the peasant income. that the was exacted by the clergy. and dwelling in the neigllboring towns. force was always needed .dcsc rted at the first opportun.."As a result.The flight w the city or townll was :ll constant component of servile struggle. the lIlJlage. usually consisting of the best beast heriot (an inheritance tax paid by the heir of lords could exact at will. English the in recruit t� �d a H.. lakes. the mOSt bitter struggles were those agail15t the taXeS and burdel15 that issued the lord levied when a serf died). This may explain the meticulousness with which the servile burdens were speci6ed in the manorial records: 27 . for those who enlisted was the use of non-cultivated lands. (ibid. Still... for nO[ being compensated by any allomlentS of land Together with the labor service. desertion. worst of all. if d." stubbornly carried on over the years.

money taXes) that placed However. must be accepted if it is mature enough to pluck grass without loosing its balance and sitting down ignomin­ iously (Coulton 1955: 74-75). co". if frightened she has the strength to fly or scramble over. In some areas ofCermany. she is fit. With tllis momentous development. harrow it with his own horse and sack . The "invention of traditions" was was an object a common practice in the con­ fromation between landlords and peasants. 131h cenrury. the most important resolution of the master-serf conlliCt was the the feudal relation on a more contracrual basis." that is to sell goods at the local market and. thus eliminating or reducing the possibility of arbitrary arrests and other abuses (Hilton 1973: 75). again. and established rules for juridical proceedings. at times. Servile duties and rights were regulated by"customs. rthe manorial records] often do nOt say simply that a man must plow. but maintained that they were not bound in custom to load it into carts to be carried from the first place to the second (Homans 1960: 272). Between 1177 and 1350. in Loraine alone. the first outcome of the servile struggles was the concession to many villages (particularly in Northern Italy and France) of "privileges" and "charters" that fixed the burdens and granted "an element of autonomy in the running of the village conmlU­ niry"providing.� mutation of labor services with money payments (money rents. where the dues included yearly donations of eggs and poultry. the bailiff must accept her. in order to prevent the serfs from hancling down to the lords the worst among their chickens: The hen (then) is placed in front of a fence or a gate.: 83). sow and harrow one acre of the lord's land.. 280 charters were conceded (ibid. These charters stipu­ lated the fines that were to be meted out by me manorial courts. for true forms of local self-government. the right to alienate land. A gosling.. towards the middle of the them down in writing. '" We must remember the carmen ofEhon who admit­ ted that they were bound to stack the lord's hay in his meadow and again in his barnyard. as both would try to redefine them or for­ get them. Such minute regulations testify [0 the difficulty of enforcing the medieval"social contract..They also lightened the sem' duty to enlist as soldiers and abolished or fixed the tallage. tests of fitness were devised. when the lords put I Liberty and Social Division Politically. They say he must plow it with so many oxen as he has in his plow."and the variety of bamefields available to a combative tenant or village. often they granted the "liberty" to "hold stallage. Services (too) were remembered in minute detail."but their interpretation too of much dispute. serf- 28 .For instance. more rarely. until a time came.

" landJess or almost landless peasantS who earned their living by hiring out their services . . they little the even lost survival their or f t barely sufficien harvests." lived entirely by "selling" the strength of their arms (bras) and made it more difficuJt for the producers to measure their exploitation. so that. their lose to many mat eventually caused rural areas deep­ mutations spread throughout Western Europe. not coincidentally. In Southern France the life by tending to flocks . lIl. ' or the lords lessthe road CO econOllUC and personal mdepcndence. First. it as differentiate between the work that they did f or themselves and that which they did f or the landlords. but. tracts large possessing who. f on a great step control over their tenants when they no longer depended directly on their :IS ned their e few a only acres of land possessed who peasants poorer of jority ma work. peasants o the well-to-do T numbers or'gJrdeners. 1 2 increase in the number of impoverished peasants. But their effects Were destructive and divisive. conullucation too co-opted the goals of the struggle. .and part of the peasantry Gercmek writes: Thirteenth-cenrury documents contain increasing amounts of infor­ the margins of village mation about "landless" peasants who manage to eke out a living on ctically ended. But the Compelled to pay their had. and even personal f reedom (Sinunel 1 9(0). functlomng as a ri . 924 f1). . "in a further development. then. r-ationality. social divisions in the ofproletariallizatioll. of the f o gi ns of social division and contributing to the disintegration mea earn enough could afland. demands. the peasants couJd no longer soon as exploit other workers. As Bronislaw process a underwent ened. contrary t o what is claimed by supporters of the market economy." turning uthe old self -employing possessors of the land" into a capitalist tenant (Marx 1909:V ol. values certainly changed. One finds increasing hiring themselves out to richer peasantS or landed gentry. com­ 13th when the by result. who appear in these "bros. From the beginning of the f ourteenth century the tax registers show a marked documentS as "indigentS. to 29 . uture f a process against borrowing debt. even among the clergy. who welcome it as the creation ofa new :'conunon" replacing land-bondage and introducing in social lif e the criteria of ob jectiv­ revise its views concerning the redeeming quality of charity to the poor." "poor men" or even " beggards" (Geremek 1994: 56) . like many workers'''victories'' which only in part sa�sfy the dam pra . and by producing a mass of poor people who could survive only on the basis of periodic donations (Geremek 1994: 56-62). cluoruc into went they dues in money. . did not benefit aU people. . With the spread of monet<lry The monetization o feconomic life.T o the relations. a As land.i"". who began to reconsider the AristOtelian doctrine of the "sterility of money" (Kaye 1998) and. because The conunutation to money-rem had two other negative consequences. ConmlUration also made it possible f or the now-f ree tenants to employ and independent peasam property. the labor-services were conulluted into money payments." it promoted "the growth of 'ty. . nal eudal village. conullutation must have appeared money to "buy . Money and the market began to split the peasantry by trans­ f Orming income diff erences into class diff erences.their blood" and employ other laborers. cenrury.

jected. Frt!tlcl.. and the new discriminatory niles (e. they were f urther excluded f rom land pos­ session. they were leading the movement away from the country. starting in the were sub social status in the same period. hucksten. women f ormed a large percentage of the population of the cities. Degraded by [he Church. 151h (Cltury. and the steady deterioration of their legal and dis­ placemem of the Jews by Christian competitors. In the rural areas. 13 However. who often vented On them 1992: 76). especially when single or widowed. in f act. being the most numerous among the rural 1985: 212). rerail [raden. and by the 15th cenrury. most of them uved in poor Con­ ditions... (often fined f or lack of a license). in all classes.g.growing influence of money we must also attribute the systematic attack to which JeW!. holding low-paid jobs as maids. As a result. living in the urban centers. women lost their right to inherit a third of their hus­ tertia} . as moneylenders to Kings. was W omen.. the wearing of distinctive clothing) that were adopted by the clergy against them. There is. City laws did not free women. among the most combative part of the medieval population. were most negatively aff ected by the increasing com_ mercialization oflife. popes and the higher clergy. as well as their expulsion from England and France. spinsters. gave them a new social autonomy. and prostitutes. and f orced to confine their moneylending (one of the few occupations available to them) to the vil_ their anger against the rich (Barber lage level. Here./tISOtlS (OtlStn4(titlg a city wal/. 30 . In the Italian commercial towns. members of the lower guilds. a revealing correlation between the 1 2th cenrury. by the inmugrants to the towns (Hilton 13th century. f or their access to property and income bands' property (the further reduced by it. theJews became an easy target f or indebted peasants. further separ-ned by [he Christian population. tOO. few could afford to buy the "cicy Female .

in the city ordinances regulating prostirution (Henriques 1 966) .ompanied by the spread .omen played in the heretic m. and they tell us a story .ociety: prostitutes.of the Crusades.owed the armies (Hacker 1981). f men. sev­ �nry-[WO out of eighty-five guilds included women among their members.onfines th l11an. in the rec.only .oct. urban and rural day laborers {N.omen Jewish as well as d.ominant in .ovements.on-c. either in the pay . tutelage male [0 ion bordinac ten sharing their ities. Female d.of fice it t. and retailers (Shahar 1983: 1 8�200.ons.ors . ined access to many occupations thac later would be considered male CT.ombatants wh. .o sc. all dle wretched . among the th. in me new popwar m.The traces of the millenar­ lans' brief apparition . already pro jected beyond the c.of f eudal s.of the millenarian In. 14 By the 1 4th century. towns.on. In England.ous backlash m. ��9 1 : 64--(7).of the heretics.of city g. of orm new commun n as heads of famili es.ompanied the launching . Not surprisingly. The significance of their rebelli. Some guilds. bs. the rise . candlestIck mak­ medieval the ." I The M i l l e n a r i a n and t h e H e r e t i c Movements It was the growing landless proletariat which emerged in the wake .onse to the new f misogyn.or the breeches. ale-brewers.oyment was as including silk-making.ovements.of theJ abJiaux.rOcipated between 1 300 and 1 500" (Williams and Echols 2000: 53).others. ulati. Here suf­ a J 978). W e will see later the role that w. wool-carders. is dlat it inaugurated a new type .olteachers .nanis m was acc. �ut in the city. or could ( I SU I .o practiced e began to be rec.'5 freedom. and ab.orting them­ /' introduced in the 13th century .ones wh. women worked as Sl1uths. as well as midwives .or eye therapy .overnments . 111 0 b f ers poorest the mcm usually While women. were dominated by them.ons . Colm 1981).o bec.omen gained m.ore auton.Cohn 1 970).ons. and of a peasantry brutilized by poverty and by the clergy's inllanunatory preach­ that acc. we see the beginning .overished peasants.on the hiscorica1 scene are scanty.ofpublic health-care. other with � dwellings .oll.f emale .orded As w.orians have defined as "the struggle f.or sageJ were d. live now could they as was reduced.ompete with university-trained emale empl.octors.ofsh. \:.of the priests wh. there were approximately 200 occupations in which women .ounce th.ovements. especially that . igh reputati.o f .ost evident i n the satires .ofstruggle.omy.on. Sixteen f emale d.or supp.on they received from their patients.op­ selves w i th the c.o say dlat.were hired in the 1 4th century w.l omc Vol'omen b. w.o c. in which We find .obstetrics were dle . In )0 hal-makers. }{jng ' .on that Was rhe protag.of Frankfurt which. C U dre urba l society.ofprophecies and apocalyptic visi.of C. bakers. defiucked priest<.ong them several men . M ter the Caesarian cut w-as emmes.ofmil­ � ellCl.ofthe tribunals where they went to den.on a system .olTUllutati. oWever. more frequendy: in the senll. beside imp. " ln Frankfurt.ons to total change. gaining at times a h specialized in surgery .ose wh.oming sch.of that as h hig by the municipality .ons announc- 31 .of n. and were beginning t.ort-lived � n g �f revolt<.e were called.omen the privileges connected with city lif .of what hist. like other city administrati.olded their indiscipline (Casagrande (S. in .ompensati.ove all.offered its p.o.or and stimwated by aspirati.omen were als. where we find dle first traces ." as their WIth or alone.onist (in the 12th and 1 3th centuries) . in resp.o abused them emale independence.octors and surge. their presence i n s.ocial lif i[ (Opi[z 1996: 370-7 1 ) .am. .ousands. butchers.ords .obstetrics.

spread in several countries in 1260. there are significant diff erences between the two movements. Usually a specific event or a charismatic individual spurred them on. A processiotl cljjltlgdl(lIIts dllri'lg the BIt.ing the end ofthe world and the inuninence ofthe LastJudgment. a herm be the popular Baldwin IX who had been killed in Constantinople in 1 204. but his prolnise of a new world provoked a civil war in which the Flemish textile workers became his most ardent supporters (Nicholas 1992: 155). starting from Umbria (Italy).peasants and urban workers who swept through Northern France around 1 2 5 1 . but while a precise dis­ tinction cannot be drawn. according to the prophecy of the abbot Joachim da Flora.ism are of ten treated as one subject.The man. but popular heresy that best eudal rela­ expressed the search by the medieval proletariat for a concrete alternative to f tions and its resistance to the grow ing money-economy.This co uld not be proven. burning and pillaging the houses of the rich. but as impending events in which Buny now living could take active part" (Hilton 1973: 223). demanding a betterment of their condition 1 5 - and the movement of the Flagellants that. The millenarian movements were spontaneous.These poor peo­ ple (weavers. presumably convinced that he to give them silver and gold and was going full social reform (Volpe 1922: 298-9). the world was supposed to end (Russell 1 972a: 137). had claimed to ance of the Pseudo Baldwin in Flanders in 1 224-25. however. fullers) closed ranks around him. 32 .ck De(lth. A typical example of millenarianism was the movement sparked by the appear_ it. " not as visions of a 1110� or less distant furure to be awaited. Heresy and millenarian. It was not the millenarian movement. without an organizational struc­ ture or program. Similar to this movement were those of the Pastoreaux (shepherds) . the date when.

and saf e-houses . Lambert erocity with which they were persecuted by the Church. because of its greed. It denounced social hierarchies. and to benefit f rom a wide support netwotk made ofcontacts. Not surprisingly. The Poor or more than three centuries flourished among the Spirituals. private prop­ olutionary conception of society that. aspiring to a radical democratization of social life. France. Apostolics) that f of Lyon. the biggest landowner in Europe. heretics were burned at the stake. the dissemination of their ideas.orce they collapsed.) and the links they life. property." By the tJlOusands." However. At the root of popular heresy was the belief dm god no longer spoke through the cle rgy. posing the question of emancipation in truly universal terms. popular heresy was less a deviation from the orthodox doctrine than a protest Although influenced by Eastern religions brought to Europe by merchants and lent of "liberation theology" for the medieval proletariat. 18 Heresy was the equiva­ demands f or spiritual renewal and social justice. and one of the insti- upon which they could rely for help and inspiration in times of need.17 . redefined every aspect of daily life (work. The heretic movement also provided an alternative conullullity structure that had an international dimension. it is no exaggeration to say that the heretic movement was the first "proletarian international"­ Such Was the reach of the sects (particularly the Cathars and Waldens". Lea (among others) has shown. 33 .inated among the people a new.schools.This is largely due to the f ort to erase every trace of tJleir doctrines. enabling the members of the sects to lead a more autonomous erty and tJle accumulation of wealth. as they were called to liberate the Holy Land from the "infidels. and they were well-organ­ reinterpreted also that ram prog ocia1 m the viewpoint of their reproduction. despite the extreme -def ir self even the to which they were subjected. the heretic move­ soon as they were met by f btl t as a new society. and the position of women). they had a long duration. sexual reproduction. as Charles H. The main heretical sects had a create to attempt conscious a l was 111C lt the religious tradition. crusaders. i n his monumental history of the persecution of heresy. It gave a frame to peoples' movement. and to eradicate tJleir presence the Pope created one of the most perverse insti­ auchez tutions ever recorded in the history of state repression: the Holy Inquisition (V 1990: 1 62-70) . in what undoubtedly was the classes" wer " lo most important opposition movement of the Middle Ages (Werner 1974. for the first time in the Mjddle Ages. pilgrimages. challenging both the Church and secu­ lar authority by appeal to a rugher truth. Thus the two major se ts � presented themselves as the "true churches.j Nevertheless. By contrast. and � Ized fro ense. in Italy. since to challenge the Church was to conf � U ront at once [he I eo1ogi cal pillar off eudal power. rev­ established among tJlemseives with the help ofcOI1U11ercial f airs. Crusades . Waldenses. I 977). Indeed.were called against the heretics. and tJle con­ Stant bOrd er-crossing of refugees generated by the persecution. corruption and scandalous behavior. and Germany. and they played a crucial role in the anti­ pC"ecu cion le. and it dissem. littJe is known about the many heretic sects (Cathars.like the one which spared no eff moved against the Albigensians l6 . the heretics' challenge was narily a political one. the Flanders. we can f orm an impressive picture of their activities and creeds and the role of heretical resistance in the anti-f eudal struggle (Lea 1888). even on the basis of tJle linlited records available to us. f eudal strugg Today.

to punish his peasant tenants who ref used to pay the tithes. indulgences and religious offices. ern with an iron fist and fill its coffers by endless means of extortion.cutions mOSt responsible f or the daily exploitation of the peasantry. they were nO[ only hanged as rebels but were burned by the Inquisition as heretics (N. however. and that if the Church wanted to regain its spiritual power it should divest itself f rom all its possessions. like apostles. frauds and nothing and. is best expressed in the words ofJohn Ball. the propagation o fthe heretical doctrines not only channeled the contempt that people f elt f or the clergy. There are also records of f emale weaven being threatened with exconununication f or not having delivered promptly the prod­ uct of their work to the merchants or not having properly done their work (V olpe. from the Emperor to the urban patricians.vas practices from the pope to the village priest.. Even the communion became an occasion f or a bargain. were common ity. whose invention had been f or the clergy a source oflucre through paid masses and the sales of indulgences. symbols . tions.should be discarded because only inner belief mattered. the Church used the charge of heresy to attack every f orm of social and political insubordination. and denied the existence of Purgatory. \. lived on donated alms. f or whom the establishment of equaliry ments among the sects.. it gave them confidence in their views and insti­ gated their resistance to c1erical exploitation. like the Poor of Lyon and the Brethren of the Free Spirit. By the 1 1 th century . They also taught that the sacraments were not valid when administered by sinful priests.icated. In 1 234. and maki ng of all sacraments a market. They also exhorted people not to pay the tithes. But heretics were persecuted also by the secular authorities. Taking the lead from the New T estament. Others supported themselves by manual labor. the Bishop of Bremen called a crusade against them "as though they were heretics" (Lambert 1992: 98). Selling absol u. The social content of heresy." and he described them as walking baref oot. I n this context. the intellectual oaths. 1971: 31). Many heretics shared the ideal of apostolic povertyl9 and the and conununal ownership were as important as religious ref orm. In 1377.21 Ofthe Waldenses toO an Inquisitor reported that Hthey avoid all f orms of commerce to avoid lies. so much so that the corruption of the and "[i]f an un just demand resisted the recalcitrant was exconunul1." like the early T aborites in Bohemia. holding all things in conmlon (Lambert 1 992: 64). when the cloth workers inYpres (Flanders) took amu against their employers. calling the faithful to church only co preach to them the sanctity of the tithes.20 Still others experimented with "com­ munism. dad in woolen garments. As Gioacchino V olpe points out. the heretics taught that Christ had no property. In turn. who realized that the heretic appeal to the "true religion" had sub­ versive implications and questioned the f oundations of their power. the Church had become a despotic power that used its alleged divine investiture to gov. owning 34 . and then had to pay f or reconciliation i n addition to the original sum" (Lea 1 96 1 : 1 1 ) . baptize or grant absolution &om sin unless it received some compensation. that the exterior f orms of worship . Cohn 1 970: 105). Some. Heresy it was was as much a critique of social hierarchies and economic exploitation as a denunciation of clerical corruption. the re jec­ tion ofall f orms ofauthority and a strong anti-commercial sentiment were common ele­ desire to retur n to the simple conullunal l if e that had characterized the prirnitive church . images.Th i ngs degenerated to the point that clergy became proverbial throughout Christian the clergy wouJd not bury the dead.buildings.

their condemnation of capital punishment (which provoked the Church's first explicit pronouncemem in support of the death penalty)23 and their toler­ ance for other religions. [here] a fusion ofCathar andJewish thought produced the Cabbala. both because they refused to kill animals and because they wished to avoid any f ood.a sect of iconoclasts who rejected procreation as the act by wh ich the soul is entrapped in the material world (Erbstosser 1984 : 1 3-14) .t). who proselytized in the 10th century among the peasantry of the Balkans. This negative attitude cowards natality has been attributed CO the influence exerted On the Cathars by Eastern dualist sects like the PauLicians . leader of the English Peasant Rising of 1381. also stand out as unique in the history ofEuropean social movemenes because of their abhorrence for war (includ­ ing the Crusades).." and added..and they ref used to have children nOt to bring slaves into this "land of tribulations.h. above all .. their stronghold before the cnlsade against the Albigensians.The Cathars also rejected marriage and procreation and were strict vegetarians. Southern France. the Cathars.e devil (for in the World of God the good would be the 6r.ere will be gendemen and villeins" (Dobson 1983: 371) . A popuJar movement "born amidst peas­ ants whose physical misery made conscious of the wickedness of th i ngs" (Spencer 1995b: 1 5). like eggs and meats. 1525. the Bogomils.and. the tradition ofJewish mysticism" (Spencer 1995b: 171).e visible world is the work of d. "Nothing will go well in E ngland . Nik/JI/fs Mmmef Deuu." as lif e on earth was called in one of their traces akefield and Evans 199 1: 457). but we are treated Like beasts.22 The most influential among the heretical sects. �w 3S . resulting f rom sexual generation. "was a safe haven for Jews when anti-sem itism in Europe was mounting.Pe(wmrs Illm g if monk who l/as sold ifldu/g(·'Ire5. the B ogomils preached that d. as long as d. who denounced that "we are made in the image of God.

- ---- . due to the limited availability ofland and the protectionist restrictions which the guilds placed on entrance into the craf ts.This is suggested by the f act that the Cathan' ity." i.. .I . and some scorned the importance wruch the Church assigned to chastity. As for the Cachars' attitude toward sexuality. the rule being"no land. arguing that it implied an overvaluation of the body. . as it is often the case with prulosoprues that despise lif e and the body. The threat which the seX­ ual doctrines of the heretics posed f or the orthodoxy must also be viewed in the con­ text of the eff orts which the Church made to establish its control over marriage and sexuality. and abortion. The sexual creeds of the Cathars were obviously a sophisticated elaboration of themes developed through the encounter with Eastern heretical religions. it is conceivable that in the sexual and reprodu ctive cocles of the heretics we may actually see the traces of a medieval attempt at birth control. theref ore. rather than abstaining from it. had to pract ice sexual absti­ nence or defy the Church's ban on sex outside of wedlock. even among O rthodox Christians. even treating it like a sacra_ (Christeria).. This would explain why. A large number of young people. Thus. neither f or the peasants nor f or the artisam W2S it possible or desirable to have many children. no marriage" (Homans 1960: 37-39). In other words. The most common method used to achieve this goal was the postponement of marriage. that f or at least two centuries. an event that. .. anal sex) came to be associated with heresy. the other members were not that while the "perf expected to practice sexual abstinence. ironicaJly.. a political climate was cre­ ated in Italy. and we can imagine that the heretical rejection of procreation must have f ound some resonance among them. whereby any f orm of contraception (including "sodomy.. which enabled it to place everyone . heret cuted both as extreme ascetics and as libertines. and Germany. France. came at a late age (if at all). when population growth became a major social concern.e. rather than frolll a "death-wish" or from contempt f or life. at a time of severe demographic crisis and labor shortage in the late 141h century. .. 36 . and preached that practicing sex. . . Women had an important place in the sects. . W e know that in medieval society..under its scrutiny and disciplinary rule. 1998: 72)." inf anticide. ment anti-natal i sm was not 3ssociated with a degraded conception of women and sexu al_ Some heretics attributed a mystical value to the sexual act. but the pop­ ularity they enjoyed and the influence they exercised on other heresies also speak of a wider experiential reality rooted in the conditions of marriage and reproduction in the Middle Ages. and. eff orts were made by peasant and artisan COI1Ullunities to control the num­ ber of children born among them. it seclllS ected" abstained f rom intercourse.. 24 and it ilar refusal of a life "degraded to mere survival" (V aneigem is likely chac the Cachan' avoidance of marriage and procreat ion stemmed ( ron") a sim. heresy became associated with reproductive crimes. but rather. This is not to suggest that the heretics' reproduct ive doctrines had a decisive demo­ graphic impact. . indeed. -. was ics were perse_ the best means to achieve a state of innocence. The influence of the Bogomils on the Cathars is weU-established. especially "sodomy.from the Emperor to the poorest peas­ ant . ..

and making sexu­ ality an ob ject of shame . .e lovers arr guided tllrollgll t/le street /jed to 37 . and actual deeds of sex to f 1989: 86-87). "sexuality was or conf ession. where the invested with a new significance .S""'�1IIf or adultrry. [It] became a subject f or discussion" Iltinu test details of one's most intimate bodily functions became a topic f and where "the diff erent aspects of sex were split apart into thought. magical powers by adopting a feminine dress.I The Pol i t i c i z at ion of S e x u a l i ty a state religion in the century).all these were the means by which a patriarchal caste tried to break the power of women and erotic attraction. From a 1296 mmlUSl'riptfrom Toulous�. were issued as (1 978). avoidance of holmess with women and sex.[ volume of his History ofSexuality 7th century. A privileged site for the reconstruction of [he Church's sexual canons are the Pellitentials. . TI. the handbooks that. the Church's attempt to regulate rhe pen cxu a1 behavior had a long history in Europe. trying [0 usurp Condren has pointed Ollt in Tilt SerpctJt (HId tlte Goddess ( 1 989). starting from the practical guides f or [he confessors. word. and persistentlY moment of the liturgy and from the administration of the sacraments. In this process.ity" (Condren invol untary urges. intention. In [he 6. ExpeUlIlg women from any ying ide ntif wOInen's lif e-giving. Foucault stresses the role that these handbooks played in the production of sex as dis­ course and of a more polymorphous conception of sexuality in the 1 71h cemu ry. the clergy recognized the �hristiani[Y became aJ desir gave vomen over men.. a study of As Mary etration of Christianity into Celtic Ireland. Pu". orm a science of sexual. From a very early period (after 41h tried to exorcise it by : pOwer that sex� � . But 111 the PenitenriaJs were already instrumental to the production of a new sexual discourse the Middle Ages.These works demonstrate that the Church attempted to impose a f'lJ(lI otller. Fmn«. .

with the HI Lateran Council 0( ual act were aJso reiterated... __ SQuame"" whose vows no powe r on __ orty years later.. preach. The heretics ear that share the same dwellings.27 Not surprisingly.. f 1 1 79.26 Then. the Church intensified its attack on "sodomy.25 and declared marriage a earth could dissolve. The unorthodox sexual choices of the heretics must aJso be seen. . non-procreative sex (Boswell 1981 : 277-86) .. in the 1 3th centu ry. outside of male control and without submitting to monastic rule (McDonnell 1954. already in the l(}1h cen- 38 . in the Church women were nothing.. minutely prescribing the positions permitted during intercourse (actually only one was allowed) .. . that influenced Dante's con­ ception of Beatrice (Taylor 1954: 1(0). then.. . and could enjoy a social lif e and mobility (wandering.. against the Church's effort to control sexual behavior. of new pantheist sects. preaching) that nowhere else was available to them in the Middle Ages (Volpe 1 97 1 : 20. and f or the first time it condemned hom(). Koch 1983: 247). Neel 1 989). (Spencer 1995a: 1 1 4). like the Amalricians and the Brethren of the Free Spirit who.I " " HIe. . and it is said of the Cathan that they worshipped a f emale figure. [he lim. . as an anti-authoritarian stand. but making of sexuality a state matter. that it is impossible f or us to sin." ... above all among the Cathars and WaJdenses.ines. the Lady ofThought. but here they were considered equal. It is reported that W aJdes split from the onho-­ doxy because his bishop refused to allow women to preach. preached that God is in all of us and.. A clear example of this anti-clerical rebellion was the rise.. they had the same rights as men. an attempt the heretics made to wrench their bodies from the grip of the clergy. true sexuaJ catechism. According to Gottfried Koch. the days on which sex could be practiced.... .. as in the agapic conununioes ofthe early Church. But already by the 1 2th century we see the Church not only peeping into the bedroom of its flock. .. women are present in the history of heresy as in no other aspect of medievai lif e (V olpe 1 97 1 : 20). � . A typical case was that of the Begu.At this time.. supporting themselves with their Jabor. W omen also f ormed their own conmluluoes. women had the right to adm. laywomen f rom the urban middle class who lived together (especially in Germany and Flanders). "" J .. with whom it was permissible. As Gioacchino V olpe put it. and with whom forbidden. Heretical women and men often li f reely together. since they did not f also allowed women and men to this would necessarily lead to promiscuous behavior. This sexuaJ supervision escalated in the 12th century when the Lateran Councils of 1 1 23 and 1139 launched a new crusade against the common practice of clericaJ fllar riage and concubinage. baptize and even acquire sacerdotal orders. like brothers and sisters.inister the sacraments. even if they were not married. I Woznen and Heresy One of the most significant aspects of the heretic movement is the high status it assigned to women. With the adoption of this repressive legislation sexuality was completely politicized.. consequently.itations imposed by the Penitentials on the se. We do not have yet the morbid obsession with which the Catholic Church later approached sexual matters." targeting at once gay people and sexuality ("the incontinence which is against nature'. .. In the heretical sects.

after the ritual question - f ornkate and wish to kill their offSpring. in the Decretum. prompted by the recognition that women may wish to limit their births mg the witch-hunt . W omn.At this time female heretics Female heretics are also present in the records of the Inqui sition. and they constituted a true women's move­ ment developing within the frame of the diff erent heretic groups (Koch 1983: 246-47). cOrJdettmed to be who gave rury they f ormed a large part of the Bogomils. act with their Have you done what some women are accuscomed CO do when they maleficia. that women did try CO control their reproductive func­ the heretics' "sexual revolution"? Or should we assume that the caU f or "f ree love" was a male ploy designed co gain easy access to women's sexual f avors? These questions are not (Noonan 1965: 155-61). it was again women came from the most humble ranks ofthe serfS. Thus. as ref erences to abortion and the use of contraceptives by women are nwnerous in the Penicentials.in view ofme future cr1m. of some we know that they were burned. In the 1 1 th century. written by Burchard. SignifiCiincly .inalization ofsuch practices dur­ easily answered. and 39 . life to the heretical movements in France and Italy. Iwd " lmgt presnra Heretic U'omm. Can we say that this large f emale presence in the heretic seces was responsible f or tion. b'4mtd. of others that they were "walled in" f or the rest of their lives. In the early Middle Ages. however.ill (Itt "trftiedl movemnll in t:VtrY roUIIlry. the Church still looked upon these practices with a cer­ tain ind ulgence. Bishop of Worms (circa 1010).contraceptives were ref erred to as "Sterility potions" or maleficia because of economic reasons.We know. and it was asswned that women were the ones who used mem.

as it did in the afternuth of the demographic catastrophe produced by the "Black Death. the sex. cobblers. Corresponding to this process.their herbs so that they kill or cut the embryo. The envirorunent in which it flourished was the rural and urban pro­ letariat: peasants. or whether she acted to conceal a crime of fornication" (ibid. contrive that they do not conceive? (Noonan 1 965: 1 60) . "There is not one conunune. but it was erence whether she is a poor little woman and also observed that "it makes a big diff acted on account of the difficulty of f eeding. death at the stake. and even the lesser nobility. grotesquely distoned in ways that anticipate the later representations of the witches' Sabbat. Its recruits came from all walks of life: the peasantry. destroyed more than one third of the European popula_ tion (Ziegler 1969: 230). between 1347 and 1352.. and of indulging in orgiastic rit­ uals. tion seemed to pose a threat to economic and social stability.).ent. if they have not yet conceived.none of these measures could underm ine the "immense vital­ ity and popularity" of the haeretiCil pra"itatis (heretic evil) (eli Stefano 1 950: 769). the unleashing of cru­ sades against heretics . as soon as womens' control over reproduc. This was not the end of the heretic movem.. with the attempt by the Anabaptists to set up a City of God in the German town of Munster. Here we can notice that. night flights and child sactifices (Russell 1 972). the confiscation of property. the town burghers." wrote James de Vitry at the beginning of the 1 3th century. however. Until then. excommu­ nication. in the Trento region (Northern ItalY) ' 40 ." Even after the 1 2 1 5 crusade against the Albigensialls. neither the fierce persecution nor the demonization of heresy could prevent the dissemination of heretic belief s. heresy (together with Islam) remained the main enemy and threat the Church had to f ace. so that. the fig­ ure of the heretic increasingly became that of a woman. "in which heresy does not have its supporters.it was stipulated that the guilty ones should do penance f or ten years. This crushed with a blood bath. 'he lower ranks of the clergy (who identified with the poor and brought to their struggles the language of the Gospel)." the apocalyptic plague that.: 776). ual aspeccs of heresy became more prominent in ics persecution. Its final consummation was came in 1533. We will see later what role this demographic disaster played in the "labor crisis" of the late Middle Ages. Things changed drastically. the main target of the persecution against heretics became the witch. its def enders and believers. f ollowed by a wave of merciless reprisals that aff ected prolerarian struggles all over Europe (po-chia Hsia 1 988a: 51-{j9). The Inquisitors also reported the existence of a sect of devil-worshippers called Lucif erans. by the beginning of me 1 5 lh century. torture. By the mid-1 4th century the Inquisitors' reports were no longer content with accusing the heretics the infamous of sodomy and sexual license. As Antonino di Stefano writes. which marked the transition from the persecution of heresy to witch-hunting. af ter the spread of the plague. We get a glimpse of the popularity of the heretics from the trials which the Inquisition was still conducting in the 1 330s. Now heretics were accused of animal worship. that destroyed the eathars' strongholds. But popular heresy was primarily a lower­ class phenomenon. however. and doth workers "to whom it preached equality. or. including bacium sub cauda (the kiss under the tail). f omenting their spirit of revolt with prophetic and apocalyptic predictions" (ibid.

or in the river. to provide a salutary example to the local population (Lea. as well as the growing mass of the urban poor. Thus. In the end. ost those who had given hospitality to the Apostolics. . as monks and preachers told the masses that a new era had come and that they were the equals of the aristocrats (ibid. Many burghers were ex-serfS who had moved or fled to the city in the hope of a better life.0. functioning as one power structure. Peasants and urban workers were also brought together by the f act that they were subjected to the same political rulers. they were def side by side . particularly at harvest time. since by the 13th century (especially in Northern and Central Italy). Dolcino himself was slowly driven among the mountain roads and gradually torn to pieces. and love. the peas­ ants in revolt had been joined by the craftsmen atYpres and Bruges: Bruges. by the end of 1324. agamst them (Lea 1961: orces the Church mobilized whebning superiority of the f amassed troops by the BIShop of the 6 1 5-20. ollowers shelter. already in revolt against the Bishop �[ed the crusades � nd ornese and Burnrd 2000). his f and ad opened to give Docmo ing. or by the sword. had passed through the area trurty years before (Orioli �1Ol . the (Piedmont).gou n. Margherita. and. the landed nobility and the urban patri­ cian merchants were becom ing assimilated. Their thoughts and desires were still prof oundly shaped by lif e in the village and by their continuing relationship CO the land. in the Middle Ages. Hilton 1973: 108). 1 993: 2 1 7-37).1 4). fighung women male attIre with In them the Bishop mounted agaInst the blockade eated o�Y by hl1�lger and by the over­ with men. On the day when heretics thousand perished in the eTcelli finally prevailed upon them. after the King of France and the Flemish nobility def eated the rebels at Cassel in 1 327. in the crue1est of deaths. Vercellese the of lci no set up a conunuluty among the mountams their supporc him gave ofVercelJi. "[t]he rebels' ability to continue the conflict for five years is conceivable ollly in the light of the city's involvment" (Nicholas 1992: 2 13-. At the '8" · . He adds that. Fra .1 4). This sit­ uation promoted among workers mutual concerns and solidarity. I · n t 304' when announcing the conting of a !t." used to ref she ion. many doors h . "more than a V 's compan­ Dolcino flames.: 2 13-. . continued to work the land. This was the case during the peasant revolt in maritime Flanders. First. . . whenever the peasants rebelled they f ound beside themselves the artisans and day laborers. ciJ1'IC 0f his com . was slowly burned CO death before his eyes because abju re.when their leader. 1961: 620). A war of propaganda direction of the revolt f began. For thre� years the Do�cinians resi . . a tight relation existed between city and country. by now under the control of a weaver and fuller party. wruch began in 1323 and ended in June 1328. peasants. Fra poverty of reign holy . 41 . As David Nicholas writes. while exercising their arts. ' D� �� I Urban S t r u g g l e s Not only women and men but peasants and urban workers f ound i n the heretic move­ ment a conUllon cause. . took rom the peasants . Th is conunonality of interests among people who could other­ wise be assumed to have diff erent concerns and aspirations can be accounted for on sev­ eral grounds.

. Undoubtedly. As Norman Cohn writes. ety were the exaltation of poverty and the conmlunism of goods. wishing to be free &om mundane cares. Spirituals).. ventual orders (Franciscans. such as adopted by the French Waldenses (the Poor of Lyon). Ever ything that is tasty and good . provosts..The great lords have all the property and poor folk have nothing but suffering and adversity. the appeal to the "value of work" . mayors ."The poor man works always. while the rich man laughs and sings . goes to u1e nobles and the clergy ." as rich and poor were referred to in the Florentine political idiom.. producing for the 42 . all they get is the siftings rrom the corn.working under artisan masters..: 199). beadles. they all want to despoil them .. particularly manual labor.Another peasant-urban worker alliance W2S thac of the Tuchiru." From the miracle plays where it is stated thac" .each man ought to have as much property as every other. made up part of journeymen and apprentices . never laughing from his heart. But the affirmation cI an egalitarian perspective \-vas also reflected in a new attitude towards work. we have only work and hardships.." From the most widely read satires which denounced that. no.." John Ball proclaimed during his drive to organize the 1381 English Peasant Risi. most evidear among the heretic sects.a novelty in a society domi­ nated by a military class ..". But this new awareness also demonstrates the emergence of new soc:iJI forces that played a crucial role in the downfall of the feudal system.. this is evidenced in documents of various kinds: From the proverbs or the poor that lament that. This valorization of work reflects the formation of an urban proletariat.... who." the "fat people­ and the"lean people. and we have nothing we can call our own. and from good wine they get nothing but the dregs and from good cloth nothing but u1e chaff. we have a new orization of work.. but it is from our we that everyuling comes" (ibid. worries and labours and weeps.nearly all live by robbery. They all banen on the poor. of the What united peasants and artisans \-vas a conunon aspiration to the levelling of 14th century. reli on begging and community support for their survival. diffe rences. (N. we have a "refusal of work" strategy..functioned primarily as a reminder of the arbitrariness feudal power.."Nou1ing wiU be well in England until we are of the same condi­ tion. a movement "bandies" operating in the mountains of Central France.. the main expressions of this aspiration to a more egalitarian soci. "Magistrates. These complaints show how deep was the popular resentment against the inequalities that existed between the "big birds" and the "smaU birds. Cohn 1970: 99-1(0). On one side. Christie-Murray 1976: 114-15). On the other.. As we have seen.'· Or again: "Good working men make wheaten bread but they will never chew it. in which artisans joined organization that was typical of the rural populations (Hilton 1973: 128). and the members of some co..The strong robs the weaker. that achieved its most conscious form tions in U1e propaganda of the English LoUards.. who reminded their foUowers that" nobles have beautiful houses.. (ibid.

mostly by waged day-laborers.:Zn � prtva crafts the nobility. in addition allds of the tortured and them. unlike cruelest abuses at the the to exposed were they and or guild. the nobility and d. employed by rich merclunes in indus­ market . the bourgeoisie). spied on establish a "workers' democracy" based on the suppression of all authorities. to mcrchallcs who. Thus. sen of cype new a just was e in me city For them. who tried to U1C journeymen. co een · this n 1. te tribunal and. lif rhe textile industry. a at Ule least sign of trouble (Rodolico 1971). f orcing the local bour­ geoisie to live in a constam state off ear. who . but it lasted only a rew months before being completely def eated by 1382 (Rodolico 1971). the merch. in a struggle uut lasted from 1 323 to 1 328. d the rwe afthe cloth merchancs. dyers) could be f tntions of up to 4.They were def eated only by a battle in the open field. wh ich Pirel1l1e describes as "a g enuine attem pt at a social revolution" (ibid. when the mai n power in gained 1348. Ie was said that they had con­ ofsix and the same f or the nobles" (ibid. haps) has been called the first "dictltorship of the proletariat" known in h istory. led by the Cio".The workers at Liege. was "to raise journeymen against masters. them.). From then on. ":z:' �res 43 . partic­ . incapable of continuing a resistance which had lasted f or more than a century. or any reason.pi. wool workers continued to rebel against them. Def eated by an impressive coalition offorces (including the prince.ey protected them from the "conmlOn people" (ibid.but or export. In 1384. against great entrepreneurs."the plague of insurrection was such that became disgusted with lif e" (ibid. they could not orbidden to meet In any place and f were even f DOllS and not strike on pain of death couJd they and trade. the "good people" i mplored o the king not to allow the cown's inner bastions. capinilated. Ull cr orm any assOC13wage-workers could not Co Urban . By the turn ofthe t 4th century. Here . uley had no civil rights. with impunity.: 3 1 1 ) . '0 demolished because d. rune i:iom.1nts. Siena. and Aanders. . arrested them. were more successful . cloth workers were engaged in cons�nt rebellions against the bishop.Throughout the 1 4"' century. arms or even the tools of their � . except those living by manual labor (Boissonnade 1 927: 3 1 (}. from 1 320 to 1332. in mar­ ltune Flanders. At GhelU. the artisans and laborers rebelled at every possible occasion. "the crafts COlnpletely icipal goverrunent dominated the cown. the workers seized power in 1379. at Roosebecque in 1382. Their goal. they ne 1956: 132)." becoming the arbiter of the mun uenne 1937: 201). the weavers tried ag:ilin in 1378.The crafismen had also given support to d. with the exception of children cases . The even[3 a t Bruges and Ghent were not isolated In Germany and Italy as wcll. the nobility.28 They too esCiblished a workers' govenmlent. the clergy. At Bruges. w age earners templated the extermination of the whole bourgeois class. per­ according to Peter BoissolUlade. where 26. n exercised dlC strictest control over their activ. 'ere not part of any craft town ran their the controlling govermnem.: 5f>-(59). In Florence.he greatest accepClnce of heretic ideas ularly in the flanders.: 1 95). when they succeeded in establishing what (with some exaggeration.according to a flemish con­ (p temporary whose class allegiance is apparent ." as they were cailed). revolt by the local bourgeoisie was overtaken by a rebellion of weavers.1 1) . most despotic class rule. IDes and the .000 ofsuch day-laborers (weavers. In florence.e rich ("the great. in Aorence. peasants against lords and clergy.em loSt their lives (ibid. and even the major crafts.: 196).e peasantS in revolt.: 202-{)3). roducing f we p ound fullers.000 of d. hanged them orms ofsocial protest and i among these workers that we find the most extreme f Ie s (ibid. ule day-laborers in the Florentine textile industry. in 1 335. in the Low Countries. w i dun which they lived.

As Christopher Dyer points out.J"qurrit'. the scarcity of labor which the epidellllc caused shifted the power relation to the advantage of the lower classes. for the decimation of the work-force made labor extremely scarce. as the peasants could now freely move and find new land to cultiv ate (Dyer 1968: 26). the intensification of the labor crisis generated by the class conflict. Social hierarchies were turned upside down because of the levelling effects of the widespread morbidity.ill i" 1381. itl Aomut'. bolstered by threats of a mass exodus to lands or to the city. peasants and artisans suddenly became masters of the situation. practically inaugurating a new era. Familiarity with death also undermined social discipline. of the European population (Ziegler 1969: 230).itl Fro'Ufill 1358. between 30% and 40'. and stiffened people's determi­ nation to break the shackles of feudal rule. feasting for as long as they could without thought of the However. They also declared that they "will nO[ follow the customs 44 . A symptom of this (negat/t soillere).t'71t lind i. the peasants could be controUed by the threat of expulsion. while the crops were rotting and livestock wandered in the development was the growth of rem strikes. the threats of the lords ceased to haVC any serious effect. on an average. critically increased ics cost.As the manorial records lacon. which killed.1 t 370 tltld 1380. I The Black Death and the Labor CriSiS A turning poine in the course of the medieval struggles W3S the Black Death. Thus.ically registered. When land had been lation scarce. But after the popu­ was decimated and land became abundant. Petl$iltlts took lInPl$ ill i" 1323. that weakened people's resistance to disease Oordan 1996). Confronted with the possibility of sudden death. but tried to have the best of times. the peasants "n>�"'eO to pay" 6dds. this unprecedented demographic coUapse profoundly changed Europe's social and political life. Coming in the wake of the Great Famine of 1315-22. people no longer cared to work or to abide by social and sexual regulations. CI. the most important consequence of the plague was furure.(.

. in Florence.. 11 w u . that caused the Peasant Rising of 1381.vrl " ("egallt cotlsuetudilles). sUllillled up the situation: words ter whose • . In the course of this process.L'. they then proclaimed what. the wheel offortune was beginning to appear on the walls of taverns and work-shops. the revival of slavery. f orming ilSSemblies and recruiting armies. . Orleans.A1s0 in France. In response to the increased cost oflabor and the collapse oftIle f eudal rent. they don't take law into any account. . like that of the remellsas in Spain. though one soon crushed by the com­ bined f orces of the nobility and the bourgeoisie (Rodolico 1971). In Florence.29 But such measures only sharpened the class conflict." Revolts broke out in Carcassone. the quantity . where in 1413 a "workers' democracy" came into power.: 24). This escalated into four bloody rebellions led by Bundschuch �o 4S . By the 15th century the confrontation between the peasants and the nObility turned into true wars. Dobson 1983). Tournai. by means of a Labor Statute limiting the maximum wage.. when cloth-workers in Florence for a time f orced the bourgeoisie to give them a share of goverlUl1ent and declare a mora­ torium on all debts incurred by wage earners.30 In Italy the most i mpor­ tant revolt was that ofthe Ciompi. • r 1011ge The peasants are toO rich .. to symbolize the inuninent change of lot. lOCO 0f t he manor" lnJunCtlOllS or the ' servlces. or chase escaped serf C ICOl By the end of the 14th century the refusal of rent and services had become a col­ to stop paying fines. context. the political horizon and the organizational dimen­ . in some cases. Rauen and finally in Paris. StOlts of the peasanc and artisan struggle broadened. they wish there were no nobles. that lasted from 1462 1 486. was subverted. fCc dal I eu 0 Instrument mam the were which ' .d. the peasantS organized in bands. Entire villages jointly organized . This spread from region to region and ended with thousands of peasants marching from Kent to London "to talk to the king" (HiltOn 1 973. n ditches. and do not know what obedience means. lt began inJuly of1 382.e phe nomenon.. s (. In Montpellier the workers in revolt proclaimed that "by Chris01taS we will sell Christian flesh at six pence a pound.3 1 In Germany a cycle of"peasant wars" began in 1476 with the conspiracy led Y Ii'ns the Piper.b. In England. . Proletarian insurrections there was a "whirlwind of revolution" (BoissoUlacle exploded at Berier. attacking the castles of the lords. where f orty weavers and cord-wa iners were hanged. conunuted the recognized longer lage. Amiens. and ignored the orders of the lords to repair their houses. Entire regions revolted.. class the that fact the than unportant less became withheld services and of rent eudal order was based. it rized audl0 was an attempt by the nobility to contain the cost of labor..' courtS . between 1379 and 1 382.century i ch the f h w on reflect the viewpoint of the nobility.well . lilI relanon. was a dictatorship of the proletariat ("God's people"). and destroying the archives where the written marks of their servi­ tude W ere kept. various attempts were made to increase the exploitation of work. in essence.: 33). the m i portation of slaves was in 1366. l 1927: 314). "Now is the time" .the sentence that recurs in the letters ofJohn Ball . a time whe n. taxes and caI"'. and nO . At times. power. illustrates the spirit of the European proletariat at the close of the 14th century. and they would like to decide what rent we should get f or our lands (ibid. either through the restoration of labor services or. This is how an early 1 6th..

Braudell967: 128ff. there are reasons to be skeptica1 about the extenc of this cornu­ copia. In addition.. Thorold Rogers has painted a utopian image of this period in his funous srudy of wages and living conditions in medieval England. and for urball workers. sodnlly atld polil. and were paid a viaticum for coming and going from home to work. It Il." Indeed.·. "were wages [in England] so high and food so cheap" (Rogers 1894: 32611). but the spectacle of employers competing for their services strengthened their sense of self-value. the 15th cennlry was a period of unprecedented power.t Bla{k Deatll destroyed ofle·tl. the rebels did not comem themselves with demanding some restrictions to feudal rule. Their aim was [0 put an end [0 the power of the lords.). Workers sometimes were paid for every day of the year. As we shall see.ing of the 15th century. In all these cases. and erased centuries of degradation and 46 . However. a far cry from the canonic representation of the 15th cencury. spreading over four countries (Engels 1977. Blickle 1977). in England at least. "the old law must be abolished.<US n turtlitl�i! poitll itl Europeml history. for a broad section of the western European peasantry. What followed has been described as the "golden age of the European proletariat" (Marx 1909. ("Peasant Union") between 1493 and 1517. nor did they only bargain for better living conditions. They were also fed by their employers. they demanded to be paid in money.Vol. though the revolt had been politicaUy and militarily defeated and its lead­ ers brutaUy executed (Titow 1969: 58). by the begin­ n. Not only did the scarcitY of labor give them the upper hand. and wanted to work only five days a week.oll of Europe.n. "At no time. As the English peasantS declared dur­ ing the Peasant Rising of 1381.l. serfdom or villeinage had almost completely disappeared. although on Sunday and the main holidays they did not work. at so much per mile of distance.{tdly.d of the poplI!m. and culminating in a fuU-Oedged war that lasted from 1522 to 1525. which has been iconographically inmlortalized as a world under the speD of the dance of death and memetlto mori." Rogers wrote.

. sllbse eyes of the employers. FrenCh ClO es. a coumer-revolution was already under way at orts were made by the political authorities e. w ' 47 . by means of a vicious sexual politics that gave them access to f ree sex. In 'he lands of . the rape oran ulUnarried prole­ n WOman rarely called for more than a slap on the wrist. by the end of the 15th century.re WOmen of the lower class.The 'scancW' of me high wages the workers demanded \'VaS oluy matched. mdistlngwshable them made cntlcs.Revolut ion However. 0 nl I t Was rumored that they were "kept" by their masters (Rossiaud 1988: 22). thelf of penods prolonged or f than r.. the f of ways the imitate to pretends I'omme tie Mirour ree­ wer in 994: 1 (Hatcher clothes" his in him of appearance the himself 17). or dragging their victims through the streets. . would carry Out openly and loudly at nigh" in groups of two '0 cen. f emale and male earnings was drastically reduced in the wake of'he Black Death . ClIne. and these wage rates applied CO women as well. wages higher their � o quickJy because �rnunatl do more . Without any anempt to hide or disguise themselves Those who engaged in these "sports" . engaged in these assaults.VoL l : 788).As Jacques Rossiaud has shown in Medieval Prostitution (1988).who would accept work only f � _ I S e x u a l Pol i t i c s . the gang-rape of proletarian women became a conunon practice .[heir refusal co III the ich they now could to continue to work after having satisfied their needs (wh . gives man . involved a group assaul' (Ruggiero 1 989: 91-108). by the new arrogance they displayed .he end of the 1 4m century land bondage had practically disappeared (Marx serf armers ." compIalne peasant the " (1378).. canons of Normandy complained the 1348 In phenomenon English an just Tlus was not or more than who did not ask f lands their cultivate CO anyone find not that they could doubled Wages century.he Rhine and Danube. First. the R i S e o f t h e S t a t e and Count e r . linured or f out only themselves ng � clo ostentatious r � e th d al wages. at some poinr.rato. In France.. Were youngJ . the daily agricultural wage became equivalent in purchasing power to the price erential or the diff of 41 pig or sheep. the of beginn. . eff every level of social and political lif to co-opt the youngest and most rebellious male workers. SOCial contemporary of complaints the ording to aCc · d John fi 111 the lords. � demands f . "Servants are now masters and masters are servants.er 'he Black Death (Hatcher 1994). even in the frequem case in n� ta which i. of .copy holde. half of the town male youth. The same was true in most . lease holders . work.. which .ween f or the European proletariat was not only the achievement of What this meant f unparalJeJed until the 1 9th century. . In 14th. and the penniless sans of well-to-do fam·1· l ies h while the WOmen targeted were poor girls. Everywhere serfS were replaced by free f or a substantial reward. On a verage. or 1909. ourneymen or domestic servants. working as maids or washerwomen. Ch Ule perpe. and turned class antagonism imo an antagonism �gainst proletarian women. but the demise of remained that living of a standard dom.ing the at earned had and trebled \vhat six servants in Italy. Here. be.rvie nce.ather tasks. the municipal authorities practically decrimi"alized rapt.-centuryVellice. France and Germany (Boissonnade 1927: 31 6-20). By . breaking into their victims' homes. and . their beside perks other or �hich. provided the victims w e. or . The condition ofthe landless also improved af . � n to hir: d bb · h ) e( orn stu elr [ .

--- . and the belief that For proletarian women.: 13)." and take revenge against the rich. they could not easily regain their plac SO cavalierly sacrificed by masters and servants alike in society. lIlId l. obsessed as they were with the fear of urban insurrections. But they were not the only ones to suffer." . they would have to leave town or nun to prostitution (ibid. Not surprisingly. 48 . as the state-backed raping of poor women undermined the class solidar_ ity that had been achieved in the anti-feudal struggle.who were get back "their own. The legalization of rape created a climate of intense misogyny chat degraded all women regardless of class. . . the price to be paid was forced to postpone marriage for many years because of their economic conditions ... the authorities vie\ved the disturbances caused by such policy (the brawls.- . Ruggiero 1985: 99). . Once raped.omostxUlIlity. inestimable. �--. Brothtls were stetJ liS II mlltdyfor soanl prottst. a means for proletarian men . But the results were destructive for aU workers. It also desensitized the population to the perpetration of violence against women. llnesy..to hand they wouJd take their wives and hold them in common if the poor g<iined the upper (ibid. the presence of youth gangl roaming the streets at night in search of adventure and disturbing the public quiet) as a small price to pay in exchange for a lessening of social tensions. Their reputation being destroyed... preparing the ground for the \vitch-hunt which began in this same � BrOlheJJrom II 1511t-renwry Qnmltl woodcut. Rossiaud describes 3S a form of class protest. .

in numbers far superior to those reached the 19'" century.could enjoy a privi­ state-brothel the as Maisotltlrand G . and the supervisor of the reproduction oflabor-power . who in rostirution was seen as a useful remedy f was called in France .its to the cost oflabor (by fucing [he maximum wage) . state-managed high-wage contemporary the by Enabled Europe. in order to achieve rhis goal. In this capacity.is work. devil. regime.The municipal brothel was also lege previously homosexuality (Otis 1 985). state officers passed laws in many coumries that set Iint. 49 . Amiens alone had 53 brothels in 1 453. and to be a remedy f It is difficult retrospectively to flict.32 of the Black Death was beginn.: 9-10). led to the centralization of the state.moved against them united. � or first witch-trials took place. in dIfferent regions. and the bourgeoisie ." In reality.ell how far playing the "sex card" helped the state � tIves of the peasants and artisans were quite transparent. Prostirutes could now solicit no longer bound [0 any particular dress codes or the wearing of distinguishing marks. as the only agent capable of confronting the g eneralization of the struggle and safeguarding the class relation. accord­ ager of class relations. even in fiont of the church during Mass. IIlg to which these struggles had no chance of success due to the narrowness of their olitical horizons and the "confused nature of their demands. g.. Ultimately. the objec­ � lite Ch urch. and f criod. The state-man­ aged brothel was believed to provide an antidote to the orgiastic sexual practices of the or sodomy. tax-financed brothels were opened 111 111 every town and village in Italy and France.ing to be f Thus. to accept the claim. In this process. What is certain is that this sexual "new . publicly managed. as we will see later in tlt. of ten made by historians. Even the Church came to see prostitution as a legitimate activity. they joined with all those "who had nothing to Jose. it was because all the f orces of f eudal power . not afraid to confront the well-trained unties of the nobility. Padua and Florence) was widely and publicly practiced." acting in concert. They demanded that "every Illan sho uld have as much as another" (pirenne 1937: 202) and.a f unction deal" was part ofa broader process which. despite their traditional If they were def eated. They were (ibid. between 1350-1450. the mounting class conflkt brought about a new alliance between the bou rgeOisie and the nobility. It was at rhe end of the 14m century that the of sect and heresy emale all-f an of existence the Inquisition recorded dlC time le first �(la reserved f or older men (Rossiaud I 988). ' Another aspect of the <livisive sexual politics that the pnnces and I1lUmclpal was the institutionalization of prostitu­ uthorities pursued to diffuse workers' protest erating brothels soon prolif municipal of opening the through emenced impl • 00n. in f act. as weil as a means CO protect f amily life. [he scate became the ultimate man­ It has continued to perf onn to this day. t ghou throu or the turbulence of proletarian youth. but in the af eared as a cause of depopulation. In addition. in response to the intensification ofsocial con­ to discipline and divide the medieval proletariat. because prostitution was officially recognized as a public service their clients in every part of town. whkh in several European against remedy a dered consi termath [Owns (e. despite 'heir lack of military skills. It is difficult. and encouraged workers to reproduce. all the restric­ nons and penalties against prostirution were eliminated.the nobility . heretic sects. f orbid vagrancy (now hanhly punished) (Geremek 1985: 61fl). without which proletarian revolts may not have been efeated.worshippers.

armed with farm implements and stolen horses.. and carrying on its ba� ners the call for equality and democracy. 2. from Tuscany CO England and the Low Countries. These were free peasants and slaves. In 407 A. Even the Huns were recruited to hunt them down (Renders-Pehrson 1983: 189). we find the bourgeoisie already allied with the nobility in the suppression of the lower classes. and rorganizing] ajudicial system and an army" (Dockes 1982: 87). CO resurface.D. in full force in the 5th century. By the late MJddle Ages. expelling the Roman ofEcia1s. expropriating the landowners. who reinstituted the power of the nobility. elected leaders. Defeated in the open field by Maximilian. hoping they would bring the Bacaude under control.. of a bourgeoisie perennjaliy at W3r with the nobility. III.. and administeredjustice. by their fear of proletarian rebellion. "To what extent the laborer. Their story is worth remembering. they had windows so high (in the description of a contemporary landowner) th3t the slaves could nOt reach them (Doclas 1982: 69). Vol." The emperor Constantine defeated them in battie in Armorica (Brittany) (ibid. (Dockes 1982: 87). the bourgeoisie recognized an enemy far more dangerous than the nobility . reducing the slave holders to slavery. They "were. that has been handecl down to us. Here "rebellious slaves and peasants [had] created an autonomous 'state' organization. they were the protagonists of a "ferocious insurrection. Endnotes The best example of a maroon society was the Bacaude who took over Gaul around the year 300 A. wandered off. Tlus is what Marx writes in Capilal. Constantine recalled the Visigoths from Spain and gave them generous donations of land in Gaul. The Roman emperors had to engage tribes orbarbarian' invaders to subdue them. with "Hope" written on their face." 3.one that made it worthwhile for the burghers even to sacrifice their cherished political auconomy. they turned co"guerrilla"war­ fare." in the regions the Romans CoR­ quered "where the slaves far outnumbered the free men" (ibid. the self-sustain'" so .. ants and the democratic weavers and cobblers of its cities..divisions. Despite the many attempts made to repress them. the image. But we find the Bacaude again fighting with the Visigoths and Alans against the advancing Attila..Thus.33 For in the peas. is a distortion.: 208). found almost everywhere.The name agas­ tolD is still used in the Italian crinunaljustice vocabulary.. in comparing the serf economy with the slave and the capitalist economies. by voluntarily submit_ ting to the rule of the Prince. the colleague of the emperor Diocletian. it was the urban bour_ geoisie. Indeed.D. where they struck coins. wher. the Bacaude were never completely defeated. The ergastula were the dwelling of the slaves in the Roman villas. it means "life sentence. who. Townspeople joined them and they formed self-governing conmlUnities. when they became the target of repeated military actions.: 124). the first step on the road to the absolute state. exasperated by the hardships they suffered due to the skirmishes between the contenders to Rome's imperial throne. after two centuries of struggles waged in order to gain full sovereignty within the walls of its COl1ununes. in roving bands (hence their name:"band of fighters") (Randers-Pehrson 1983: 26). ever we turn. I 1. They were "subter­ ranean prisons" in which the slaves slept in chains.

can here secure for himself a surplus above his indispensable necessities of e. see V 5. I I I : 917-18). women in the rural areas. while they (Hanawalt 1986b: 155). tation when free peasants. "We do find peasants of free personal status ing villein land and we do find villeins 6. whatever may be the f orm assumed by them" (Marx 1 909..The latter meant that a peasant held land that In prnctice the two tended to coincide..Vol.).. Z. The former meant that a was peasant was not a serf. women in the cities. ried servile burdens. though sthe may still be bound to provide labor services.Z. Neeson (1993). . though both these occurrences are rare and both were frowned upon "(Titow 1969: 56-57). . . but must be f orced f rom them by other meas­ ures. eminist perspective on the importance of the conUllons in the econ­ For an eco-f andana 5hiva (1989). parich obliged a man to work for his landlord so many days a ticularly week-work.. "illegal glean." often treated as abstracted from sociaJ and economic change and social struggle. . the worker.. Disabilities arising out of unfree staNS Would come into operation only sporadically . by a new generation of f eminist hjstorians. omy of women's lives. (Iiben) hold­ (vil/alli. began to acquire lands that car­ not "burdened" by servile obligations.e distinction between personal freedom and letlurial freedom.ing was the most 8. but this began to change after the conUllU­ . 141-51) and j. see B. . wh S1 .e case of the English bonded peasants: "I' is not diflicuIt to see why the personal aspect of villeinage would be overshadowed by the problem of labour services in the minds of the peasants ." 9. . For women's extralegal contributions to their households. Under such conditions the surplus labor cannot be filched from h is f [the serfs] by any econom i c measures. llalivl) holding f reehold land. other circulllstances remaining unchanged. .ing serf. conUllon way f or a woman to get extra grain for her fam ily" (ibid. upon the proportion in lif imself and f orced lahor time f or which his lahor time is divided into labor time for h eudal lord.M.. The ecological and eco-f em inist movements have given the C0l1Ull0ns a new political significance. . Hanawalt sees the medieval marital relationshjp among peasants as a "partnership. 7. the difficulty in presenting a synthetic view of a field whose empir­ ical COntours are still being reconstructed has led to a pref erence f or descriptive �nalyses focussing on the main classifications of women's social life: "the mother. if As).irsk ( I 964). see)oanTh. to expand their holdings.)ean Birrell (1987). .. Of special importance is d. Not so with the labour services. and j. Barbara Hanawalt's examination of the wills from J<jbworch (England) in the 15th left to the wife alone or the wif e with a son the estate in 29 percent of the cases" century. Titow writes in d. Hanawalt (1986b:12). . Thus. depends.. Unde rstandably. . shows that" men f avored mature sons in 41 percent oftheir wills. Titow (1969: 56--59). In England. For a discussion ofthe importance ofthe COltunons and common righcs in England. . Hilton (1985: 1 16--1 7. This is the lunit ofsome of the otherwise exceUent studies produced. in recent years. ." "Land transactions in manorial courts indicate a strong practice of mutual respon­ sibility and decision mak ing . ing pieces of land either f For women's contribution to agricultural labor and control over their surplus pro­ duce also see Shahar (1983: 239-42). Husband and wif e also appear in purchasing or leas­ or themselves or f or their children" (Hanawalt 1 986b: 16). For a discussion of social stratification among the European peasantry see R. . on Women in the Middle Ages.

In its wake. often with 'he complici<y of local consula<es.. 36%.4 kin.he first few pages of me Abbo" Langley rolls: men were fined for no. 11. 12. Innocent III inser ted in the council's canons a set of measures that condemned heretics to exile. 13%. For our purposes the city is a population center with a royal charrer. in Egyp'. Hil<on 1985: 212-13).. David Herlihy (1995). possibly because 'hey lived alone and had no family sttUc­ rore behind them. made or'hum­ ble and simple" people was organized to free him. In the tOwns. they spent their energies on attack. (Geremeck 1994: 65). in sou. In French municipal archives. or for not producing a sufficient nwnber of men..Benne« (1989).hers> Fronce) was 'he 6". 14. A silk spinners'song gives a graphic picture of the poverty in which female unskilled Always spinning sheets of silk We shall never be better dressed But always naked and poor.not enough to feed a family _ represemed 46% of 'he peasan"Y laborers lived in the towns: (ibid.h prostiru[Cs. in J 280.33%. Navarre and Aragon.-century Picardy: indi� gents and beggars. Otis S2 . instead. For an analysis of women in the medieval guilds. owners of small parcels of land. Lea 1961: 126-27).. In England.on the occasion of the fourth Lateran ouncil. animals.see Maryanne Kowaleski andJudith M. but it quickly took on an anti­ clerical character. in addition to rendering other occasional services" (Titow 1969: 59). ing to the harvest.In 1215. still "direccly influenced by 'he crusading atmosphere . peasants with more land but with� ou[ drough. Orne" even when mey came made memselves very unpleasam" B ( enne« 1967: 112). women suffered not only poverty but loss of 1985: 18-20. whereat a town is a population center (usually smaller than a city) with a regular market..hem vulnerable '0 abuse (Hughes 1975: 21. (Russell 1972: 136. The Crusade against me Albigensians (Camall from me 'own of A1bi. ing the Jewish communities of south-west France. "[TJake . The Pastoreaux reappeared in Southern France in the spring and summer of 1320. Geremek 1994: 65-66.on 1973: 100--02). Later.. And always suffering hunger and <hi". Sometitnea not one but a whole group failed to appear and so left the lord's crop ungarnered.. 13. so unstable economically that a bad harvest is a threat to their survival. large-scale mack against 'he heretics.week. the persecution of heretics dramatically inten­ sified. 16.. peasants with less than three acres of land .his time me caprure of King Louis IX of France by 'he Moslems. 10 . Also m e movemem of 'he Pas<oureaux was provoked by even" in me Eas.an episcopal see and a market. and 'he fim Crusade against Europeans. to the confiscation of their properties. spinners and other female wage workers were associa<ed wi. weal'hy famle" 1 9"A> (Geremek 1994: 57). The distinction between "town" and "city" is not always clear. . 15. A movemen.). and excluded them from civil life. [TheY! had no chance of crusading in the east.. Pope Innocent III launched it in the regions of T oulouse and Montpellier after 1209. before being wiped ou[ or dispelled by royal olli­ cials" (Barber 1992: 135-36). co. The following is a statistical picture of rural poverty in 13th. in 1249 (Hil.every week.. they came late and when they did come perfomled the work badly or in an idle fashion. which left . in 122. and Williams and Echols (2000) .

and those who denounced them were allowed to maintain their anonym ity. Pope Innocent IV. The and house where a heretic was discovered was CO be destroyed. But when the poor grew in numbers and the heretics Started to challenge the Church's greed and corruption. At firS[. and those of the 1977: 43). while enhe supplice offire. together with the rise of a money-economy. the persecution consisted of raids against heretics' meetings. creating a climate of intolerance and institutional suspicion that continues to corrupt the legal system to this day.the emperor Frederick I I joined the persecution with the constitution servandum that defined heresy a crime of lesa Cum ad co. The politicization of poverty. organized in coUaboration with public authorities. and treats sus­ if already proven guilty (Mereu 1979). the Church exalted poverty as a holy state and engaged in distribu­ tions of alms. The legacy of the Inquisition is a culture of sus­ picion that relies on anonymow charges and preventive detention. as a sign ofhUmility and contempt f or material goods. 19. that were primarily a protest against the clergy (Engels ams and artisans. and the land upon which it was built confiscated. the clergy dismissed its hOmilies about poverty and introduced many ·'distinguo. The def endants were not told the charges moved against them.As halo Mereu points out. 165). to be punish with death by oulouse established that heretics should be identified fire. Gregorio unction of eradicating heresy: the IX instituted a special tribunal with the specific f Inquisition. Later. and it enabled it to become one of the richest institutions in Europe. associated with their opposition to f eudal authority. In Sunday sermons.Then. presumably to be used f or distribution among the needy. and watching his rich but stingy neigh­ bor burning in flames. The same secrecy characterized the investigative process. Thus. brought about a decisive change in the attitude of the Church towards the poor. Suspects were released. it affi rmed that only voluntary poverty has merit in the eyes of God. Let us recall here Friedrick Engels' distinction between the heretical beliefS of peas­ pects as town burghers.· maiestatis. Proven heretics and their protectors were to burned at the stake. if they informed against their accomplices and promised to keep silent about their confessions." Starting in the 13th cen­ tury. 18. In 1252.ished. in practice. Those who reneged their beliefS were to he inullured. when W alden«s and Cathars had already been f orced to go underground. su­ speccs were called in f ront ofa tribunal withoU[ being told the reasons f or their con­ vocation. authorized the use oftorrure against heretics (V 1 990: 163. when heretics were arrested they could never know if anyone f rom their congre­ auchez gation had spoken against them (V 1990: 1 67--{)8). This tactic pro­ Cured the Church substantial donations of land. I n 1 229. in those who relapsed were to suff 1 23 1 .1 233. that help would the rich. 1 64. buildings and money.. the work of the Roman Inquisition left deep scars in the history of European cul­ ture.The arrest • of suspects was prepared with utnlost secrecy. Until the 13'" century . the Council ofT pun. trying to convince the rustics to accept their situation and nOt envy Lazarus sitting in heaven at the side ofJesus. The exaltation of salllta paupertas ("holy poverty") also served to impress on the rich the need f or charity as a means f or salvation. with rhe consensus oCthe main theologians auchez of the time. 1 7 Andre Vauchez attributes the "success" ofthe Inquisition to ics procedure. this meant. priests were prodigal with tales like that of the poor 93 .

on the four artic1es of faith that Uluted the Hussite movement in front of its foreign enellues: I. . They were called Taborites because in 1419. Communion in [both wine and bread]... in which we read that they were peasants and poorfolk... on arrival from Prague. Hungary. and the Slavic territories to the South. The abolition of the c1ergy's domiluon over temporal possessions and its return to the evangelical life of Christ and the apostles. .. "Five rimes.aes. at the Bergamo Meeting of 1218. that became a center of both resistance against the Gennan nobility. Engels tells us only that "[Tlheir demands reflected the desire of the peasantry and the urban lower classes to end all feudal oppression" (Engels 1977: 44n). to the impoverished mcm of the nobility. democratic wing of the HUSSite national liberation movement against the German nobility in Bohenua.They did agree. while those of Lombardy decided that one must live out of Ius/her own labor and proceeded to form workers' coUectives or cooperatives ( o"gregatio"es labo. so that all things couJd be held in COIlUTIOn. and the retention of the property which they had confiscated (Lea 1961: 530). . with a major split between the two main branches of the movement." Lea writes. As described by Engels.I . however. N. Hilton 1973: 124. ... The Lomballl Waldenses continued to maintain private possessions . Unity vvas much needed.. II. the Church decided that.. . and experimenta­ tion with communism. "..... they put out large open chests in which each was asked to place his/her possessions. the Church . Free preaching of the Word of God. this coUective arrangement was shon­ lived. Another S4 . The story has it that. IV. sent against Taborites and Calixtins an army of 150. But that too failed and Hl1ssite ideas continued CO spread into Germany. they should be isolated and starved QU[ through a blockade. and not to chose begging in the streets or at city g. Holmes 1975: 202. Cohn 1970: 215-17... the Taborites were the revolutionary. "during 1421. now be given only to the "deserving poor. To stamp out the revolt of the Hussites. Of them. The Taborites distinguished themselves from the more moderate Calixtins because they included among their objectives the independence of Bohemia. but its spirit lived on longer after its demise (Demetz 1997:152·157). porting oneself. in 1421."Two year. The French Waldenses (pOOr Lyon) opted for a life supported by alms." that is. Much controversy took place among the Waldenses on the correct ways of sup. Presumably. Lea's 17.houses and other form s of property .. . The lat ter were increasingly looked upon with suspicion as guilty oflaziness or fraud..000. 21..and they accepted marriage and the family (Litde 1978: 125).""tiulIl)(di Stefano 1950: 775). later. and five times they were beaten back. 20. But their remarkable story is more fuUy narrated in H. . It was resolved. C. they moved on to Mount Tabor... The pUlusrunent of all ofe f nses against divine law without exc� tion of person or condition. who wanted no nobles or gentlemen in their ranks and had republican tendencies. when the Hussites in Prague first came under attack. III.e Inquisition of tlte Middk Ages (Lea 1961: 523-40).. There they founded a new town. at the Council of Siena.{ the Bohemian heretics could not be defeated militarily. the crusaders invaded Bohemia.

Dobson . A fler his dellth. Many f ought in the battle for Prague in 1420 when 1500 Taborite women dug a long trench which tlleY def ended with stones and pitchf orks (Demetz 1997). The first sentence of the sermon. again to no avail." according to the historian R.000 was once more launched against them. 1434. nor shall do till everyring 55 . On that day. a stern opponent of the English Peasants' R. matters goeth not well to pass in England.'g m(/rtyred lit Gmfiebt. on May 30.Johll Hus bci.r. the ecclesi­ astic diplomats deepened the split between the Calixtins and the Taborites. Cleverly. Thus.r au the Rhine in 1413. wh ich John Ball was said to have given many times. B.000 Taborires were lef t dead on the battlefield.hrow" inlo 'he rir!f. were .) .were actually put into John Ball 's mouth co incriminate him and make him appear like a f ool. Jean Froissart. 22 . Women were very active in the Taborite movement as in all heretic movements. by a contemporary French chronicler. the Calixtins joined the Catholic barons in the pay of the Vatican. This rime the crusaders fled the battlefield even before the battle started. (in Lord Berners' 16tb-cemury translation) is as f ollows: "Ah."the most moving plea for social equality in the history of the English language.evolc . These words . on "hear­ ing the battle hymn of the dreaded Hussite troops"(ibid. ye good people. What. destroyed the Taborites were the negotiations that cook place between the Church and the moderate wing of the H ussires. in 1431. in the end.. hs i ashes army of 1 00. more than 13. when another crusade was launched against the H ussites. and exterminated their brothers at the Batcle of Lipan.

. J." which it attributed to the Waldenses and the Cathars. their loose organ. they revile the wealthy. As Presbyter Cosmas wrote. Among the evidence proving the Bogomils' influence on the Cathars there are two works that "the Cathars of Western Europe took over from the Bogomils.23.. hate the king. fail attempt to capture Rome (fay lor 1954: 35). Mergiven points out. and forbid evety serf to work for his 10rd." to connote first heresy and mell homosexuality (Bullough I 976a: 76ff. and their message was understood by the people. The Bogomils were for the Eastern Church what the Cathars were for the Western. which was threatened by too many subdivisions. but declared those existent invalid. be conmlon."The heresy had a tremen­ dous and long-term influence on the peasantry of the Balkans.. The ban wluch the Church imposed upon clerical marriages and concubinage \WI motivated. and his subsequent.. to take up the defense of a vety questionable practice" (ibid. and that the lords be no greater masters than we be" (Dobson 19 371).The Lateran Council of 1123 not 0 banned clerical marriages. exercise judgement of blood. nOt out of hatred. 24. regard as vile in the eyes of God those woo serve d. Penracost and Chrisonas. in his sermons against them: "They teach their own people not to obey their masters. condemn the boyar. and class hatred.). of"buggery. with prudence.. ridicule the elder. "The Bogomils preached in the language of the people. 216-17).166)."They are: The Vrsioll o f Isaiah and The Secret Supper. The reforming canons of the 12th century ordered married couples to avoid sex d ing the three Lenten seasons associated Witll Easter. ties were most alarmed by the BogomUs'''radical anarchism. 25. by the desire to defend its property."civil disobedience. As J.isation.. but that we may be united together. more than by any need to restore its reputation. 26. Aside from their Manicheanism and anti-natalism. above all their wives and children.. and "forced the 'orthodox. justice. withom mortal sin. By 1210 the Church had labeled the demand for the abolition of the death penal an heretical "error. the Byzantine authori. into a state of terror and destitutiolL (Brundage 1987: 214.: 103). cited in Wakefield and Evans's review of Catharist literature (1969: 447-465). The mling of the Second Lateran Council strenghtened' resolution that had already been adopted in the previous century. provided that it punishes witb. on e • S6 . cOlmnon by the 13th century. and that there be no villains nor gentlemen. their attractive solution of the problem of evil.e king. and by the fear that the wives of the priests might unduly interfere in clerical affairs (McNamara and Wemple 1988: 93-95).The influence of the Bogomils on heresy is traceable ill the use. the heretical movement took the moral high g round on this question. and their conU1uonent to social protest made their movement virtually indestructible" (Browning 1975: 164. under the title of Honorious II. but had not beeD observed in the midst of an open revolt against this innovation. The protest had eli-­ maxed in 1061 with an "organized rebeUion "leading to the election of the Bishop of Parma as Antipope.' ironically. So stI'OJ1t was the presumption that the opponents of the Church were abolitionists that every heretic who wanted to submit to the Church had to affirm that "the secular power can. not precipitation" (Mergivern 1997: 1 01). throwing the priesG fanulies.

.'ere reaffinnations aCme ecclesiastic wisdom embodied in dozens ofPenitenrials. under torture he had been made to reveal that the ciomp. they believed. essor. In the first week of August. workers rushed to the guild hall of the wool industry (Palazzo dell' Arle).at a legal requirement with explicit penalties wou1d have a diff erent stil. were meant f or them. Then. put patrols on Ponte V ecchio. The Beguines subsequently disappeared. "Ciompo" is a derogatory term.These restncoons were not new. demanding that their comrade be released. on f during their wife's menstrual periods. as the wool magnates organized a lock-out that reduced them to hunger. and ref usal of work. and greased the wool so that it could be worked.VAS novel was mat they now became incorporated within the body of Canon Law ormed into an eff ective instrument f or Church govenUllcnt and dis­ "which was transf cipline in the twelfth century. Their revolt began in July 1382. Their new power. they occupied the guild hall. and did nOt have any means of survival. The Ciompi were those who washed. Upon hearing of Simoncino's arrest. I n this period.supported their initiative as an alternative CO heresy. probably due act that the "ciompi" worked half-naked and were always greasy and stained to the f with dyes. and that cor­ poral pun.They ".i1itia and set up three new crafts.rus than a penance sug­ 27. Seemingly in control of the situation.hile doing penance (Brundage 1987: 1 98-99). lasted no more than a month. the ciompi presented a petition demanding that they become part of the government. In the aftermath of the Black Death. establishing that those who did not work. They also occupied the city hall where they claimed to have f ound a room f ull of nooses which. combed. millori) f rom the windows of the guild hall. likely because of the clergy's intolerance of women who escaped male con­ trol. many more had to leave the city in an exodus that marked the beginning of the decline of the wool industry in Florence (Rodolico 1 97 1 : passim) . and . that they no longer be punished by the cut­ ting of a hand f or non-payment of debts. While some of their contemporaries. bec ame a matter f The relation between the Beguines and heresy is uncertain. and to persecute vagabondage. hung and decapitated.east days prior to receiving communion. begging. they f ormed a m. af ter securing his release. however. 339).islunem be replaced by monetary fines. "they were finally condemned on suspicion of heresy by the Council ofVienne of 1312. 329. n .. like James de Vitry . Apparently. kissing each other on the mouth. ights. 28 . S7 . 333.Mter their def eat. England took the in. members of the ciompi would participate. on their wedding Sunday of the year. they had prom ised to def end each other from the abuses of their employers.What . Simoncino. meaning dirty and poorly dressed.itiative with the Statute of 1349 that condemned high wages and idleness. during lactation. the most intimate relations between people gested by one's conf or lawyers and penologists (Brundage 1987: 578). that the rich pay more taXes. sparked by the news that one of them. 29. while preparations were made f or an electi on in which. and hung the insignia of the "minor guilds" (art. "forced out of existence by ecclesias­ tical reprobation" (Neel 1 989: 324-27. ." Both the Church and d. had been arrested and tOrtured.. every European country began to condemn idle ness.e laity recognized d.described by Carol Neel as "an important ecclesiastical administrator" . They were considered unskilled workers and had the lowest social sta­ tus. during pregnan�. had held a secret meeting during which. many were arrested. f or the first time.

regional \var. matr imonial conditions and male clothes to attract their customers. which is often viewed the highest govenunental organs are nomic aristocracy. where homosexuality was an important part of the social fabric "attracting males of all ages. an ordinanc e introduced in 1387 allowed private people to arrest vagabonds and employ thnn for one month without \vages (Geremek 1985: 53-65). when the city banned "sodomites" from public office. when it rcconunended that people should not give food or hostel to healthy beggars and 30. in the course of which the Catalonian peasants recruited one man from every three households. Thus. the authorities were still looking for means to eradicate sodomy "from the city and from the county" (Rocke 1997: 3(}-32.: 12(}-21 . and third offenders would be brande d on the forehead. 32. passing their time in taverns. On the Florentine gover n­ ment's promotion of publicly funded prostitution as a remedy against population decline and "sodomy. by 1418. In the last phase of the war.. The concept or' workers' democracy" may seem preposterous when applied to these as a democratic country. But significantly. to intimidate the landowners. 31.. Trexler (1993): Like other Italian cities of the fifteenth century.S. After the Black Death. Similar ordinances were issued in France in t 351. 133). while second offenders would be put in the stocks. forms of governmem. The to leave their holdings. and all composed of representatives from an eco­ remeusas was a redemption [ax that the servile peasants in Catalonia had to pay remensas were also subjected to a new taXation known as the "five evil customs" (los malos USN) thar." see also Richard C. they demanded the end of rent and the establishment of peasant property rights (ibid. so that.of the modern struggle against vagabonds: forced labor. [n the French legislation a new element appeared that became Part had to accept work. peasants subject to the vagabonds. had [0 accept work Or fac e the consequences. the m:un Step which social rank. in earlier times.But we should consider that in the U. Florence believed that officially sponsored prostitution combatted two other evils of incomparably greater moral and social import: male homosexuality . put up crosses and other threatening signs aU over the fields.These new taxes. first offenders would be put in prison on bread and water.whose practice was thought to obscure the difference between the sexes and thus all difference and S8 . the proliferation of public brothels was accompanied by a camp:ugn against homosexuals that spread even to Florence. and set up a \vatchdog conmussion devoted to the extirpation homosexuality : the Office of Decency. and the conflicts revolving around the use of abandoned holdings were the source of a protracted. In Castile. tiatives which the authorities introduced in 1403. A further ordinance in 1354 established that those who remained idl e. took decisions at peasant assemblies and. Signs of a change in Florence were twO ini. playing dice or begging. They also strengthened their ties by means of sworn associations." So popuJar was homosexuality in Florence that prostitutes used to wear c1 the office took was to make preparations for the opening of new public brothel. 35). had been applied in a less generalized way (Hilton 1973: 117-18}. not one industrial worker has yet become President.

there was an inversion of this tendency and a restoration of the power of the nobility. This put an end to that social mobility that had been the ma jor achievement of urban soci­ e in medieval T uscany (Luzzati ety and conununal lif 1981: 187. In T in any other European region. an organ. and the sponsorship of public prostitution can be f ound in late teenth-century Lucca. Trexler poims out that the same correJation between the spread of homosexuality. and that the f ourteemh-century. ' [a] century later [they] wondered if it could survive when [upper] class women could not be distinguished f rom brothel prostitutes (ibid. population decline. By tlus time. where the democratization of political lif e had proceeded f urther than 33. 59 . by the second half of the 1 5th century.32). so that whereas [i]n the early f ifteenth century preachers and statesmen [in Florence] had deeply believed mac no city could long endure in which f emales and males seemed the same .decorum . V enice and Siena. uscany. early fif growth in the number and social power of prostitutes eventually led co a backlash. achieved by means of marriages and the sharing of prerogatives.ic fusion had occurred between the families ofthe merchants and those of the nobility.: 65).and the decline in the legitimate population which resulted from an insufficient number of marriages (p. 206). promoted by the mercantile bourgeoisie to block the rise of the lower classes. .

.s pou�rfi" scme..w produd. THE FALL 0/' MAN (1510).Iris work.tll Drlrrr u. nIOka tilt tXJmlsioll oj Iltt pcasatllryfrom its {om"".Albru/" Dilrer. or' II. .. lands.rg . 11.­ Wl.e rxpuisioll ofAdam and Evtfrom lllt Garden oj &1m. u�Ji(" ""'IS stnrtjng 10 oaur anon westen! Europt at die Iftry (.

. as Peter BlickJe called it. when all [he branches of mankind shall look upon the earth as one conunon treasury to all .the capital invesonent being the sex-act and the resuJcing I � Part One: Introduction The developme eudal nt of capitalism was not the only possible response to the crisis of f owe r. Throughout Europe. the "revolution of the common man. . . . by 1525 their most powerful expression.isll1 had off ered the promise of a new egalitarian society built on social equality �Ild cooperation."Heart of Darkness. . Then. ..isery shall not remove." 1983 or his sexual pleasure. 77." New 61 . used f . was the white man .The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women: Constructing "Difference" in the "Transition to Capitalism " upon the creation when one man endeavoured to be a lord over another? . ." was crush ed.. . Her back and muscle were pressed into field labor . -Barbara Omolade. . her hands were demanded to nurse and nurture the gateway to the womb. . New Lal. I A hundred thousand rebels were massacred in retaliation. which was his place ofcapital invesonent child the accumulated surplus . vast con'WlUnalisric social movements and rebellions against eUdaI. bloodshed and misery came not gllltoUSlles� 1 649 -Gerrard Winstanley. the "Peasam W ar" H1 G ermany or. in 1535. I demand whether all wars. of Ri eelings and o him she was a fragmented commodity whose f T choices were rarely considered: her head and her heart were rom her separated from her hack and her hands and divided f womb and vagina. However. [H]er vagina. And whether this l11.

.. and bring new workers under its command..'·conquest..' and landowners." the attempt made by the Anabaptists in the town of Munster to bring kingdom of Cod to earth... whereas the period it names was among the est and most discontinuous in world history .. A5 we know.. • dati initiated in response to its accumulation crisis.ics with AcbJIl Smith)6 that: (i) capitalism could nOt have developed without a prior concentration of car 62 .. ... By the late Middle Ages the feudal economy was doomed.. by imposing polygamy..one that saw apocalyptic transl'orm"tie.....4 The concept of"transition.l: 789). . .._ ."'. -.. however.2 With these defeats. The real wage increased by prices declined by 33%. and the measures which the European states adopted to protect kets.. nor a capitalist society have"evolved" from it. murder. in brief force" were the piJ. Jerusalem.itive accumulation" at the end of Volwne I to describe the social and economic restrucmring that the European ruling opment of capitalist relations with the Marxian concept of"primitive accumulation. though elements of a capitalist were taking shape. . a tendency appeared toward local self-sufficiency) Evidence of a chronic disaccumula­ tion trend in this period is also found in the pessimism of the contemporary m"rchaJ.." then... suggests a ual......in which feudalism in Europe no new social-economic system was yet in place. "Transition.Thus. . . ' . As entries in the registers of the feudal manors recorded.L three centuries was to change the history of the plane� 1ay­ ing the foundations of a capitalist world-system.�. Military might was not sufficient.. _ ... . _ ... linear historical development. The feudal economy could not reproduce itself.I .S Marx introduced the concept of"prim. in the relendess attempt to appropriate sources of wealth... therefore. used it to define a period roughly from 1450 to 1650 . lars of this process (ibid.: 785). raced with an muJation crisis that nrctched for more than a century. in the 1940s and 1950s.Vol. Age of Plunder (Hoskins). suppress competition and force people to \vork at the conditions imposed. evoke the changes that paved the way to the advent of capitalism and the forces shaped them... for self-sufficiency and the new high-wage regime allowed for the"wealth of the people."the work [was] not worth breakfast" (Dobb 1963: 54)... We deduce its dimension some basic estimates indicating that between 1350 and 1500 a major shift occurred the power-relation between workers and masters.. . the revolutionary process in Europe came an end. ... the concept of a"transition to was capitalism" is in breaking down ways a fiction.ity of istic wealth" (Marx 1909.. enslavement.. The term.." but "excluded the possibil. and the Age of the Whip (Stone). compounded by the spreads hunts and the effects of colonial expansion.. It was in response to this crisis tl13t the European ru�ng class launched the global ofren­ sive that in the course of at least ro••i. robbery. while I refer to the social processes that characterized the "feudal reaction" and the though I agree with its critics that we must rethink Marx's interpretation of it. --_ . to avert the crisis of feudalism.. expand irs economic basis. .. first undermined presumably the patriarchal turn taken by its leaders who.. the length of the working-day decreased. British historians. caused among their ranks to revolt. . In this volume. and to establish (in polem." and which historians can only describe in the harshest terms: the Iron Age (Kamen). rents also declined. I use the term primarily in a temporal sense... helps us to think of a pn'lo'ng� process of change and of societies in which capitalist accumulation coexisted with ical formations nOt yet predominantly capitalistic." then.. however. also ended in a bloodbath.

. and the enslavement of Native Americans and Mricans to the nunes and plantations of the "New World.is time and the foundation f o his aCCOUllt. Thus. of the revolu­ or the future conullunist sociccy.in the working class.: 82�30) ." were not the only means by which a world proletariat was f onned and "accumulated . By contrast. event c 111 h ciii 7 spe a as mue as relations o(capitalist Marx. the turning of Mrica into a preserve for the commercial hum­ ing of black skins. . and that (ii) the divorcing ofthe workers from �e I. enslave­ mem and emombmem in m ines of the aboriginal population. til abstin eudal reaction" with the development of a capi­ or it connects the "f useful concept. especially with reference to Europe.VoJ. [of America]. then. was yesterday in England the capitalised blood of children" (ibid. (Marx J909. Nor does Marx's analysis of primi­ t ive accumulation mention the "Creat Witch-Hunr"of the 1 6th and 1 7th centuries. was not simply an accumulation and concentration of exploitable workers and capital. Prmunve accul11ulaoon. the extirpation." This process required the transf ormation of the body into a work­ machine. the chief moments of prinutive accumula­ oon . we do not find in his work any men­ ound transf ormations that capitalism introduced in the reproduction tion of the prof oflabor-power and the social position of women." independem worker.eans of produ�on.". the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies.labor. III. arguing that: I. the capitalist ." Prinutive accumulation. not iW and ence of the rich. f Or the develop�ent of and logical conditions f historical the identifies it and y. facilitating its expulsion from the lands it once held in common. I: 823). The expropriation of European workers from their means of subsis­ tence. in Europe as in America. Marx a1. in his view. whereby hier63 II . although he acknowledged that: � : ry �l1a V . . .�nd The discovery of gold and silver in America. and the subjugation of women to the reproduction of the work-force. . although this state-sponsored terror campaign was cemral to the def eat of the European peasantry. I discuss these developments. then. .point of the waged industrial proletariat: the protagonist.0 recognized that "[aJ great deal of capital. however. it required the de'truction of the power of women which. which today appears in the United Scates without any certificate of birth. primitive accumulation consi. are .sts essentially in the expropriation of the from the European peasantry and the formation of the "free. or the eXIstence f precondiron a indicating ("originary') "primitive" system. Most of all. is the source of capitalist wealth. analyzed primitive accumulation almost exclusively from the ". '[ econom . time. In tllis chapter and those that follow. It was also all ('(CU­ mulatiol/ o f dijJ erellccs atld divisions wit/. was achieved through the extennination of the "witches. process of h.

never compler abolished. the Witch-. Marx wrote. a tendency limited only by tlle workers' resistance and the danger of exhaustion of the work-force. models for the furure prison system.ilce" and age. In the "New World" we have the subjugation of the aboriginaJ populations to the regimes rl the mita and cuatt}ehifS under which multitudes of people were consumed to bring sil­ vcr and mercury to the surface in the mines of Huancavelica and Potosi. became constitu­ tive of class rule and the formation of the modern proletariat. slavery.that capitalist accumu­ lation continues to devastate life in every corner of the planet. by the 16th cen economies based on coerced labor were forming. the tendency of the capitalist class. ships are already traJIIooo porting indentured servants and convicts from Europe to America. we have the impression of being in an immense concentration camp. we have a "second serfdom. IV. comes on the face of the eanh dripping blood and dirt from head to toe (1909. We cannot. In Eastera Europe. What we deduce from this scenario is that force was the main lever. whipping. during the first three centuries its existence. Hunt. therefore. was revitalized. I I 64 .Vol. or see the advent of capitalism as a moment of historical progress. as it has planted into the body of the proletariat deep divisions that have served to intensify and conceal exploitation. when we look at the beginning of capitalist devd­ OPl11cnt. was to impose slavery and other forms of coerced labor as the domi work relation." tying to the land a population oerumers who hacl never previously been enserfed. we have the rise of the slave trade. while on the seas. the branding.archies built upon gender. Significantly. identify capitalist accumulation with the liber­ ation of the worker. in the 15th century. and incarceration of vagabonds and beggars in newly COB­ structed work-houses and correction houses. I Capitalist Accumulation and the Accumulation of Labor in Europe Capital. where. It is in great part because of these imposed divisions­ especially those between women and men . Later.9 In Western Europe. the main eCG-' nomic power in the process of primitive accumulationlO because capitalist develop required an inunense leap in the wealth appropriated by the European ruling class the number of workers brought under its conmland.realized on a scale never before matched in the course of history. indeed. but in Europe as well. as weU as "r. as many Marxists (among others) have done. This was true nOt only in the American colonies. I e inc the importance of slave-labor and the plantation system in capitalist accumulati Here I want to stress that in Europe.ln other words. Oa the horizon. capitalism has created more brutal and insiclious forms of enslavement. and "living labor" in the form of human beings made available exploitation . On the contrary. I: 834) and. primitive acc lation consisted in an inunense accumulation of labor-power-"dead labor"in the fo of stolen goods. female or male. we have the Enclosures. too.

Where workers' resistance to re-enserfinent could not be broken. 146). -kingdom as a whole (one per Napolitan the 1T1 25.. armed out to private cltlzens or public works.11 world. Bono calculates that 1110re than calated the hostilities against the Muslim . burned castles. IS After itS def eat. although f conditions material the as phenomenon. .Inous parts o f Germany and the other territories that had been a t the cemer o f the "war. .Tlus contradiction . the f :. and which was conunemorated by Albrecht Durer with the "Monument to the V anquished Peasants" (Thea 1 998: 65. which confirmed their f ears that an international conspiracy was as underway to overthrow their power.an importam source them in agriculture.){ .:O act that Very and serf dom could not be rescored meant that the labor crisis that had character­ �.l5 a watershed in European history. or were f goverrunents f 111 Joyed by ciry or the oars. the revenge was mer­ ciless. to whom we owe the most population) and simiJar figures apply [Q other Italian towns and to southern ceriC ofthe · . in t11e woods. 6S . in the fields. artisans. Like the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. slavery ore bef except in the East.· ve study ofslavery in Ic:UY there were numerous slaves in the Mediterranean areas . Peasant W Austria. 1 4 tills "revolution of the conmlon l11an" \v. where population scarcity gave landlords the upper hand.d the late Middle Ages continued in Europe into the 170b century. a system of public slavery developed whereby thousands of kidnapped fra llce. tor­ tured. . W orkers attempting to hire themselves out independently Or case of recidivism. Switzerland) and joining workers f rom every field (fanners. and even then.boren.�ere oreigne f . merging in their consciousness with the Anabaptists akeover of Munster." A broad organizational effort spreading over three countries (Germany. and their numbers grew after the Battle of Lepanto (1571) . tellS] the t 6th and 17th centuries. But the clock could not be turned back. A "free" wage labor-market did not develop in Europe until tlle 18m century. I n \'.000 and Naples in lived s slave • As reported by the Italian historian Salvatore Bono. 10.ich still characterizes capitalist develop­ Il1ent17 _ �ct that the drive to maximize the exploitation of labor put in jeopardy tile reproduc­ exploded most dr amatically in tlle American colonies. which occurred in the same year the conquest of Peru. martyred" (ibid. Europe nca. where work. In rs . . IIlciuding the best German and Austrian artists) . impaled. mostly male and adult.: 1 53.13 In the West its restoration was was no exception.the ancestors of today's undocumented imnugrant workers . disease. limited a remained Italy.The attempt to bring back serf dom f ailed as weU. in the ditches of a thousand dismantled. the response was the expropriation of the peasantry f rom its land and the intro­ duction off orced wage-labor.12 But III Europe slavery between slavery and Af connection special ofa assul11ption or it did not exist. 134-35).16 This was an exception ." "murdered.wh. contractual wage-work was obtained only at the price ofan intense we and by a linuted set ofl. Nevertheless." Customary rights and even f orms of territorial government were preserved. it shook the powerful to the core. aggrnvated by the leave their employers were punished with incarceration and even with death. (Bono 1999: aeet atican V the being nt employme afsuch the master always strives" which towards exploitation] [of orm f "that is ry Slave :� prevented by peasant resistance culminating in the "German ar. In i ners. Many were destined f \lh el11ployed 1r8). This must b� emphasized to dispel the (Dockes 1982: 2).000 or it must have been quite strong if it tOok until the 18m century (he employers' desires f was outlawed in England. in the tion of the work-force. "Thousands of corpses laid on the ground from Thuringia to Abace.

living conwtions to which they were subjected during the Middle Passage and on the plantations. IS It and disciplinary punislunents destroyed two thirds of the native American population ill and the exploitation of slave labor.. Even so... ..ipwreck the emerging capitalist economy. ..... .. . " the decades inunediately after me Conquest... � ... '[his. 66 ..... Never in Europe did the exploitation of the work-force reach such genoci­ dal proportions.. ... ��-�-�- .especially at the proletariaJl level. in the 16th and 1'" centuries..... ... and an intense resistance that threatened to sh..... .. is the historical context in wh.. .. .whether in Europe or America .. Peasatlt "'ifurling tilt bmmer o!"Frudo"..land privatization and the commodification of social relations (the response lords and merchants to their economic crisis) caused widespread poverty.mortalicy. was also at the core of me slave trade there too... -�-':J....... . . for the changes which the advefll of capitalism introduced in the social position of women . Millions of Mricans died because of the torturo. I argue...... ..... - �.l iB....were primarily dictated by the search for n� sources of lahar as well as new fonns of regimentation and division of the work-force.ich the history of women and reproduction in the transition from feudalism to capitalism must be placed. except under the Nazi regime..

/wI 'hey .. (1526).e revolt. (otlVil/ced Lu.'nlt'c/ (IS tmitors.is pi(­ rrprcst'tlfillg " prastllU et'll. JtY1ll1t we JmoUl 11./lrt. (erttli".henllJ.A/brrda o.1.·. MO.her ill his (ollde. Aaord.II".hcmsdlltS s/Jould be preted either (IS " Stltire of tile rebel pellSlIIlts or tn...1n'f.. TI. ill/d. must IwlJtJolloulf!d Lu..rom!d Oil a (0/­ lI'l'rt betmyed /lllIbigIlOUS."gly. V ANQUISHED PEASAlvrs.\VMENT 1U nm . is Ilighly Imioll ofob or . it I/(IS been jnter­ hOl/mge to their momi slrell gth. Darer WdS pro­ /IS /1 as 1/ f Olll/dty pertIUbed by tile evell'S oj 1525. It am suggest 'hnl the prtlSllrltS jecrsjrom his d(li/y fife.y is .ltIlioll oj ri. I • 67 .

reproduce.ms to transform territorial and economic arrangements . By the mid-1 6th cen­ tury European merchants had expropriated much of the land of the Canary Islands and turned them into sugar plantations. . wluch . took place in the summer to give the peasants. grew tenf old. so that war left in its wake deserted viUages.to argue that ther was sufficient to produce a self-sustaining process of prolecarianization.. of a new patnarchal order. leading to debt and d. I then eXamine in broad oudines the policies which the capitalist class introduced to discipline. f aJnines. whose traumatic impact on the ulation is reflected in numerous artistic representations. and they became permanent and prof essionalized... being used as a me. and increased state taxation. and the Separation of Produ ction fro:rn. 111 the construcnon resuJong y the wage..20This phenomenon. It took diff erent f orms: the evictions of tenants. the elimination of the enemy.These oft. one-third of the communal indigenous land had been appropriated by the Spaniards under the sys­ tem of the etlcomieuda. laud expropriation because. I trace the main developments that shaped the ofcapitalism in Europe . Reproduction From the beginning of capitalism. enclosure occurred in the Americas where. But by the 161h century wars became more frequent and a new rype of warfare appeared. fields ered with corpses. the inuniseration of the working class began with war and land privatization.. the loss ofland occurred against the inctividual's or the cOl1ununity's will and undermined their capacity f or subsistence.and religious ref orm. the time to sow their crops. and expa�d the European proletariat.ern'''' of the Apocalypse" (1498).This was an international phenomenon. �e�nning with the attack it launched on women. onn a terrain of confrontation or solidarity between asking to what extent they could f indigenous. I define all these f orms .In support of this statement. and epidemics. I look at the production of racial and sexual hierarchies in the colOnies.e sale of land. who f ormed the bulk of the armies. Military campaigns became much longer. Loss ofland \VaS also one of the consequences of slave-raiding in Africa.19 Mercenaries well hired who had no attachment to the local population. 68 . I Land Privatization in Europe. changed the agricultural scape of Europe. In Europe land privatization began in the late-15th century.. simultaneous1y with colonial expansion. and the goal of warfare bec . Af rican. even when f orce was not used. The most massive process of land privatization and. armies conf ronted each other f or long periods of time with-­ out much action. Two f orms ofland expropriation must be mentioned: war . by the turn of the 17th century. which deprived many COl1ullunities of the best among their youth. rent increases. I define as the "patriarch . in part because of technological innovation but l1losdy because the European states began to turn to territorial conquest to resolve their economic crisis and wealthy financiers invested in it. "[B]efore 1 494 warfare in Europe had mainly consisted of rninor wars charac.land privatization and the Price Revolution .." Lasdy. terized by briefand irregular campaigns" (Cunningham and GreU 2000: 95).whose character changed i n this period. and European women and between women and men. as in Albrecht Durer's uThe Four H'lfS.. the Produ ction of Scarcity.

" lulIIged by mjfjl(/ry llull. THE HORRORS OF W AR (1633).21 I n England as well. a corrunon hunger f or the Church's land at first united the lower and higher classes in the Protestant movemem. indicting a set of strategies the Eng iish lords and rich f armers used to eliminate conununaJ land property and expand . the artisans and day-laborers.e. thelr holdings." they were savagely attacked as f omenters of sedition (ibid.24 It mostly ref erred to tile abolition of the open-field system.: 192).A1so the peasants." and had mobilized with the promise that they too would receive their share. who had demanded the expropri­ ation of the Church "with a passion born of bitterness and hope. W.gabotlds lwd in:gg(1fS lllllt crowded the rollds oj 17'''· Many tenure contracts were also annulled when the Church's lands were confis­ cated in the course of the Protestant Ref ormation. Hoskin has describe it as " the greatest trans­ f erence of land in English history since the Norman Conquest" or. much land changed hands in the name of religious ref orm. G. were betrayed in their expec­ tations (Le Roy Ladurie 1 974: 1 73-76}."22 I n England. which began with a massive land­ grab by the upper class. Dismissed soldiers were n mllury Europe. an arrange­ ent by whic h villagers owned non-contiguous so-ips of land in a non-hedged field. were deceived. land privatization was mostly accomplished �ri�tion of workers from their"col11mon wealth" that. but when the land was auc­ tioned.jtu/ues Callol.e tIIl. however. soldiers lumed robbers. who had become Protestant t of ree themselves from the tithes. as "The Great Plunder." a phenomenon that has become so associated with the expro­ In the 1 6th century.23 through the "Enclosures. 69 . In France. it is used by anti-cap­ Italist activists as a signifier f or every attack on social entitlements. more succinctly. nclosing also included the f encing off of the conunons and the pulling down of the h ' acks of pOor cottagers who had no land but could survive because they had access to . When they stood by their rights.declar­ ing that "the Gospel prom ises land freedom and enf ranchisement. in our time. ElI gmllitl R'n.orilia IvcreI or". starting in 1 563. large pm! ojtlte IIrl. "enclosure" was a technical term.

For workers they inaugu­ rated two centuries of starvation.. • • vI . instead. By the last part of the 16th century. due to the ety of strips to which a family had access. There are also misconceptions about the eff ectiveness of the open-field system agriculture. . the population was stagnating or declilung...I r\.. ormation. built on self -government and self -reliance.25 Large tracts of land were also enclosed to create deer parks.. revitalized by the World Bank's assault on the last planetary commons. ... is that the enclosures boosted agricultural efficiency. It protected the peasants from harvest failure... Coupled with agricultural innovation.... but its importance has been overstated.. any praise f or cOllununal land tenure is disnussed as "nostalgia f or the past. . .. climaxing in numerous uprisings. . accompanied by a long debate on the merits and demerits of land privatization which is still continuing today. l11unalism is backward and inefficient. to be laid [0 pasture.." from all political perspec­ tives.. and it encouraged a cratic way of life.... Population growth have been a contributing factor. It is claimed that the land was depleted and.. . .. vagabondage had become an international problem (ibid. Though the Enclosures continued into the 1 8th century (Neeson 1993)." the assumption being that agricultural com. the argument goes._ w. U I I I U..27 But these arguments do not hold. ." . the enclosures made the land more productive. almost everywhere in Eurol�. and the dislocations they pro­ duced were well compensated by a significant increase in agricultural productivity.. Briefly put. .-: ule (since each strip required attention at a diff erent time). the argument proposed by "modernizers...ilnJdl land privatization like Jean De Vries recognizes that the conununal use of a". .. On the contrary...26 while its takeover by the rich allowed it to rest. since all decisions 70 . Nor did the introduction of new agricultural techniques ia England compensate for this loss. was ill intense struggle. . H . customary rights. in the same way as today. even in the most f ertile areal ofAfrica.&.0 . Land privatization and the conmlercializatiOD of agriculture did not increase the food supply available to the common people. A testimony to the misery produced by land privatization is the fact that. but this time workers did not derive any efit f rom the change.. if it had remained in the hands of the poor. v . though more f ood was made available f or the market and for export. . more than two thousand rural conununities were destroyed before the Ref this way (Fryde 1996: 185).cic • fields had many advantages.... and should circumscribed in time.� . it would have ceased to produce (anticipating Garret Hardin's "tragedy of the COJ:ll­ mons").. the development of agrarian capital­ ism "worked hand in glove" with the impoverislunent of the rural population (Lis aDd Soly 1979: 102).Asia. and tllat those who def end it are guilty of an undue attachment to tradition.. . malnutrition is rampant due to tile destruction ofcom­ munal land-tenure and the "export or perish" policy imposed by the World Bank's suuc­ tural ad jusonent programs. . entire villages were cast down. But despite the appointment several royal conunissions. From tlus viewpoint.. . .: 87). but even a supporter .. So severe was the extinction of rural villages that in and again in 1 548 the Crown called for an investigation. and Latin America. it also allowed f or a manageable W()fk-schec. . little was done to stop the trend.. What began.. . .. barely a century alier the emergence of agrarian capitalism. Neo-liberal historians have described it as wasteful. sixty European toWDl had instituted some f orm of social assistance or were moving in this direction. . leading to the expansion of the f ood supply..

the place where or women the center of social lif rks Statemen t about the importance ofmarkets f or women in pre-capicalist Europe. and sodality. and open spaces in which to meet. nud gntherings o f the peasallt commutlity lIJere 1.S especially important f or women. Paraphrasing Alice tan say that the conunons too were f e. All the f estivals. the corrunons \. the conunons were the material f oundation upon which I'<asant solidarity and sociality could thrive. gnmcs. games.\I3. or woods in which to gather timber. to plam or harvest.willg by Dtmie1 Hop fer.were taken by peasant assemblies.28 The same considerations apply to the "cOllUlo l ns. autonomy. or quar­ nes.29The social function ofthe conunons \.autllry engr." Disparaged in 16th cenrury liter­ ature as a SOurce oflazmess and disorder. 1 6th. fish-ponds. AI1 thefestiVllis. when to drain the f ens. and gatherings of the peasant conmlUl l ity were held on dle conunons.vcre essential to the reproduction of many small f anners or cottars who survived only because they had access to meadows in �hich to keep cows. Beside encouraging collective decision­ Illaking and work cooperation. how many animals to allow on the conunons .Rumlf etut. having Jess title to land and less social power. we 71 .e1d 011 tile {OIl/IIIOtU.dependent on them for their subsistence. who. wild berries and herbs. were ��re .


they convened, exchanged news, took advice, and where a women's viewpoint on c muna! events, autonomous from that of men, could f orm (Clark 1968: 51). This web ofcooperative relations, which R. D.T awney has ref erred to as the "prinl.. itive cOl1unullism of the f eudal village. crumbled when the open-field system was abo]..

the number of poor squatters incre3sed who had nothing lef t but a cot and a cow, and no choice but to go with "bended knee and cap in hand" to beg f or a job (Seccornbe join the increasing number of vagabonds or itinerant workers - soon to become t the village to 1992). Social cohesion broke down;30 families disintegrated, the youth lef the

1967). Not only did cooPera.., rion in agricultural lahor die when land was privatized and individual labor Contracta erences among the rural population deepened, II replaced collective ones; economic diff
ished and me communal lands were f enced off (Tawney

social problem of the age - while the elderly were lef t behind to f end f or themsel.... Particularly disadvantaged were older women who, no longer supported by their chiJ.,. dren, f eU onto the poor rolls or survived by borrowing, petty theft, and delayed payments. The outcome was a peasantry polarized not only by the deepening economic inequal­ ities, bue by a web of hatred and resenOTIents that is well-documenced in the records animals, or unpaid rents were in the background of many accusations)1 The enclosures also undermined the econom ic situation of the anisans. In


the witch-hunt, which show that quarrels relating to requests for help, the trespassing f:L


same way in which multinational corporations take advantage of the peasants expropn. ated f rom their lands by the World Bank to construct "free export zones" where com­ modities are produced at the lowest cost, so, in the capitalists took advantage of the cheap labor-f orce that had been made available in ence. This was especially the case in the textile industry that \vas reorganized as a

16th and 17th centuries, merchant the runJ.

rural areas to break the power of the urban guilds and destroy the artisans' independ­ cottage industry, and on the basis of the "putting out" system, the ancestor of today's "infomlal economy," also built on the labor of women and children.32 But textile work­ ers were not the only ones whose labor was cheapened. As soon as they lost access to land, all workers were plunged intO a dependence unknown in medieval times, as


landless condition gave employers the power to cut their pay and lengthen the worki.... day. In Protestant areas this happened under the guise of religious ref orm, which dou­ bled the work-year by eliminating the saints' days. Not surprisingly, with land expropriation came a change in the workers' attinxle towards ule wage. WIllie in the Middle Ages wages could be viewed as an instrUment <L freedom (in contrast to the compulsion ofthe labor services), as soon as access to land caJDI: to an end wages began to be viewed as instruments of enslavement

(Hill 1975: 18111).»

Such was ule hatred Ulat workers f elt for waged labor that Gerrard Winstanley. the leader of the Diggers, declared that it that it did not make any diff erence whethet one lived under the enemy or under one's brother, if one worked f or a wage.This exp . the growth, in the wake of the enclosures (using the term in a broad sense to include . f orms of land privatization), of the number of "vagabonds" and "masterless" men, "bloody" legisJation passed against them -rather than CO work f or a wage.34 It priation, no matter how meager its size. pref erred to take to the road and to risk ensJavemem or death - as prescribed by

whO cbt

explains the strenuous struggle wh ich peasants made to defend their land from exp


and that "all bond-men may be made free, f or god made all f ree with its ofall commons,"sheddying" (Fleccher 1973: 142-44). These demands

In England, anti-enclosure struggles began in the late 1 5th century and continued e "the most es be� g out the 1 6th and 1 7th, when levelling the enclosing h� d m through flict (Manrung 1988: 3 1 1). con class of symbol dlC and protest" social of s specie n o . . . . COIiUll . ,closure nets often turned IIno mass upnslIlgs. The most notonous was Kerr s . . . Ano-e, olk In 1 549 Tlus n, named after its leader, Robert Kerr, that took place In Norf : Rebellio air. At its peak, the rebels I1Ulnbered 1 6 ,000, had an artillery, Smali nocturnal aff was nO o f 1 2,OOO, and even captured Norwi�h. at the time the secarmy government a eated def , They also drafted a progcam chac, If realized, would have England.J5 in cicy est ld larg eudal power advance of agrarian capit.ilism and elil1l.inated all vestiges of f lecked the armer and tanner, pre­ demands that Kett, a f twency-nine of consisted It ry. count 1 the was that "from henceforth no man shall enclose nted to [he Lord Protector. The first articles demanded that rencs shouJd be reduced to the rates that had Other ." more any rewed sixty-five years before, chac "all f reeholders and copy holders may cake the prof ­
• •

�: :

h is precious blood

govenunenc army attacked them were the rebels stopped. Thirty-five hundred were slain William were hanged outside Norwich's walls. Anti-enclosure struggles continued, however, through the Jacobean period with a percent of enclosure riots included women among the rebels. Some were all f emale protescs. In

practice. Throughout Norf olk, enclosing hedges were upromed, and only when another oUowed. Hundreds more were wounded. Ken and his brodler III the massacre that f

were puc inco

noticeable increase in the presence of women.36 During the reign ofJames I, about ten

1 607, f or instance, thirty-seven women, led by a "Captain Dorothy," attacked

coal nuners work ing on what women claimed to be the village conunons in Thorpe Moor (Y orkshire) . Forty women went to "cast down the f ences and hedges" of an enclo­ sure in W addingham (Lincolnshire) in

1 608; and in 1 609, on a manor of Du nchurch

(Warwickshire) "fifteen women, including wives, widows, spinsters, Ulunarried daugh­ ters, and servants, rook it upon themselves to assemble at lught to dig up the hedges and level the ditches" f eat" (Fraser

(ibid.: 97). Again,atYork in May 1 624, women destroyed an


and went to prison f or it - they were said to have "en joyed tobacco and ale after their

1 984: 225-26). Then, in 1641, a crowd chac broke inco an enclosed f en ac

Buckden consiseed mainly of women aided by boys (ibid.). And dlese were juse a few Instances of a confrontation in wluch women holding pitchforks and scythes resisted the f encing of the land or the drailung of the f ens when their livelihood threatened. This Strong f emale presence has been attributed to the beliefthat women were above the law, being "covered" legally by theif husbands. Even men, we are told, dressed like

with the commutation, women were dlOse who suffered most when the land ;as lost and the village conunuluty feU apart. Part of the reason is that it far more dif ­

WOlllen to pull up the f ar. For the ences. But this explanation should not be taken toO f �OVernment Soon eliminated this privilege, and started arresting and imprisOlung women Involved in anti-enclosure riots.37 Moreover, we should not assume that women had no stake of their Own in the resistance to land expropriation. The opposite was the case. As

CUlt for them to become vagabonds or m.igrant workers, f or a nomadic lif e exposed them t l 10 Il ale ViOlence, especially at a time when nusogyny was escalating. W omen were also ess Inobile on account of pregnancies and the caring of children, a f act overlooked by





_ 0

scholars who consider the flight from servirude (through migration and other C ornu nomadism) the paradigmatic f orms of struggle. Nor could women become soldien pay, though some joined amlies as cooks, washers, prostitutes. and wives;38 but by the century this option too vanished, as armies were further regimented and the crowds women that used to f ollow them were expelled fiom the battlefields (Kriedte 1 983: W omen were also more negatively impacted by the enclosures because as SOon e, they f land was privatized and monetary relations began to dominate economic lif o UOd it more difficult than men to support themselves, being increasingly confined to repro.. ductive labor at the very time when this work

will see, this phenomenon, which has accompanied the shift f rom a subsistence to money-economy, in every phase of capitalist development. can be attributed to se" f actors. It is clear. however, that the commercialization of economic lif e provided material conditions f or it. With the demise of the subsistence economy that had prevailed in p"'ocapi Europe, the unity of production and reproduction which

was being completely devalued. As


has been typical of all


based on production-f or-use came to an end, as these activities became the carriers f erent social relations and were sexually differentiated. In the new monetary ",!,"",e ," 1111

Enlil/ed " W olt/al (Ind shows Iht 1m;"

i"d"ding ,vivcs arid proslil14ltS, look cart ojIht rcprodllCt;otl oj Iht so/­

KtlnlltS, " Ihis picwre by Hmrs Sebtdd &II(lIt/ (c. 15)0) of wa",tn Ilml ustd 10J ollow Iht annits ttJnl 10 Iht oottftjitld.
lve(lri,�� (I

diers. Notire the

'1II4221iIJ� device.


P[the worker began [0 be considered as valueless from an econonuc vlewpomt and even

rion-for-market roduc


de6ned as a value-creating activity, wh�re� the �production

iscoric changes - that peaked in the 19th cemury with the creation of the These h e - redefined women's position in society and in relation to men.The full-time housewif oflabor that emerged from it not only fixed women to reproductive work, division ual sex enabling the state and employers to use the male but increased their dependence on men, s labor. I n this way, the separation of conunodity wage as a means to conunand women' rom the reproduction of labor-power also made possible the development production f

as work. Reproductive work continued to he paid - though at ased to be considered or the master class or outside the home. Bm the onned f when perf ce lowest rates the mic importance of the reproduction aflabar-power carried ou[ in the home, and econo fu ction in the accumulation of capital became invisible, being mystified as a natural us n rom many and labelled "women's lahor." In addition, women were excluded f '' ''''cion ' or a wage. they earned a pittance compared ged occupations and, when they worked f ,, � male wage. age aver e th


I>tion of unpaid labor. Most importantly, the separation of production f rom reproduction created a class

of a specifically capitalist use of the wage and of the markets as means for the accumu­

of proletarian women who were as dispossessed as men but, unlike their male relatives,

a society that was becoming increasingly monetarized, had almost no access to wages, workers.

thus being f orced into a condition of chronic poverty, economic dependence, and invis­ As we will see, the devaluation and f eminization of reproductive labor

a dis­

aster also f or male workers, f or the devaluation of reproductive labor inevitably devalued
ItS product: labor-power. But there is no doubt that in the "transition from f eudalism to tal to the accumulation of capital and has remained SO ever since.

capitalism" women suffered a unique process of social degradation that was f undamen­ Also in view ofthese developments, we cannot say, then, that the separation of the worker from the land and the advent of a money-economy realized the struggle which Ihe medieval serfS had f ought to f ree themselves from bondage. It - male or f emale - who were liberated by land privatization. What \vas "liberated" was capital, as rhe land was now "free" to f unction as a meallS ofaccumulation and exploita­ bon, rather than as a means of subsistence. Liberated were the landlords, who now could Unload Onto the workers most of the COSt of their reproduction, giving them access to some means ofsubsistence only when directly employed.When work would not be avail­ able Or would not be sufficiently profitable, as in times ofcOl1unercial or agricultural cri­ SIS, Workers, instead, could be laid off and left [0 starve. The separation of workers from their means of subsistence and their new depend­

not the worke"

�: On nlOnetary relations also meant that the real \vage could now be cut and women's

r could be f urther devalued with respect to men's through monetary manipulation. It IS nOt " a COlllel dence, then, that as soon as land began to be privatized, the prices of fl Oodstuffi, Which f or two centuries had stagnated, began [0 rise.39


1 5 1 1 (Hamilton 1 965: 280).. .. .42 The Price Revolution aJso triggered a historic coUapse in the real wage compa­ rable to that which has occurred in our time throughout M rica. .... . . was attributed by contemporaries and clothes. e.1 143. a time when having money was f or many people a matter of life or death.1 500 1 2 1 .. and the collapse was just as sharp in other countries. prices rose because of the development of a national and interna-. .. ." a warehouse collapsed 1996: 88). and because the ruling class had learned to use the magical power of money CO cut labor this \vas because they were planted into a developing capitalist costs.. By ing power with respect to what [hey had been in 1 600... tional market-system encouraging the export-import of agriculwral produces. and created a class of capitalist entre­ preneurs... gold and silver are not capital. If they functioned as price-regulating devices. in Antwerp... ..4t Riq prices ruined the small f armers. .... while giving merchants the maximum freedom work of the invisible hand of the market.g. withjn a f ew decades. wages increased only by chree times (Hackett Fischer 1 996: 74). the 14ili and 18ili century (SlicherVan Bath 1 963: 327): YEARS KJLOGRAMS OF GRAIN � 1351-1400 1401-1 450 1451 .. and Latin America. but the product of a scate policy that pre­ . .. . . expressed in kilograms of between [he regard to the pricing and movement of goods. in which a growing percentage of the population . and because merchanes hoarded goods to sell them later at a higher price. been noted that prices had been rising bef ore these metals started circulating through the into world...40 Moreover. Predictably. Adam Smith) CO the arrival ofgold and silver f rom America. which due to irs devastating social consequences This "inflationary" been named the Price Revolution (Ramsey later econolnists (e. " POur_ ing into Europe [through Spain) in a manmloth stream" (Hamilton has 1971).. I. real wage lost two-thirds of its purchasing power... .one-third in England (LasIett 1 97 1 : 53) .. .. But it . and could have been put to other uses.g. This was not the vented laborers from organizing.. ....5 76 . ' " I The Price Revolution and the Pauperization of the European Working Class phenomenon. .I J'" u . It was under these circumstances that the arrivaJ of the American treasure trilt"' gered a massive redistribution of wealth and a new prolecarianization process.". as shown by the changes that intel'"' vened in the daily wages of an English carpenter..8 1 55.....had no access to land and had to buy the f ood that they had once produced.Asia. who accumulated f orrunes by investing in agriculture and money-lending... In other words.. to make jewelry or golden cupolas or to embroider 1 965: vu). . .. In September under the weight of [he grain packed in i[ (Hackett Fischer 1 565. who had to give up their land to buy grain or bread when the harvests could not f eed their f amilies.. European markets. in the countries "structurally ad justed" by the World Bank and the Internatiollll Monerary Fund. vv ..lves. .. While the price of f ood went up eigbt times.. � I . . il1 themse. real wages in Spain had lost thirry percent of their purcluf. V... capable of turning even wheat a precious conunodity... V l < vI ""'. "while the poor were literally starving in the streets......

workers in Europe were ref erred to as simply "the poor.1 700 1 70 1 .. by 1550. aggravated in . Meat disappeared from their tables. at the beginning aCme '''11S had to work f art!. I : 328).44 What f ollowed was responsible f the absolute impoverislunent of the European working class. evetything has truly changed. Braudel too speaks ofthe end or'carnivorous Europe. coincid. in England. tables at village f airs and f easts sank under their load. in f act. but f ood shortages became conunon. except f or a f ew scraps of lard. there was meat and f ood in profusion every day. what high prices! And the f ood of the most comf ortably ofTpeasants is almost worse than that of day-labourers and valets previously" (Braudel I 973: 1 30). Tills was a historic setback (whatever we may think of dietary norms) compared to the abundance ofmeat that had typified the late Middle Ages. Le Roy Ladurie 1 974). salt and olive oil (Braude! 1 973: 1 27ff . In France." summoning as a witness the Swabian Heinrich MuUer who.Vol. a phenomenon so wide­ spread and general that. Middle the lace orty weeks to earn the same income that. \Vl[h widespread unrest and a record number of witch-trials. a f act undoubtedly or the massive spread of prostitution in this period. teen weeks. " or this dramatic impoverishment is the change that occurred in the Evidence f workers' diets. Conde mni ng city dwellers to starvation (Braudel 1966. .3 74. In the 1 4th century. they had been able to obtaln in fif ce ncury by sixty percent between 1470 and 1 570 (Hackett Fischer 1996: 78). commented that. in 1 550. .43 ed dropp wages did beer and wine. This is what occurred In the f: . From me 16th to the 1 8th centuries. they had or the same cask .1f the pay of a man f receiving only one-third of the reduced male wage..1 750 1 7 5 1 . hut by the Bud-1 6th century they were rece ived ha. and 1 550. Today. the main expense in their budget. when the scanty grain reserves sent the price of grain sky-high. what a calamitous time. Then.1 500. Up to the 1 9th century tlus figure declined to less than twenty kilos" (Kriedte 1 983: 52).. Peter Kriedte writes that at that tiIne.0 48. Not only did meat disappear. . and so to the level they had reached in It took cencuries for wages in Europe to return point the that.1 800 1 22. in the past they ate difTerencly at the peasant's house..6 79. For some years. [see graph. by 1 550 and long after.1 94. But malnutrition was 77 . the workers' diets consisted essentially of bread. male to deteriorated Thing< Ages. an incredible quantity even by today's standards.1 600 1601-1 650 · 1 65 1 . the "annual meat consumption had reached the figure of 100 kilos per person. wluch were some of the worst in the history of the European proletariat. and Ing 1 590s .6 The wage colJapse was especially disastrous for women. tunes of harv est f ailure. next page] . and again in the decades of the 1580.1550 1 55 1 . and cou ld no longer support them­ selves by wage-work. neither in agriculture nor in manufacturing.4 83. . anune years of tile 1 540.

thirds of its pl4rclms. 1981). rile rt.1640. With.gered n historic (ol/tlPSt i. nil..ls." ait cifthe Reid IMI$. 1480.'tll Imgt lost two_ the 151h century mlti/ the 19th ctntury (Plltips-Broll'" mId Hopkj. TIle Prict Revol".ion lri� Price Revolution IIl1d the F II few dfmdes. 120 lOCI 80 60 40 20 o Wase Index (W l-7S-10C1) 120 lOCI 80 60 40 20 o Wase Index (14S1-7S-10C1) lOCI 80 60 Wase Index (14S1-7S-10C1) 20 o 1440 1460 1480 ISOCI IS20 lS40 lS60 1S80 1600 1620 1640 78 .rg POUltr.' real UNlgt' did not rrtum 10 tht fevtl it Iwd reached n. tIlt! rftll Wlige..

. Amt.---:_..Spain ------ 1500 1 600 16�0 1700 17� 79 ...--.. llilly mId S btWltfPl '500 and 1750 (Hfl{kett Fischer... compwtd .--... th� (orl· glmld) between 1566 mId t602..respeaively.. 1200 1000 800 :i600 1 mMn IMIIII price of.- . 400 (14)>-99-100)..Germany ond Austria llIly ---..tI..-._------- 18 10 8 6 4 0 1 --- J � -- -.weerr 1490 mId 1650.-- --- --. tile rise i" tile pri(� ofgmj" i" ElIglllPld be.---:: -. "nIC soolll copu�que"ces ofthe Price Revolutioll lire revellied by tllese cilllrrs. uAlidl it/dimtf. l� o �O :� I I .yew rncwq avencc 200 o 14�0 147� I�OO 1�2� I��O 1S7� 1600 162� 17� Il� 16�0 800 700 600 900 I�O 200 100 o 1�66 ������� 1�71 1 576 1"1 1"6 1�91 1�96 1601 --. 12 14 -.rich )l.:-. 1996)...� 16 . cO/llitalll rise iPl prices lItld property crima iPl Essex (En Jkli" mId the popultltioll decli"e mell$ured iPl milliopu {PI GertlllltlY.

. it was mostly spurred by hunger." On these occasions the 80 . .". Food became an object of such intense d� that it was believed that the poor sold their souls to the devil to get their hands on it." but most were craftsmen. presumably taking humankind to new technological and cultural heights. In the others the f emale presence was so conspicuous that Beree them "women's riots. was a where people never had enough to eat..rampam also in normal times. raking the f orm of on bakeries and granaries. .n.<w wry England. That the transition to capitalism inaugurated a long period ofstarvation f or work­ ers in Europe . In France."so hungry d"t d. by this time. from hand to mouth. in turn. by the 1 6th and 17th.on'. or the barks of trees. so that food acquired a high symbolic value as a marker rank. despite their dinate status.: 356).. and of riots against the export oflocal crops. and causing nighttnarish obsessions. country-folk fed upon wild roots. Sheila Rowbotham concluded that women were prominent in this of protest because of their role as their families' caretakers.. The desire for it among the poor reached epic proportions. demanding bread and charging the bake" with [heir supplies. like those described by Rabelais in his Gargatltua and "01""'. the proletarian struggle had centered around the demand for "Iibercy" and work. having less access [0 money and employment than they were more dependent on cheap food for survival.. with reference to 'O·"-'. But women were also most ruined by high prices f or. Crowds of poor women . which started "early in the morning . This is why. such as the conviction (spread among eastern Italian fanners) that witches roamed the countryside at night to f eed upon catde (Mazzali 1988: 73). Indeed. Europe was also a place where. in rimes of bad harvests. then gather at the bakers' stalls.45 The au'th"ri­ ties described those who participated in these attacks as "good for nothing" or'. Riots broke out also in the squares where grain markets were held.rts Witll the corn to be exported.. or f ound out that the rich had bought the bread and the remaining was lighter or more expensive. Six of the one food riots in 17th-cenmry France studied by Ives-Marie Berce were made up sively of women. a poor woman went weeping through the streets of the poor quarter.. . living.. while in the 1 4th and 1 Sth cen­ hlries. the Europe that was preparing to become a Promethean W'lrIC1-rno. rushed to get anns and shut the cicy gates to keep the starving out (Heller 1 986: 56-63).. they took quickly to the streets when f ood prices went up.is also demonstrated by the fact that.d by colonization . or they invaded the cities to benefit from grain rustributions or to attack the houses granaries of the rich who. The same occurred MontpelJjer in 1645. inspiring dreams Pantagruelian orgies.which plausibly ended because of the economic expansion pn:>d'o". when women took to the streets " [0 protect their children starvation" (ibid. .. along the routes taken by the ca. boatmen could be seen loading [he sacks. holding the of her son who had died of hunger" (Kamen 1971: 364). (1552). and "at the river where . It was the women who usually initiated and led the f ood revolts."46 Commenting on this phenomenon... This is what happened the time of the Cordoba uprising of 1 652. women besieged the bakeries when they became vinced [hat grain was to be embezzled.ey would devour the beans in the fields" (Le Roy Ladurie 1974). and multitudes roved the countryside weeping and ing. "humble people. or when spread that the grain supplies were being removed from town.

Exemplary is suggesting that f easting on roasted mutton. 1 520.. crimes" loom large in the disciplinary procedures of the 16[h and 17th "f ood risi ngly • fI "'111 the carts . utv marked by angry peasants with blood (Hackett Fischer 1996: 88).e Low Countries. grabbing their arms. In Treyes them to live in a state of constant f ear at the prospect of both contamination and revolt. such as poaching. gathering m ell 'o The struggle for f ood was f ought aJso by other means. walk down a street or stop in a square . the lIbushed as much grain as they could i n their skirts" (Berce: 1990: 1 7 1 -73). preparing to \It 152 them (HeUer 1986: 55-S6) . the men carrying away the sacks. and wine was now witch-trials.aV enetian man wrote in the m idcannot " You -dead of tlllles offamine hordes of vagabonds and beggars surrounded the better off. 3 rumor had it that the poor had put the houses of the rich on fire.e houses ofspec­ -de . . as in co available the recurrence of the theme of the "diabol ical banquet" in the cnturies. . white bread." But me main weapons considered 3 the poor in their struggle f or survival were their own famished bodies.: � diabolic act in the case of me "conunon people. f orcing hunger and 16th century . . Not surlat0rs were U . exposing their wounds co them and. half disease. d. in d. stealing one's neighbors' fields or homes. F amily o jVCl gabo"ds.At Malines. with pitchforks and sticks . and assaults on the houses of the rich.without multitudes surrounding you co beg for charity: you see hunger E" gmvi"g Uy Lmts L<ydclI. VCI" 81 . .

Italy. vagabondage. crossing sleeping in the haystacks or crowding at the gates of towns . evicted prostitutes... these phenotnelll now took on massive proportions.cOlIJIIIIII Through them passed heretics escaping persecution. wage-dependence..1etl1l<ll and capital punishment in cases of recidivism. 1 l : 734-35).: 88). "fI][ was impossible to hear Mass.". stories.." one G. England. hucksters.written on their f-aces. petry thieves.a vast humanity in".Vol. in Florence. of the past or .'7 The struggle f or food was nOt the only front in the battle against the spread of capital­ ist relations. Pauperization. the state passed new. and Spain present a similar picture.as Marx put it in the Gnmdrisse (1973: 459 ) .'9 Starting with England. iI a diaspora of its own. these matters. JIII the essential similarity between these phenomena and the social consequences of the phase of globalization that we are witnessing tells us othenvise.8 indicae­ ing that the pre-capitalist world of the village. their eyes like gemless rings. the wretchedness of their bodies skins shaped only by bones" (ibid. and the escalation ofucril11e"are Structural elements of capitalist accumulation as talism must strip the work-force f rom its means of reproduction to impose its own 82 I The State Intervention in the Reproduction of Labor: POOr Relief. discharged soldiers.n. Balducci complained.'w. Everywhere . the scene was the same.l". "In Spain vagrants cluttered the stopping at every town" (Braudel. always a niD. that f or decades escaped the authorities' control. Everywhere masses of people resisted the destruction of their f ormer ways of existence. these aspects of the transition to capitalism may seem (for Europe at thing. Above all. migration.. In the Middle Ages.. to be overcome by more marure f orms ofcal)itaJisln. and the continuous presence of anrues ill their neighborhoods. in April "so much was one importuned during the service by wretched people naked and ered with sores" (Braudel I 966. prof essional beggars. in such proportions that we can assume that a massive tion and reappropriation of the stolen conununal wealth was undenvay.. one thousand "emotions" (uprisings) occurred between the 1530a and 1 670s. and the rise of"crimes against pmpo erey" were part of the resistance to impoverishment and dispossesi s on. fighting against land privatization. which was so hated that people rushed to close the gates of their towns to prevent soldiers from setding among them. vagabonds were reported in Venke alone in 1 545."historical dirioos" ofcapitalist development."could produce as high a level of struggle as any the indus­ trial proletariat has waged. the imposition of new taXes. But repression was not effective and the of 16m and 17"'-century Europe remained places of great (co01)motion and en. and experiences ofa developing crime rates also esca1ated. journeymen other "humble f olk" in search of employment. Six th.. I n France.Vol. through the roads .. which Marx dismissed under the rubric of"rural idiocy. the abolition of customary rights. and then f oreign artisans. 1 1 : 740).vagabonds were swanning. changing cities. and the CrirninaliZation of the Working Class . many involving entire provinces and requiring the intervention oftroops (Goubert 1 986: 205). Europe passed the tales.A century later..ifwe give credit to the complaints oftbe contemporary authorities . far harsher anti-vagabond laws prescribing ensl.50 T oday.

in EngJand.In . an attack was launched ag<lillSt all forms of coUec­ U\'t SOciaHty and sexuality including spores. ale-wakes. had three main objectives: (a) to create a more disciplined work-force.judging from their efe f cts. Let us look at them in turn. the most extreme forms of proletarian misery and rebellion had disappeared is not a proof against this claim. reached its climax with the COining to of the Puritans in the aftermath of the Civil War (1642-49). �t p he Use Ve oWer his work on the subject. providing the stage for a set of state initiatives that. festivals.dances. at first. and other a time of intense social "h nCboned by a dduge of bills: twenty-five. Proletarian misery and rebellions did not come to an end. As for the "transition" period. has spoken of it as a campaign against "popular cul­ But we can see that what was at stake was the desocializatiol1 or decollectivization reproduction of the work-force. the years between 1601 and 1606 (Underdown 1985: 47-48). and (c) to fix workers to the jobs forced upon them. It was 111 �r9e7�). games.That in the industrializing regions of Europe. by me 19th century. they only lessened to the degree that the super-exploitation of workers had been expo ned. when the fear of 83 . and later through the contillUing expansion of colonial domination. this remained in Europe conflict. In pursuit of social discipline. (b) to diffuse social protest. just for the regulation of aleouses. as well as the attempt to impose a more produc­ of leisure time. This process. in England. Peter Burke (I t group-rituals that had been a source of bonding and solidarity among workers. . through the instirutionaHzation of slavery.

when faced the generalization of the anti-f eudal struggle.. the reproduction of workers shif ti ng from the openfield to the home. .53 In any event. and the divin. both by initi. az'" by direct intervention of the central state. that s i .1 --.. to make sure that nobody could claim assistance in the name of :ll penon (Zemon Davis Along with 1968: 244-46)_ this new "social science.e cult. enabHng enlplo. 52 Its precise goals are still debated. and keep of the deceased. the church) to the �"' e. ity.. the physical enclosure operated by land zarion and the hedging of the commons was amplified by a process of social encloSIU\!. 84 . Antecedents f or this function can be f ound in the 14th century. as a conIDlU nity center.lculate the ber of the poor. It was also the first step in the reconstruction of the as the guarantor of the class relation and as the chief supervisor of the reproduction disciplining of the work-f orce. religious processions were replacing the dancing and singing that had sociaJ indiscipline prompted the banning of all prolecarian gatherings and m"rryrr. Even the individual's relation with God was priV2tiz"" i p between the ." an international debate also deveJoped on administration ofpublic assiscallce anticipating the contemporary debate on welf are.akinoo held in and out of the churches. natality. to address the ineyj. Exemplary is the work of the administrators of dle Bureau de in Lyon (France). ! The church itself. the had f ormally taken charge of the regulation and repression of labor. marriage rates) and the appHcation of accounting social relations. the introduction of public assistance was a turning point in the relation between workers and capital and the definition of the function of the state. in same period.iveiy­ by means of hunger and terror. 'l1li W3S the attempt to prevent the flight oflabor.-. with the introduction of ind ividual cO.1ove ofthe local ITI'lIlicif'aliri".. either with the ca. While of the literature on the topic sees the introduction of public assistance as a response to French Marxist scholar Y ann Moulier Boucang insists that its primary ob jective Great Fixation" of the proletariat. f rom the Secondly.!. A5 a result. in the decades between 1 530 and 1 560. With this innovation... and no confined in its demands to the political economy of the manor. who by the end of the 16th century had learned to c. But it was with the introduction lic assistance that the State began to claim "ownership" of the work-force. with the ing of the Statute of Laborers in England.. which fixed the maximum wage.on reHnquish any responsibility f or the reproduction of workers. . resuJting in the introduction of demograph ic recording (census-taking. a leap occurred also in the management of social duction. lll ess.--- But the "moral ref ormation" was equally incense in non-Protescant areas where. from the public space (the conunon. --. a system of public aSSistance introduced in at least sixty European towns. In 1351.rrot or with the stick. in the certainty that state would intervene. assess the amount off ood needed by each child or adult.. ceased to host any social activity other thaa those addressed '0 d. in the Catholic areas.•• humanitarian crisis thatjeopardized social control."' in Protestant areas. and a talist "division of labor" was instituted within the ruling class. was the first recognition of the IltlJusraiuability of a capitalist system rul ing ex. crises. with the institution of a direct relationsh li vid.clu. which the lords were no longer capable of guaranteeing.. the state had emerged as the only capable ofconfronting a working class that was regionally unified. armed. rnunity to the family. in his 11"Iassive study ofcoerced wuur.---- -. . recording of mortality..

the social crisis that tills general state 161h and l7lb-century political circles indicates that the comemporary statesmen and I Population Decline. In England." where they not prompcly given or were inadequate to their needs. er s' dream of an infinite supply of labor (echoing the explorers' estimate of an � infinite number of trees" in the forests of the Americas) was dashed. \ 4 for the wealthy spokesmen and Vives5 Luis Juan Willie humanist reformers like recognized the economic and disciplinary benefits of a more liberal and cen­ bUrghen cl. In the century after the Conquest. Europeans had brought death to America. assistance was administered with such stinginess thac it generated of systems and as appeasemenc. cl.like in the annual processions of the poor."be supported. in great part caused by the dramatic population decline l that occurred in Spanish America after the Conquest. Those assisted resemed the humiliating rituals imposed as much conflict wearing the "mark of infamy" (previously reserved [or lepers and Jews).55 Consequently. and the shrinking of the colo­ m al economies. the oloniz . or seeking irs survival outside the law and living in open antagonism to the state From the viewpoint of the formation of a laborious work-force. so as not co be discouraged public aid was to tie of objective key a as �al from the viewpoint of social discipline. as was made conditional on the incarceration of the recipients in "work-houses. h. part ualized dispensation of charity (not exceeding � .always one step away from the whip and the noose.]y cllOse unable to work. that had begun with the enclosures and the Price Revolution.ofl of the uJOrki"g class. the formation of a . and they vehemently protested when the alms were gibbets were erected at the time of food distributions or when the poor were asked to work in exchange for me food they received (Zemon Davis. receipt of public aid ." According to David Stal1l1ard (l 2).deseribed as me "deserving poor. and the DiSCiplining of Women : lC� affected the region in the wake of the colonial invasion Within less than century from the landing of Columbus on the American continent. the population declined by 75 million across as . in some French [Owns. But. Economic Crisis.much or how li�e shouJd ed" laborers unable to find ajob also be given help� And how These questIons were work? for from looking dl be given.e 16th century progressed. however). in which they had to parade (in France) participating singing hymns and holding candles. Estimates of the population collapse vary. in the V2St proletariat either incarcerated in the newly constructed work-houses and correction­ crimi"alizat. be rarely could consensus a on these matters ':rkers to their jobs.e distribution of bread. and the constant preoccupation with the question of social discipline in of rebeUiousness provoked was aggravated in the second haJf of the 16th century by a Ilew econon lc contraction. Moreover. entrepreneurs were keenly aware of it. led to the attack on workers. or on theOl. the space of a century. this was a deci­ sive failure. reached. or should "able­ r strenuously opposed the ban on individual donations. But. houses. that is. In response.also for children and me elderly­ became the experimenca1 subjects for a variety of work-schemes. across differences of the cle gy opinions. Sue scholars almost ll �l lll �usly liken irs efe f cts to an "American Holocaust. 1968: 249).

not the end of famine in Europe in cllis respect. in order not to more mouths into the world than they could f eed.exi Peru. assisted by SpaJush brutality. It is my contention that it was 1 81h (. but craftsmen.nd (]{. had killed off or driven away 1110st (1978: 43).•-. and that. as in the colonies. the population f eU "from 1 1 1565 to about 2. f or the most part. . The evidence f or this argument is circulmOtali 86 . W e also have the complaints of ministers from the pulpit charged thac the youth did not marry and procreate. and The peak of the demographic and economic crisis were the decades of the In Europe.56 population without precedents. often confusing "populousness" with "population. ti6ed is difficult to tell."'1 1986: 138). Indian population declined by ninety percent and even ninety-five percent in M. should not deceive us in population crisis of the 1 6th and 1 7th centuries.ym. since demographic recording. became widespread. It was a "General as historians have caUed it (Kamen It i s in 1972: 307ff.emplo.I authorities denounced the existence of a conspiracy.as well as primary objects ofintellectual discourse.s Foucault has argued) that turned reproduction and population growth into matters.5 nullion in 1580 "disease . popul. .." lt was nOt the rich. Hackett Fischer 1996: 91). . un. and some other regions" lion in By 1 519 to 6.ll ized this "holocaust" as God's pun.a new phenomenon . the accumulation of wealth came to the f oreground of politieal debate and strategy produce the first elements ofa population policy and a "bio-power" regime. and f or a while there was the possibility that the developing talist economy might crash. this context that the question of tile relation between labor.. and continued to do so into the century..South America. tell only a part of the story.57 The ness of the concepts applied. For the integration between the colonial and Euro!oeM econonues had reached a point where the reciprocal impact of the crisis rapidly erated its course. . in the same period. struck at "the poor." and the new disciplinary methods that the adopted in this period to regulate procreation and break women's control over duction. ... representing 95% of its inhabirnnts (1 992: 268-305). But the population decline the reluctance of the poor to reproduce themselves. bef ore the 1 7th century...started to grow. In Mexico.tiorl.." and brutality of the means by which the state began to punish any behavior obstructing ulation growth. They died in such numbers that their bodies paved the streets. who perished when the pb'IUeI or the smallpox swept the tOwns. and statistics. 1 1 1 16305.This was the first international economic crisis. markets shrank. by the population began to decline also in western Europe. Peru and dle Caribbean li�to . .58 t further argue that clle si6cation of the persecution or'witches. the number of abandoned cru�dI . _ ing in all social classes. ishment f or the Indial1s"'bestial" behavior \"" liIJiaQ" people of the Antilles and the lowlands of New Spain. trade stopped. as awful as they are. T o what extent this charge was also blamed on low natality rates . But we know that by the end of the 1 6th century the age ofmarriage was inc: ..". reaching a peak in Germany where one third of the population With the exception of the Black Death (1 345-1348). \vas uneven. Tim is also the mate of Andre Cunder Frank who writes that "within little more than a century. but its economic consequences were nOt ignored. instigating the population to f or the malefactors.5 nUllion in 1600" (Wallerstein 1 cail (Crosby: 1972:38). this was a was lost. The clergy «u0II:I&. and it would soon wipe out many more in Brazil. In addition. J'-. are also to be traced to tlus crisis. day-laborers and vagabonds 1972: 32-33).

beggars or C3.Amon relations that (within the bourgeoisie) generated a new amaety concertung the ontic e stion of paternity and the conduct of women.ln economists as a crude system of tho ught because of its assumption that the wealth of nations is proportional to the quan­ tlty of laborers and money available to them. "In my view. recogn. but also the with regard to their subordinates. uppon for population growdl clinuxed with the rise of Men:antilism which made Mercantilism has often been dismissed by mainstre3. The Italian economist Ciovalllu Botero (1533-1617) had a more sophisticated approach. Henry IV's saying that "the strength and wealth of a king lie in the Concern with population growth is detectable also in the program of the Protestant nwnber and opulence of his citizens" sums up the demographic thought of the age. Thus. It was a merc3. had an "intensive" side consisting in the imposition of a total87 . for the strength of the conU1lOnwealth consists in men" (Commom". vn. as we have seen." Luther conceded. Reformation.a key theme in the "great witch-hunt" of the 16th and 17th r n ruries .s population when nt mome very life. we must include the increasing privatization �f property a�d eco­ .t1 . as servancs. them cause and uses e(1' ho and an ideology was forming that stressed declining. he declared that that "the greatness of a city" ber of its residents. all the while asserting the "utility of poverty" and declaring "idleness" a social �Iagutra e. bm exclusively on the num­ did not depend on its physical size or the circuit of irs of people and the means of subsistence. had many opportunities to enter theif employ­ \ men who. Similarly.taliSt policy explicitly addressing tlle problem of the reproduction of the work-force. and invested in the POlicy.. applied in order to force people to work. that at the It harm. and the introduction of policies promoting population growth is well-docu­ mented.nccion." wrote the French political dunker and demonologistJean Bodin. Dismissing the traditional Christian exaltation of chastity.lmot be a pure coincidence. to punish \VOmen rope of Eu The concom. however.. By the mid-16th century the idea that the number of citizens dctenllines a nation's wealth had become something of a social axiom.."one should never be afraid of having coo many subjects or too many citizens. sexuality.ital1t development of a population crisis.ai. reflecting that "whatever their weaknesses. particularly low-class at of the propertied classes (1 cion of the European power-structure to control more strictly women's reproductive healers. n vagabonds.t1 and it should be recognized that other factors contributed to increase the determi­ g them. in their hunger for labor. an expansionist population � � � � theor y.nd power of a nation. in the charge that witches sac­ q ' ced children to the devil. and even women because of their reproductive capacity. hunted we sb de. Book VI).ising the need for a balance berween the number walls.l1tilist class dlat invented the work-houses. severe penalties were introduced in the legal codes the centrality of labor in economic guilty of reproductive crimes. have contributed to :0111 ow ve the ir disr rather epute. women possess one virtue that cancels them all: dley have a womb and they can give binh" (King 1991: 115). Still. it has nOt been recognized that in dle mercantilists' theory and practice can� th� mOSt direct expression of the requiremenrs of primitive accumulation and the first -d::.we can read nor only a preoccupation with population decline. "transported" criminals to the American colonies. The brutal means which the mercantilists the presence of a large population the key to the prosperity a. as most economiscs wish to maintain the illusion that capitalism fosters free­ than coercion. the Reformers valorized marriage. Woman is "needed to bring about the increase of the human race.

.. modeled on those adopted by the a prem they had exercised over their bodies and reproduction. Along with it.once and England the state adopted a set of pro-natalist measures that. whether or not proven guilty of any wrongdoing. • id-16th century. . and were executed f or infanticide in 16th and 17[h-century Europe than f or any other . while Portuguese ships were reproductive crime."an almost f anatical desire to increase popuJation pn""tiIe . f orce. itarian regime using every means to extract the maximum of work from every incliV l idutoi regardless ofage and cOllclition. . at _.. d ism was at its height. The family was given a new importance as the key insti­ Roman Empire f tution providing f or the transnussion of property and the reproduction of the work_ vention of the state in the supervision of sexuality. and f amily lif e. -. Even an unmarried pregnant woman was made illegal. tlus war was waged primarily through the witch-hunt that literally demonized •• f orm of birth-control and non-procreative sexuality. in the case of poor women. procreation. But it also had an "extensive one" consisting in the to expand the size of population.ir pregnancies.. This last practice had been treated with some leniency in the Middle Ages. a royal edict of1556 required women to ister every pregnancy. or tills purpose... the year in wluch the severed heads of three 1 women convicted of maternal infanticide were nailed to the scaffold f or public contemplation. a new concept of hUIlI Q a beings also took hold. combined with Public: Relief. began to impose the severest penalties against contraception. but now it was turned into a capital crime. starting in the m all the European govel·nrn. But it also relied on the redefinition of what constitutes returning f rom Af rica with their first human cargoes. _ .. Ozment 1983: 43). picturing them as just raw materials.. .. abortion and inf anticide. As a consequence women began to be prosecuted in large numbers. In France.60 New f omu of survei llance were also adopted to ensure that pregnant women not ternunate the.I . Laws were passed that ". in Fr.. while charging women with sacri­ ficing children to the devil. we have the beginning of demograpluc recording and the inter. . in the later i n all countries during the period when mercantil of the 17. f or f ear that she might escape the lic scrutiny. f ormed the embryo of a capitalist reproductive policy. But the main initiative that the state cook to restore the desired population was the launching of a true war against women clearly aimed at breaking the w" " " ium on marriage and penalized celibacy. and thereby the size of the army and the work-f orce. the penalry was changed to beheading (King 1 99 1 : 10).. In sixteenth century Nuremberg. the penalty f or maternal inf anticide was drowning. As Eli Hecksher noted. Thus. A system of spies 88 . also created to surveil unwed mothers and deprive them of any support. while those who befriended her were exposed to public criticism 1993: 51-52. . But even prior to the heyday of mercantile theory. workers and breeders for the state (Spengler 1965: 8).h century" (Heckscher 1 966: 158). As we will see later in this ume. and sentenced to death those whose infants died before after a concealed delivery. and punishe4 more harshly than the ma jority of male crimes.. Simultaneously. _ . statutes were passed in England and Scotland in 1624 and 1690. in 1 580. _ _ ..

was similar to that of female slaves in the American colonial plantations especially after the end of the slave-trade in 1807. the process began by which women lost rol they had exercised over procreation. In this 89 is the condition of the enslaved woman that most explicitly reveals the truth . the destiny of West European women. women walked. for it to happen.ity and punished for it. from now on their wombs became public territory. first for the rge of being witches and child murderers. It n n y of seei ng their children taken away and sold on the auction block.ublack 1996: 92). Nor had they to sutTer the process. While in the Middle Ages women had been able to use vari­ undisputed control over the birthing In this sense. the cOlTunu nicy of women that had gathered around the bed of the fmure mother had to be first expelled from the delivery roOI11. They were expected to report all new births. Also the suspicion under which midwives ��il -" � ? -leading to the entrance of the male doctor into the delivery room wives' alleged medical incompetence. They also had to examine suspected local women for any sign of 1933: 52). a new medical practice ca i Jll che also prevailed. neighbors were supposed to spy on women and report all relevant house with a man and shut the door behind her (Ozment was away. a charge chac also centered 011 e c of boch infanticide and wicch­ case the in Significantly. discover the fathers of children born out of wedlock. (he pro-natalist crusade reached such a point that women were punished if they did not make enough of an effort during child-delivery or showed litcle enthusiasm for their off­ spring (R. or had to he recruited to police women. norms. if they wanted the customary birthing process which over that of the mother. controlled by men aJld the StiI. sense. Pro t def!v ed from the births imposed upon them was also far more concealed. :ho. and midwives had [0 be placed under the sur veillance of the doctor. and procreation was directly placed at the service of capitalist accumulation. midwives had to become spies for the state. The Outcome of these policies that lasted for two centuries (women were still being execu ted in Europe for infanticide at the end of the ous forms of contraceptives. and were reduced to a passive role i n the couc ver y . while male doctors came t o h e seen a s the true "givers o f life " (as i n the deli hild 1 dreams of the Renaissance magicians). in the period of primitive IlcCulllUla tion. In Protestant sexual details: if a woman received a man when her husband Il countries and towns.lfc.Thus. and eXaJnine the women suspected of having lactation when foundlings were discovered on the Church's steps (Wiesner secredy given birth. . or if she emered 1983: 42-44). With this shift.though proletarian me coul d be raped with impun. The comparison has obviously serious limits. under Europe. The economic gOfi . reproductive ci of s la on lifted. and had exercised an 18th century) was the enslavement of WOmen to procreation. The same cype of collaboration was demanded of relatives and neighbors. were forced by their masters to eco llle bre eders of new workers.itil statutes l the : III thel f own name as legal aduJts. This was in comrast to [0 continue their practice.[e. In Germany. and indeed. In France and Germany. vere ility responsi legal women's g lim. the nud With the marginalization of the midwife. E ur opean Women were not openly delivered to sexual assaults . one that in the case of a medical emergency prioritized the life of the fetus � woll len had controlled.o . of courtrooms the into time.(hale in tills period can enuned more from the authorities' fears of infanricide than from any concern with the killing of children and other cpt for wicchcr.

Tl-m BIRTH Of'Il-m V.t btd o �"mn dmounca ..TI.RGIN (1502. 90 .<-{!d pmlling I.Alb". gll pidllrillg tl/l dtsi er/wlt m.t�lis'.1503).f 11f:lller au-t" Yfrom tilt ja sick mm/.. 1Ju� ltltUll4linizat.VOl/IIIII Imd all ocalsioll ill wi/jell ji mmie rooperilliotl lri· umphed.tr incompllftlct.� oj .oll oj mediad pmt1ia is por­ In�d ill 'his E. Child-birth Il-IIlS o.ht mai" rvnlts ill rite fift o jII .ht Durer.

)la le e 1 of the work-force.Marx never . ."This. Nor did he imagine that men ulation and coercion to expand or reduce the work-force. as it must occur in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. This was especially true at the rime of the capitalist take-off.lnsmission of family property . so far are procreation and population changes from being automatic or Consequently. the capical invested in machinery and other production assets). where. treated as a natural breeding-machine. This aspect of prmutlve accumulation IS absent 111 Marx s analysIs. of which he occasionally discussed mg. No one can describe efforts in its attempt to wrench from women's hands tile control over reproduction. in all phases of capitalist development. and if cap­ Ital iUld the state did not need to worry about "women going on strike against child mak­ has been accompanied by an increase in population. But. 1: 689f. Except for his : Crlllldrisse ( 1973: 100) he But tillS dynantic. when the muscles and bones of workers were the primary means of production. which Marx defines as the "law of population typical of the capitalist f ). with the consequent determination of a "surplus population. 91 . duninishes in relation to "constant capical" (that is. the labor that capical exploits constantly re p ro ducers of heirs guarameeillg the tr.1on and by the same token a terrain of resistance. and when hav­ Ing a child makes a woman vulnerable to In fact the anguish and desperation suffered by a woman seeing her body turn against social osrracism or even death. But despite the differences. Interests and power relations.SIO � rhyth logic of capitalist accul11uJation. could only prevail if procreation were a purely mode of production" (Capital. biological process. an activity which he treated as a gender-neucral. invested by diverse plus population" with the population's "natural increase." and even their children. in fact� is what Marx assumed. historically detennined activity. or in what numbers. women have often been forced to procreate against their will. when. He never imagined that women could refuse to reproduce. their"labor. herself. is a question Marx did not ask. VoLl. But even later . In the argued that capitalist development proceeds irrespective of population numbers because.down to the presenc . fUllctioning according [0 I �ckJ1owledged that procreation couJd become a terrain of exploitu." by virtUe of the increasing productivity of labor. or U13t such a refusal could become part of class struggle. ' . in both cases. ms outside of wOI�e�1 5 control. and in Capital. he saw this increase as a "nacural effect" of economic development.Vol. he repeatedly contrasted tile determination of a "sur­ social." Why procreation should be "a fact of nature" rather than a and women aught have different interests with respect to child-making. or an activity responding automatically to economic change. and to deter mjne which children should be born. This is particuJarly true to those situations in which out-of-wedlock pregnancies are penaHzed. He acknowledged that capitalist developmenc the causes.the state has spared no "natural" that. like Adam Smith. the ld the was turned into an instrument for the reproduction af labar and the expan­ body . • . and have txperienced an alienation from their bodies. undifferentiated process. the state has had to reSOT[ to reg­ In reality. deeper than that experienced by any other workers (Martin 1987: 19-21).narks in the Communist Manifesto on the use of women within the bourgeois family­ .

f orc­ ing women to procreate agajust their will or (as a f emjnist song from the 1970. knitters. because it was not real work. � H"bs: A History if COlltraceptioll ill the W est 1 (1997). yet when birth control again made its appearance on the social scene. ers. eration to generation .. As is well do 'cum " nt od.6t The crim inalization of con� ception expropriated women f rom tllis knowledge that had been transmitted &om gen. Proletarian women in particular f ound it clifficult to Obw. a process much studied by f em inist historians. pleading f or it on account of their need to suppOrt themselves 92 . . whereas when a man clid the same task it was ered "productive. the American historian Jolla Riddle has given us an extensive catalogue of the substances that were most used the effects expected of them or most likely to occur. wet nurses." even clothes were not f or the f amily. contraceptive metb.. and shouJd engage in "production" only in order to their husbands. f arm-hands. consisting of herbs wh. in some cases. had iI) was the definition f orcing them to " produce children f or the state. where their employment was jected to new restrictions. giving them some autOnomy with respect to child-birth. though f refer to R. Olostt. but were specifically created use by men. What demographic consequences f ollowed f rom this shift is a question f or the moment I will not pursue. if a woman sewed some dothes it was "domestic work" or "housekeeping. which by the was nearly completed. It appeaa tllat. Nevertheless. A complemen tary aspect of the 17th century women as non-workers."" •• importance cannOt be overemphasized. tllis knowledge was and not lost but was only driven underground.. or create a conclition of sterility . embroiderers..* any job other than those carrying the lowest status: as domestic servants (the occu'patiol of a third of the f emale work-f orce). Wiesner adds that women accepted this fiction and even apologized asking to work. in adclition to confinin8 women to reproductive work in a way unknown in previous societies. spinners. . . for tha ods were no longer of the type that women could use."62 only in part defined women's tion in the new sexual clivision of labor. such as ale-brewing and midwif ery. the state deprived them of the most f undamental condition f or physical and psychological integrity and degraded maternity to the status of f orced labor. both from the viewpoint orits effects on worn.I The Devaluation of Woznen's Labor The crimi nalization of women's concrol over procreation is a phenomenon wI . in the ordinances ofthe guilds) that women not work outside the home. and because the women needed it not to fall public relief. through the Middle Ages women had possessed many means of contraception. and its consequences f or the capitalist organization of work. E".." Such was the devaluation of women's labor that city governments the guilds to overlook the production that women (especially widows) djd in homes. It \vas even argued that any work that women did at home was or the market (Wiesner work" and was worthless even when done f 1993: 838).. provoke an abortion. ich turned into potions and "pessaries" (suppositories) were USed ha to quicken a woman's period. iddle's work for a discussion of tbis matter. Here I only want to stress that by denying women control over their bodies. in the tax records. the assumption 1 was ground (in the law. As Merry Wiesner (among others) teUs us. By this time women were losing ground even with respect to jobs that had their prerogatives.

.wtt peifor".fr l d wiftfor sol­ tiOl c m fi other proleltlrim/J. 11fr prosti(lltt mId lilt 501J.td tilt nuti " I y' .'". lJusltitlg (lIld cookillgfor 'he J.t of(.lte (om­ imlllct/sely ill tilt tljtcrllwlh of 'IIImbltt ojprostitutes j.Ji"�� from the umd. Sht sen�J ill "ddilion sexmd scrviw.d .m cif (i) p rol'.urclued A prostitlltt ill"iti. a (limpfollower.�� II diem.grim/IUff wltich . Ojio. lIt. "n.rt. expelled mallY jJelUlftll wometl mern'alizntiotl tmlll privcftiz(llioll fwd .

the raping of a prostitute ceased to be a ". . .. and the contemporary cation of the witch-hum? our Looking at these phenomena from the vantage point of the present. ... the answers may seem to impose Though womcn's waged work. and even the wives of craftsmen.. - 84-85). But no sooner had prostitution become the main f orm ofsuk. -. and other cruel f orms of chastisement. sometimes they were f orced into a cage. town brothels were closed prostitutes. h. or granted. as well.... .. and then should be banned from the city f or six years in turies of capitalist discipli lljng of women. characterized by the advance of the Ref ormation and witch-hunting. the situation was re�etII. ." as Nickle R.. prostitution was first subjected to new restrictions then crinunalizcd. . that when ill women's inability to support themselves was taken so much f gle woman tried to settle in a village. the gt'Owtb the number of prostitutes in France was visible everywhere: From Avignon to Narbonne to Barcelona "sporting women" (f emmes de debauche) stationed themselves at the gates of the cities. Madrid.. [so that] by 1594 the "shameful traffic" was flourishing as never before (Le RoyLadurie 1 974: 1 1 2-13). -.. -.I .whereby tht tims were tied up. alleys. ging. if done in the home. complaining that many vagabond women now wandering among the ciey's streets. and pn>Sti'. everyday. . ----.. where. had benefited f rom the high wage regime. . Everywhere. . As Le Roy Ladurie reports. rounded up faJrUly income with this work. Soon all f emale work.U In a climate of intense misogyny.. The situation was similar in England and Spain. she was driven away even if she earned a Combined with land dispossession .. . in streets of red­ light distric . in 1 6th-century France. even when done ouuide the home it was paid less chan men's work. .. it was decided that f emale vagabonds and prostitutes should not be to stay and sleep in the streets and under the porticos of the town.. especially street-walkers.6il I Meanwhile. in 1 63 1 .n��" in the late Middle Ages it had been officially accepted 2S a necessary evil. Marriage was now seen as a woman's true Cd'"C'. housework.. and on the bridges . in the 16m cencury. were subjected co severe penalties: banishment.denounced the problem...ua piece of grim theatre. Incnt led co the massification of prostitution. and taverns. this loss of power with regard to wage em'. was defined as .. enticing men CO sin with (Vigil 1 986: 1 1 4-5). we are now in a better position to see that the oftcn in isolation f crimination that women have suffered in the waged work-force has been direcdy 94 . and (paid) sexual work are still studied rom each other. between 1 530 and 1 560.sisteactl f or a large f emale population than the institutional attitude towards it change..oberts describes it .. What can account f or this drastic attack on f emale workers? And how does exclusion of women f rom the sphere of socially recognized work and monetary relate to the impositon of f orced maternity upon them. in the cities. Among them was uthe ducking stool" acabussade . and never f or women to be able to live by it. till they almost drowned (Roberts 1992: 1 im" ..ousel(e"pin2.. after f if caught be given a hundred lashes.-. and tion to having their heads and eyebrows shaved..-. and then were inunersed in rivers or ponds. A proclamation issued by the political authorities Madrid. women arriving from the countryside.

starting in the late 15th century. The craftsmen's efforts have left an abundant trail of evidence."d limes IIlId II. "S/.e will bt subm ergtd 111 oftht IJ(mbus. Ittlpriso"ed for lift " . to .v. However.a.ily as the locus for the produc­ p � workers from their work-shops.. tht river sn. presumably to prO[cct themselves exc lude female front the assaults of the capitalist merchants who were employing women at cheaper rates.�� slIbjC'(ted to the lorlure A prostitute sndt. 9S . the funda­ question is under what conditions such degradation was possible. orces promoced here is that an important factor in the devaluation of women's labor answer The Germany.aS the campaign � of labor-power. or that craft workers mounted.journeymen petitioned the authorities nOt to allow women brj.er. Fran ce.�11 tl eir function as unpaid laborers in the home. and what social lental it or were complicitous with it.un. We can thus connect the banning of lI th stirution and the expulsion of women from the organized workplace with the cre­ of the housewife and the reconstruction of the f. from a theoretical and a political viewpoint.011 .64 W hether in lniy.

given their economic difficulties. pic in the popular literature in the act of beating her husband or rid ing on Ius back.. banned them from their ranks. For. 96 . w est to do so. with the intinudating tactics male workers used against them . Imsb/ll/d um olle oj rhefiulOrirc rargcrs oj 16tll mId 1 7tll-cctuury sorilll litfr(/tllre.�. it is clear that this attempt would not have succeeded if authorities had not cooperated with it. in addition to pacifying the rebellious jou rneymen. Women tried to resis< this onslaught. On the other hand. because.. but .! /11 •. emanated also from this (self -defeating) attempt to drive women f rom the workp and f rom the market.65 Indeed. and even ref used to work with men who worked with women. went on strike when the appears that the craf tsmen were also interested in lim i ting women to domestic hal was not observed.f . But they obviously saw that it was in their in women f rom the crafts provided the necessary basis for their fixation in reprodu labor and their utilization as low-waged workers in cottage industry.. there i s evidence that the wave o f misogyny that by the late t century was mounting in the European cities .failed. the part of a wife" was beconung for them an indispensable cond ition for avoidiJ:W] bankruptcy and f or keeping an independent shop." the im{/ge oj tile domilleering tvife dlllllctlgillg rhe sexual Iliemrchy /l/ld be"r. co compete with them. the displacement . It wad. Those dared to work out of the home.reflected in the male obsession the "battle for the breeches" and with the character of the disobedient wife. "the prudent household management 011.Uke the "battlefor the breeches. Sigrid Brauner (the author of above citation) speaks of the importance accorded py the German artisans to social rule (Brauner 1995: 96-97). in a public space and f or the market. were po as sexually aggressive shrews or even as "whores" and "witches" (H owell 1 9 182-83).

no less than the air we breathe or Thjs was for women a historic defeat. the husband became the representative State. while giving men acc ess to women's bodies.With their expulsion [rom the crafts and the \vas every woman (other than those privatized by bourgeois mell) became devaluation of reproductive labor poverty became femiluzed. does not detract from this assess­ by dIe fact that they had access to the coounons and other conununal assets. for once women's activities were defined as non-work. that a new sexual division of labor or. There has also been more inter­ e of s�e�l th 'e the fa nily as a political institution than as a place of work. available to all. began co separate from the public sphere and acquire its modern connota­ Significant.Women: The New Conll'nons and the Substitute for the Lost Land vas from tlus alliance between the crafts and the urban authorities. neW commullal good. above all. � � rs the substitute for the land lost to the enclosures. at the time to which we are referring. This is a sub­ !e�ethat has been understudied. What has been empha­ � then." in Carol ?ateman s words (1988). better. widows . I The Patriarchy of the Wage bons the main center for the reproduction of the work-force. their most basic means of repro­ dueD on. the instrument for the privatization of social rela . proletarian women became for male "primitive appropriation" can be hea� in tile concept Of tll� "conullon woman" 1989) wluch in the 161h century qualified those who prostltuted themselves. The fact that unequal constructed. was forged. along with the con­ • . 'ng It' I O� privatization of land. in fjlll d men. But orga njzation of work �rras 111 the a the water we drink. the an � y emerges in the period of primitive accumulation also as the most important insti­ tubon for the appropriation and concealment of women's labor. a new patriarchal order power relations between women and men existed even prior to the advent of capital­ ment. charg ed with disciplilung and supervising the "subordinate classes. Echoes of this \VOrke According to tlus new social-sexual contract. in this context. and the bodies and labor of their children. wives. and to enforce men's "pri­ mary appropriation" of women's labor. laying outside the sphere of market relations. IS that in the new bourgeois family. �on : and.that hid their status as workers. while in IVOllle" themselves became the commons. The counterpart of the market. as tlleir work was defined natural resource. a new "sexual l r3ct. reduc­ ism. women's labor began to appear as a natural resource. daughters. ." a cate97 . their labor. and a conmlUnal good anyone couJd appropriate and use at wiU. Previous discussions have privileged the family of prop­ as �i s period. For in pre-capitalist Europe women's subordination to men had been tempered the new capitalist regime as a II1g women to a double dependence: on employers and on men. We see this in particular when we look at the working-class family. plausibly because. defimng women IT1 terms C lt others. as did a discrinunating sexual division of labor. are the changes that took place witlun the family which. for the propagation of capitalist discipline and patriarchal rule. it was the dominant and the or�l model for parental and marital relations.

Thus. f0r­ transi­ At the same time . being generally excluded from the f ana. while in the upper class . and some vegetables. ing in his village. In England ".. Exemplary of this trend was the family of the cottage workers in the purri ng-o at rom shunning marriage and family-making. living in huts where other families and mals also resided. "slaving away by day and night" (as an artisan from Nuremberg denounce" · 1 524). This was true also f or other f emale workers once they married. a similar pOwer W3S granted to working-class men over women by means of lWmell� exclusiolljrom tlte ""\lt." If it is true that male workers became only mally free under the new wage-labor regime. who from an while caring f early age could be employed at the loom or in some subsidiary occupation. male cottage workers depended system.the housework that women perf ormed to reproduce their families was essarily limited. ers live under the roof and rule of a m3Ster. requires some ductive capital: f urniture. Married or not. ily business and confined co the supervision of the household. "Whether the payment depended on the whim of the clerk" (Mendelson and Crawford 1998: 287). Wba wiIh was the husband who now received was her wage. made was made to the husband or to the wife This policy . cottage workers apparently continued to multiply. described them 3S packed in their homes like sparrows on a rafter. clothing. the group of workers who. properly that gave the husband power over his wif e and children. looking at those stands out in this type of arrangement is that though the wif e worked side-by-side her husband. Housework. Thus. among the working the classic figure of the f u ll-time housewife . we do not find in this period. their clothes were rags. and where hygiene (poorly observed even among the better was totally Jacking. f or a wif e could "help" them with the work they would do f or the merchants . was legally entitled to his wif e's earnings" even when the job she did _ nursing or breast-f eeding. money f or f ood. their f amilies were so large that a contemporary 1 7 th-century Austrian. W e must also rethink the concept of"wage slavery. in the tion to capitalism. It was only i n the 1 9th century response to the first intense cycle ofstruggle against industrial work . Thus. Far f on it. the identification of the ( the man's wif 3S 3 nucro-st3te or 3 nucro-church.that ern f amily" centered on the f ull-time housewif e's unpaid reproductive labor waS ' 98 ."''' which they did by holding multiple jobs. But what is missing in tlus picture is a recogtution that.sts Oe3n Bodin.. proletarian women needed to earn some me. created by male workers. utensils. and the demand by the authorities that single wort. it liv. eYQ w: in times of population decline. or their physical needs. most approached the condition of slaves the material conditions f or their subjection to men and the appropriation of their labor was working-class women. It is in this sense that I speak of the patriarchy o f 'he wage. the records "frequenuy hid (their) presence as workers" registering the payment in the men's names. It is also pointed out that within the b0ur­ geois family the woman lost much of her power. and providing them with children. making it impossible f or women to have money of their own.. their diet at best consisted of bread. when a parish employed women to do this kind ofjob.given the wretched conditions in which waged worked lived . married man . . moreover.or gory th3t f or example) inclu 16th 3nd 1 7th-century political theori. she too producing f or the market. Thus. But waged workers poorly. f e and his children (Schochet 1 975).just to stave otrhunger and f eed their wives and children (Brauner 1995: Most barely had a roof over their heads.

as the tasks performed by women and men became more diversified and.:11 � nd on the exclusion of women from the wage . the bulk of the reproductive labor on." the actual invesollent in the reproduc­ Don of the work-force was extremely low. nll eizing that she had given in to his sexual desires. male waged workers couJd still nefit from their wives'labor and ". At its center was an increasing d. It is estimated that one percent were either "spinsters" or widows (Ozment 1983: was feared that their children would fall on public relief. Often the poor were even forbidden to marry. forty tlurd or more of the population of rural Europe remained 41-42). overriding a long­ of producti co low wages. was France. Thus. forged under me threat of insurrection. the criminalization of prostitution. soon to be aff1uence. Any :�." that is. or by ot to take away their honor"(the only property left to them) (Cavallo and Cerutti 99 . or they could buy the services of prostitutes. worked as maids. especially among women.. It numerical its beyond work-force the of reproduction the in ass made d . by contrast. on average.Ide-off. Marx spoke of it as a shift from "absolute" to "relative surplus. r [highe Ox loiration. and Italy. a shift �vo States. in the towns the rates were even higher. t italis cap new phase of colonial expansion.ages. it was a social revolution. cooking and washing for them in addi­ ��n to serv ing them sexually. One third of the was not for their families. lized in the workjng class. to a regime where higher wages and shoreer done by proletarian women ers or for the market.putting an end to their ers. in Cermany. and proletarian women had always to work for the market . the children were taken away from them and farmed out to the parish to work. in England. it was the prostitute who often per­ �rrned for male workers the function of a wife. a by ted boos In the 16th and 17th centuries.within the Nevertheless .though the housework done by proletarian women working-class conullunity of the transition period we already see the emergence of the sexual division of labor that was to become typical of the capitalist organization of work. Women would have to plead with len" n h Could now destroy a woman simply by declaring tl1at she was a prostitute. was reduced to a m. but for the families of their employ­ female population. "non-working" a supporting of capable wages.. tlle tendency cowards the postponment of marriage and the disintegration of the f. despite an obsessive concern with the size of population and the number of "working poor. again founded early phases of the Industrial Revolution. and when this single.imum. in the prolecariat. Spain. Consequently. It resulted from a new deal between workers and employ­ niollent cOllu hdd compensated with an increase in the productivity of work and the pace ours would be a cype of exploitation based upon the lengthening of the working day to a maximum the reduction of the wage to a min. above rie rs of differe nt social relations. which pun­ ts ed the WOman but hardly tOuched her male customers. all.ifferentiation between male and female labor.. h ft roughout tlus first phase of proletarianization. when it actually happened.unily (16'h-century English vil­ lages experienced a yearly turnover of fifty percent). It was also the mark of a new ment in the uit recr the product of two centuries of exploication of slave labor. bccween \' -as rate of intensive more a and wife.era ist the granting the resuJt of a tr. From the capitalist perspective. Moreover. in England first and later in the United Its development (foUowing the passage of Factory Acts limiting the employment of investtnent the capital­ men and children in the factories) reflected the first long-term expansion.inim um. became the car­ � Impoverished and disempowered as they may be. strengthelled male power.

In France. It was even reconunended that women should noc visit their ents too often after marriage. being declared lepl " imbeciles. In Germany. they began to appear less frequently in the courts to denounce abuses perpetrated against them. where an unaccompanied woman risked beiDI sub jected to ridicule or sexual assault (Davis 1 998). f orbidden to live alone or with other women and. The Taming of Women and the Redefinition of Femininit y and Masculinity: Women the Savages of Europe It is not surprising. new cultural canons were constructed maxirnizil1ii ' diff erences between women and men and creating more f enunille and more ""lSC\JIIII prototypes (Fortunati 1984). On the other hand. the presence of women in public began to be frowned upon.. In England.f emale friend .. was the right to conduct economic activities alone. they kc the right to make contracts or [Q represent themselves in court. English women were discouraged from sitting in f ront of their homes or staying near their windows. and indeed. the assumption being th2t their lives were now in the hands of mCn (like f eudal lords) could exercise over them a power of lif e and death.71 One of the main rights that women to. I n the Mediterranean countries women were expelled not only fita many waged jobs but also from the streets. wOIl1eQ lost ground in every area of social life. too. since it was expected that they would not be properly controlled. when a nuddle-class woman became a widow•• became customary to appoint a tutOr to manage her aff airs. Gennan women were . together with econonuc and social devaluation. women experienced a process oftep infantilization.. asfemme soles. one of the main avenues f or the ideological of gender relations in the transition to capitalism. that the insubordination of women and the methods by which they could be "tamed" were among the main themes in the literacure and social policy of the "tramition" (Underdown 1 985a: 1 1 6-36)... where in this period we aa observe a steady erosion of women's rights. throughout the 1 6th and 17th centuries. Known from an early phase as ilIa des femmes. dise" in the eyes of some lcalian visitors). ( "a women's ." I n Italy." what transpires from this debate is a new sense of curiosity for the indicating that old norms were breaking down. it was established that women were 100 .70Women could not have been tot:illy devalued as wodt. In sum.. in the case of the poor. On the one hand.. How the new sexual division of labor reshaped male-f emale relations can be from the broad debate that was carried Out in the learned and popular literature on nature off emale virtues and vices.1 980: 346B). W omen's loss of social power was also expressed through a new sexual differena­ ation of space. in view of this devaluation of women's labor and social Stat us. en and deprived ofautonomy with respect to men without being subjected to an intet1le process ofsodal degradation. they were also instructed noc to spend time with friends (in tllis period the term "gossip" . and the public was beconling tlle basic elements ofsexual politics were being reconstructed.Two trends within <hi:s <1<­ can be identified. A key area of change in this respect was the law. then. even with their own families.began to acquire a paraging connotation).

John Swetnam's Parliame"t iif'Wo fOur fema]e characters. all cooperated the vilification of women." lUI "ilY UJt'. Other dassic works concerned with the disciplining of women havlor in and Out of the home. T he punish­ lain was the disobedient wife. the women accused of being scolds were ' uZlled like dogs and paraded in the streets. In this sense. Shakespeare's 771e Tam. seen as an instrument of insuhordination. and moralists. a satire primarily addressed against middle class women. execution and murder of three of the an. Especially blamed was the favorite target of dramatists.. or caged and sub­ J to fake drown. From the pulpit or the writ­ Women were accused of being unreasonable. English literature of the Elizabethan and Jacobean period feasted on such themes. which : ��� tery (U nderdown 1985a: 117£1).drp Jt1. conscancly and obsessively. their mplilJeS arid longue. Fonvard.excessively emotional and lusty.I" r. lt1 \Ve In the Europe of the Age of Reason.A S(Vld the IIbridJe.u­ iro" (Otl· II sI. humanistS. new Jaws and new fomlS of tortUre were intro duced to contro] women's � �nrays them as busy making laws in order to gain supremacy over their husbands.IIg if /Ile SI"Clv (1593) was the manifesto of the age. together with the"scold. confimung that the literary denigration of women Presscd a precise po]itica1 project aiming to strip them of any autonomy and social r.ings. who.t�/J the lom".0(" 10 subdue III F1."and the "whore" female tongue."the"witch. But the main female vil­ ment of female insubordination to patriarchal authority was called for and celebrated in <oundes.e me" (1646). 101 .. SigtlifiCdllllY.nll to (/ttir ships.zrry .ewed. I"COUSla". Wome" (1615). s1mlf. popular writers..12 A"aigmrrettl of I. Typical of this genre isJohn Ford's 'TIs a Pity Site's a Whore (1633) which ends with the didactic assasi s nation. unable to govern dlemselves­ and had to be placed under male connol. counter-reformation Catholics. prostitutes were whipped. As with the condemnation of witchcraft. wasteful.jug ""plioll ustd 10 is /kif/it/cd thro. and TI.(t uns used by EJ"opcm. misogynous plays and tracts.'lrtlders d (.. vain. wild. was the on tlus matter cut across religious and intellectual lines. con­ sensus m [en page. o while capital punisiunent was established for women convicted �ean hile. Idle.I. Protestant reformers. n similar putlis/J women willi rntly inferior to men .

-r . it wa.... PriM.the witch-hunt was a turning poim in women.nalkd. and the d� dation of their social identity. a_ . From every viewpoint ... None of the tactics aeplc'Ytod "'1 ' 10 <11> ' 1:. .t to which Engel. 102 . �HE """ Frotllispim of T. The defin...lll . ".nd ...-:.inalization of their control over tion.. In Europe. ..IWI Jomi· IlllltJ English Ultmlllrt in llrt ptriod of tire Civil lM......"'tt Property ... politically . ""' of p«b1I' ..�.b. the price of resistance jects would have succeeded. ..1 � ..r . . Always.. as the cau.i-lvomrn satirt . In both cases literary and CUI". lives..... nIJ. mcm..� " """ o. uwn by .Ea'._ • ..". '. .te (1 884).. As we will see.... .It is no exaggeration to say that women were treated with the same hostility sense of estrangement accorded " Indian savages" in the literature that developed on sub ject af ter the Conquest.. the nization of ule American indigenous people served to justify their enslavement and plunder of their resources. denigration \vas at the service of a pro ject of expropriation. _ (..-w P ARlJAMl1Vf OF WOME:" (1646). The parallel is nOt casual. ln the case of European women it was the witch-h_ that played the main role in the construction of their new social filnction....... alludes.IId the St.. had they not be against European women and colonial sub ea sustained by a campaign ofcerror. � v- Witb tb... .. the attack waged on women justified the priation of their labor by men and the crim.. Pompc. ..� was extermination. the Family. Pri... the equivalent of the hiStoric defe.. ucdIII ."' .. culturally. . Tolin' in mon:. ..... _'1 Parliament of VVomen... . and ule atrocious and huntiliatiat practices to which so many of them were sub jected left indelible marks in the coUectivt f emale psyche and in women's sense of possibilities. . . a work typical <if th..... !.. in 11It Origin " downfall of the matri- f.ition of women as demonic beings.:.st : .e of the economically.� rIIft w....

and contributing to seccors of the European economy that were developing in a capitalist direction (Blaut 1992a: 45-46). Brazil alone exported twice the value in sugar of all the wool that England exported in dle same year (ibid." and the "blood and sweat" that for twO Centu . its took weak. who noted that hardly a brick in Liverpool and Bristol was "otcem ented with Mrican blood (1944:61--63). Once women were defeated.: 42). in which he praised the power of the female "maternal instinct.yed a key role in the solution to the capitalist crisis. ensuring that despite the disadvantages of childbinhing and childrais­ II1g. the response was the slave trade which delivered to the European ruling class an ulmlense quantity of labor-power.000 tOIlS we� imported by 1640. .bor accumulated through the slave trade. This must be stressed. tamed one in d structe While at dle time of the witch-hunt women had been portrayed as savage place. the image of fernininity con­ centuries the "transition" was discarded as an unnecessary tool. 18th dle by more obedient.world. latio and systems oflOlowledge that had been the foundation of women's feuagainst struggle the in resistance their for condition the and Europe. It is now established that the plantation system fueled the Industrial Revolution. While the response to the population crisis in Europe was the subjugation of women to reproduction. periodi103 I Colonization. . approximately one million Mrican slaves and indige­ nous workers were producing surplus-value for Spain in colonial America. as the Dutch philoso­ on uence utfl pher Pierre Bayle realized in his Dictiollaire Historique cl Critique (1740). . More than 17. thrifty. and land (Blaut 1992a: 38-40). always busy at work. The accumulation rate was so high in the Brazilian sU� r plamarions that every two years they doubled their capacity. more moral than men. incapable of self-control. as it helps us a. For the witch-hunt destroyed a whole world of female practices. beings century the canon has been reversed. Gold and silver too pl. ual asex them. capable of exerting a positive moral beings. Women were now depicted as passive. after women had been subjected for more dlan two to state terrorism. at a rate of exploitation far higher than that of workers in Europe.73 By 1600." arguing that dut it should be viewed as a truly providential device. . in colonial America. � r rtes flowed to Europe from the plantations. mental. and why. As early as the 16th century. women do continue to reproduce. as arg u ed by Eric Williams. insubordinate. and chaste. Cold imported from Brazil re­ activated conunerce and industry in Europe (DeVries 1976: 20). Globalization. colJecove "reh al power in ns. conunodities. and a new. which made possible a mode of production that coul d not be imposed in Europe.ly . rebelliow. _ dJli�ll· . and Women .But capitalism may not even have taken . Even their irrationality could now be valorized. giving the capitalist class there an exceptional advantage in access to Workers. o [ Without Europe's "annexation of America. unsatiably lusty. pitalist re�ca Out of this defeat a new model of fenunuuty emerged: the Ideal woman and wIfe passive. But the true wealdl was the I. of few words. Tills change btg311 at the end of the 17th century. where colonization destroyed ninety five percent of the aboriginal population.1ZC how essential slavery has been for the hiscory of capitalism. obediem. .

. and linked eru.. export-oriented production . African. if they did. .. such as the one we nessing at present (Bales 1 999). USe-: slaves into the reproduction of the European work-f orce. \vas made to depend on it for its existence.rIc··101II urther established. . the metropolitan wage became the vehicle by which me as providers of"cheap""consumer" goods (cheapened by death squads and military W(. did they ob ject to it?This is a question we would like to ask but it is one which I cannot answer. rather than providing an rive to slavery... In tllis way... together with bread.rIo".. two mechanisms one side. but beca of the illunense an-lOuO[ of surplus labor that was accumulated f set a model aflabar management. also f or the labor of a multitude of workers hidden by it. .. Did worke" in Europe know that they were buying products resuJo ing [re'm ... _ _.. and the wage was further redef ined as an instrument ofaC(:uJl� was f of enslaved labor into the production and reproduction of the metropolitan lation.. af ter slavery had been institu� alized and wages in Europe had begun to (modesdy) rise (Rowling 1 987: 5 1 . that is. a global assembly line wee introduced that significantly restructured the reproduction of labor internationally.. the plantation was a key step in the f dm (through the production of"consumer goods") integrated the work oflhe The plantation system was crucial for capitalist development not only beea rom it. . rum.76. produced by enslaved workers went to the market. a process of large-scale colonization and enslavement. On the other side. and Latin American lence) f or the uadvanced"capita1ist countries. tobacco. in the production of labor-power in Europe _ did not take off on a large scale until afier the 1 650.11 must be mentioned here.. to the rise of the f actory system. . whenever the capitalist system is threatened by a major nmnic crisis. .laved and waged workers in that pre-figured capitalism's present use of Asian. because of the umvaged ditions of their work . waged worke" geographically and socially divided..I .. .. when it did take off. as raw materials or means of exchange in the mde. cant conmlodities. The colonial production ofsugar.. What is certain is that the history of tea. as a means Qike a 104 . however. was created that cut the cost of the commodities necel-' sary to produce labor-power in Europe. the plantation prefigured not """ the f actory bue also the later use ofimnugration and globalization CO cut the COSt oflabar. because. For what traveled with these "exports" was only the blood of the slaves but the seeds of a new science of exploitation. sugar.. 85). labor and. but systematically. tobacco. as with f emale domestic work..... while keeping enslaved . the capitalist class has to launch a process oC"pr-imitive accumulation . . . is.. � cally. economic imegrana... With its inullcnse concentration of workers and its captive I3bor f orce uP rooted from its homeland.and cotton .. and the value of the products enslaved-labor was realized. oflabor ormation of an international divisiaa I n particular. _ . and division of the work ing class by which \\f3ged-work. unable to rely on local support. ist class relations... as a lever f or mobilizing not only the labor of the workers paid by it. and international division of labor that have since become paradigmatic f or capital. the integrlltiiGI wc..the most impGli. tea.. and cotton is f ar more significant than we can deduce from the co'"tribU'llCI which these conullodities made.

access to the New World 'was thro ugh indentured servitude and "transportation.. It is also important [Q remember that the Conquest pro­ Vided the European ruling class with the silver and gold used to pay the mercenary annies mat defeated the urban and rural revolts. then. Aztecs. because i[ was feared that d. given the wretched liv­ . branded like animals." the punislullent which the authori­ ties in Engla nd adopted to rid the country of convicts. though individual proletarians undoubtedly were. and that. the clergy malting up 17% of [he lot (Hamilton 1965: 299. like the Conquest.istadors came from the ranks of the most-hated enemies af the European working class. and where "myne" and "thyne" had no all dungs being held in conunon (Linebaugh and Rediker 2000. how much land was allotted to to them to cultivate it.Iavery (like the witch-hunt) was a major ground of experimentation for methods of labor-comrol that were later imported into Europe. Let us remember that it the imensity of the anti­ feudal struggle that instigated the lesser nobility and the merchants to seek colonial (xpansion. in the 17th and 18th cenUiries. people were forbidden from settling ovelleas inde­ pendendy. that the European proletariat plice to the plunder of the Americas. So Strong was the attr.lction exercised by the New World that the vision of a new IDS .r. workers' and wages workers' of dynamics the Y It would be a miscake. th eir COl1unon In realiry. We shouJd not assume. and the appeal exercised by the reportS [hat cir­ ted about the New World. bOrers in Europe that in the Caribbean islands. (or it cannot be a coin­ odence that only with the end o( slavery did wages in Europe decisively increase and did European workers gain the right to organize. As we have seen. The nobilicy expected so little cooperation from the "lower classes" that initially the Spaniards allowed only a few to embark. presumably cemented by desire for cheap imported goods. fmlll toil and tyranny. where slaves were given plots of land revision grounds") to cultivate for their own use.W illiams 1984: 38--40). political and religious dissidents.igh[ collabom[e with the local population. s. and that the conqu. and Incas were being subjugated. Brandon 1986: .000 Spaniards migrated legaIly to the Americas in the entire 161h century. Only 8. � I lllpaid labor) for the expansion of the unpaid part of the waged workin�-day. So closely incegrated were the lives of the enslaved laborers 111 America and waged duction of the European waged proletariat created a conullunity of imerests the pro n bet wee European workers and the metropolitan capitalists.plausibly determined (Morrissey world-marke[ the on sugar rtce of struggle over reproduction. workers in Europe were being driven from their homes. . in the same years when Arawaks. an d the vast population of vagabonds and beggall that was produced by the enclosures. and burnt as witches. \vas always an accom­ For most proletarians.n conditio ns [hat prevailed in Europe. to conclude that the incegration of slave labor in � Sbvery also affected the European workers' wages and legal status. varied in proportion to the d' Jl1' and how much time was given 1989: 51-59) .Even later. the slave trade was an epochal misfortune for Europe an workers. which pictured it as a wonder land where people lived �s t �u p7e 6-. t le colonizers ' fear of unrestricted nugration was well-founded. It is also hard to imagine that workers in Europe profited from the Conquest of was America. masters and greed.ey m. Pet er Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker point ou[ in 711< Mally-Headed Hydra (2000) . however.e. at least in its initial phase.

This ate of some young English settlers in Virginia who. so that the planters them as a dangerous lot and..Y et. yet there is not one inscance that any ofthese would remain. [and] hanged or shot to death" (Koning the Indians.. Some lived f or years with Indian tribes despite restrictions placed on those who settled in the American colonies and the heavy p . and providing a counterpoint to Prospero's magic healing of me discord among the rulers. .. society i t provided apparently influenced the political thought of the Enlighterun. .. blacks. . clothed and caught. could persuade many ofthem to leave their Indian friends.e Tempest the conspiracy ends ignominiously. . . an idea previously unknown in European political theory (Brandon 1 where. Thus. ..Their hostility to their masters was equally intense. Not surprisingly. ." taken to signify lessness. since escapees were treated like traitors and puc to death.. .lellll his colonial master. 17<1> century. broken on the wheel.. .. Indian children have been carefully educated among the English. . . . . . and aboriginal pies. As f or the European proletarians who signed themselves away inco inclerltw. to be paid if caught... . . . . Until 1 8th century were racial boundaries irrevocably drawn (Moulier then.. contributing to the emergence of a new concept of "Iiberry. they couJd reconstruct the lost e 23-28).as Linebaugh and Rediker powerfully put it. was constantly present.. . . But only use and introduced a legislation aimed at separating them f 1998). Shakespeare gave voice to it in a witch. at first... gesring the possibility of a f atal alliance among the oppressed. f rom that of the African slaves with whom they often side by side.. No argument.. . What things are these.. by the second half of the the end of the W<l''''''. as late 1699. . . on being caught were condemned by the colony'S councilmen to 1 993: 6\ "Terror created boundaries:' Linebaugh and Rediker comment (2000: 34). some Europeans tried ro" lose thenlSelves"in this utopian rience of the conUTIOns (2000: 24).. On the other hand... but returned to their own nations (Koning 1 993: 60).. having run away to live the f "burned.. and by Trinculo and Stephano. no tears [a contemporary reponed] .. servitude or arrived in the New Wodd in consequence of a penal sentence. the narive rebel. . my lord Antonio? Will money buy them? 106 .. at home TI. the possibility of alliances between whites. and the f ear of such unity in the European ruling class' imagination....I .. . . began to limit rom the M ricans.e ( 1 6 1 2) where he pictured the conspiracy organized by Caliban. _. they are met with derision and thoughts of ownership and SEBASTIAN. .. the English still had a great difficulty persuading the people whom the Indians captivated to leave their Indian manner of living. when the def eated rebels ans demonstrating to be nothing better than petty thieves and drunkards. . In TI. . the ocean-going European proletarians.. no entreaties. and Caliban begging f orgiveness from brought in front of Prospero and his f ormer enelnies Sebastian and Antonio (noW onciled with him).. son on the plantations... their lot nOt tOO diff erent. with the European pn...

Laws were passed depriving Mricans of previously granted civic rights. the threat continued. The turning point was when slavery was made an hereditary condition. and this demi-devil­ For he's a bastard one . marchernble. starting in the 1 6405. His mother was a witch. V PROSPERa. such as citizenship. Then say if they be true.still a sizeable presence in early 1 7th-century America .had plotted with them T o take my life. the right CO bear arms. Two of these f ellows you Must know and own." by contrast. so much so that free black people . thwarting the possibility of such combinations. became not just a badge of social and economic privilege "serving to designate those who until 1650 had been called 'Christians' and afterwards 'English' or 'free men'" (ibid. a means by which social hegemony was naturalized. and Class in the Cololues W. no doubt. after the American War of Independence. as thousands ofconvicts were being shipped dJere in the 1 650s from the British islands" (Rowling 1987: 57). ANTON IO." in the colonies. Later. lines 265-276) Off stage. Act V. "Both on Bermuda and Barbados white servants were discovered plotting with Mrican slaves. became synonynlous with slave. my lords. "Black" or " Af rican. one of them is a plain fish.ould Caliban's conspiracy have had a diff erent outcome had its protagonists been Ol n I 1� ? Had the instigators been not Caliban but Ius mother. make flows and ebbs. deemed a vestige of British rule. colonial America had moved f rom "a society with slaves to a slave society" (Moulier Boutang 1998: 189). Mark but the badges of these men. by the late 18th century. mar­ riages between "blacks" and "whites" were f orbidden. "White. And deal in her conunand without her power. were I Sex.: 194). These three have robbed me. As a result. and not Trillculo and Step hano but the sisters of the witches who.were later forced to prove that they were free. This mis-shapen knave. the powerful witch that Shakespeare ludes in the play's background. and. in the same years of the Conquest. and the possibility of soli­ darity between M ricans and whites had been severely undermined. was elinu­ nated. Race. It is f or tlus reason that. rican slaves and British indentured servants joined together to conspire against when Af their masters. This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine. and the slave masters were given the right to beat and kill their slaves. Race and Class in the Colonies �e g nan 107 . (Shakespeare. but a moral attribute. In addition. Scene I . In Virginia the peak in the alliance between black and white servants was Bacon's Rebellion of1 675-76. and one so strong That could control the moon. and the right to make depositions or seek redress in a tribunal for injuries suff ered. Sycorax.ery like. the accumulation of an enslaved pro­ letariat in the Southern American colonies and the Caribbean was accompanied by the construction of racial hierarchies. ex. however. white indentured servitude.

me" 1540s. Regardless « their social origin. "Considered unfit f or riage by propertied white males. "race" was established as a key f actor in the transmission of property. In these worlds they socialized intimately with the slave conmlUnity.! I. Till/ba..c. if enslavement was deemed necessary to terminate them. however. and the children resulting from such riages were enslaved f or life. and disqualified f or domestic service. An even more outstanding example comes f rom the Caribbean.75 Prohibitions relating to marriage mulattos from each f emale sexuality served here.­ witch-hunt in Europe was coming to an end. which was accompanied by a lesseo­ ing of the burden f or white workers. the situation changed drastically. after a when the numerical inferiority of the colonists reconmlended a more liberal in the towards inter-ethnic relations and alliances with the local chiefS through m"rrliage. white wo. and and from the white population (Nash 1 980).1 English women "tr:msported" from Britain as convicts or indentured servants be. 'he kind of situation that could produce such bonding. Black Witch o f Salem (1 992). 1tIIII prove that a segregated. gave each other suppOrt at against his murderous contempt f or women. and a hierarchy was put in place to separate indigenous. the Puritan Samuel Parris' young wife.hem (Beckles """"1111 1995 131-32). mestizos. or married off within the ranks ofme white power structure.. where 'O'Y-c:l. Maryse Conde gives us an insigh. "landless white women were dismissed to labor in plantations. was not an automatic process. a significam part of the labor-gangs on the sugar estates..." They established households and had children with . and the urban service sector.. racism had to be legit­ orced. and with enslaved black men.. But with the institutionalization of slavery.).7' Tills. employed f or domestic work (ibid. and African women by virtue of a COllmlon expe. usually f emale ones. this time at the expense of black "Divide and rule"also became official policy in the Spanish colon ies. by describing how Tiruba her new mistress. too. But in Spanish 108 . but i n America all the taboos su"rounc:tilll the witch and the black devil were being revived. indeed." because insolence and riotous disposition. They also cooperated as well as competed with f emale slaves in the market­ ing of produce or stolen goods. and of the bonds that could be established between European. As iff oUowing the script laid out by the witch-hunt. as the increase in the number of mestizos was undermining colonial lege.. indigenous. but it serves to question the nature of the ual division of labor in the colonies.. to enf orce social exclusion.When they were passed in the IO<M. and that intimate marriage and sexual relations between blacks and whites were f orbidden.ri. public construction works. and whenever possible they became owners ofslaves then1Selws. and a decrease in the number of women arrivina f rom Europe as wives f or the planters. In . white women were upgraded. Like sexism... these tions between "blacks" and "whites" must have been very conlJTlon. Among the most revealing prohibitions we must again count lated and enf who married black slaves were condemned. ­ relation between white women and black men. Passed in Maryland and Virginia in the 1660s. the new laws oem"ru'''. racist society was instituted from above. of sexual discrim ination.being burned in Europe at the stake? This question is a rhetorical one.

71u� bratlding of women by the gllred promitlfnlfy jt, Jn1f hlldji pcat' ulitdHritli5, tI5 (/ fflt £lIro flit wllitt 51m;e traders IItld

Afi'/lwfe slave being bmuded.

gnlioll. BII/ symbol of lo(nl slIbju /5 lvert devi ill rt:tdily, the tnle plllll((/[ioll oll/ners wl,o (like the

iflJlt to frelll tile IWllletl ther CflSuwed like mttlt.

i" this piclllrej did 110/ hes­

segregation along racial lines succeeded only in part, checked by m.igration, population decline, indigenous revolt, and the formation of a white urban proletariat with no prospect of economic advancement, and therefore prone to identify with mestizos and mulanos more than with the white upper-class. Thus, while in the plantation societies �f the Caribbean the differences between European and Mricans increased with time, III the South American colonies a "re-composition" became possible, especially among low-class European, me5tiz a, and Mrican women who, beside their precarious econom ic itio n, shared POS the disadvantages deriving from the double standard built into the law, whIe o 1 I made them vuJnerable to male abuse. Signs of this "recomposition" can be found in the records which the Inqu.isition k t n1 hCp � 8t1Lcentury Mexico of the investigations it conducted to eradicate magical and erene beli efS {Behar 1987: 34-51).The task \v.s hopeless, and soon the Inquisition lost erest in the project, convinced that popular magic was no longer a threat to the polit­ r am o der. But the testimon.ies it collected reveal the existence of multiple exchanges Ong Women in matters relating to magical cures and love remedies, creating in time .. W cu ltur al reality drawn from the encounter between the African, European and 11 g enous magical traditions. As Ruth Behar writes:




Indian women gave hummingbirds to Spanish healers ( or use in sex­ ual attraction, mulatta women told mestiza women how [0 tame theif husbands, a loba sorceress introduced a coyota to the Devil.Th is "pop­ ular" system ofbeliefran parallel to the system ofbeliefofthe Church, and it spread as quickly as Christianity did in the New Wodd, so that after a while it became impossible to distinguish in it what was "Indian" or " Spanish" or " African" (ibid.).76 Assimilated in the eyes of the Inquisition as people "without reason," this varie­ gated f emale world which Ruth Behar describes is a telling example ofthe alliances that, across colonial and color lines, women could build, by virtue of their common expeq.. enee, and theiT interest in sharing the traditional knowledges and practices available to them to control theif reproduction and fight sexual discrimination. Like discrimination on the basis of "race," this was more than a cul[Ural bagg;wa which the colonizers brought from Europe with their pikes and horses. No less _ the destruction of cODununaHsm, it was a strategy clictated by specific economic inter­ est and the need to create the preconclitions f or a capitalist economy, and as such always adjusted to the task at hand. In Mexico and Peru, where population decline recommended that f emale domestic labor in the home be incentivized, a new sexual hierarchy was introducell by the Spanish authorities that stripped indigenous women of their autonomy, and gave their male ki n more power over them. Under the new laws, married womeD. became men's property, and were f orced (against the traditional custom) to foUow their husbands CO their homes. A compadrazgo system was also created f urther limiting their rights, placing the authority over children in male hands. I n adclition, to ensure thIt incligenous women reproduced the workers recruited to do mjla work in the mines. the Spanish authorities legislated that no one could separate husband from wif e, whida meant that women were forced to f ollow their husbands whether they wanted it not, even co areas known to be death camps, due to the pollution created by the ing (Cook Noble J 981 :205-6).77 The intervention of the French Jesuits in the clisciplining and training of Montagna,is-Naskapi, in mid-1 7th century Canada, provides a revealing example gender cliff erences were accumulated.The story is told by the late anthropologist Leacock in her My'!'s o f Male Dominance (1981), where she examines the diary of its protagonists.This was Father Paul Le Jeune, a Jesuit missionary who, in M"C3U <,­ nial C ashion, had joined a French tracling post to Christianize the Inclians,and rurn into citizens of "New Frallce."The Montagnais-Naskapi were a nomadic Indian that had lived in great harmony, hunting and fishing in the eastern Labrndor Pe,,;"'''' But by the time of Le Jeune's arrival, their conununity was being undennined by presence oCEuropeans and the spread oCC ur-trading, so that some men, eager to conunercial alliance with them, were amenable to letting the French dictate how should govern themselves (Leacock J 981 : 396). As often happened when Europeans came in contact with native populations, the French were impressed by Momagnais-Naskapi generosity,


and indifference to status, but they were scandalized by their ense of cooperation saw that the Naskapi had no conception o( private property. they Is;" mora of �')ack and they even refused to pu�lish their children superiority, male of ority, of a uth 10 change all I hal, se[[lng oU[ to teach the decided TheJe,uilS 34-38) 1981: . (Leacock that this was necessary to turn convinced civilization, of eiemcms basic the ns India . . . they fi . Spirit, us raugI IrsC tI d In panners. e era reliable 1t them that " mall IS the into hePl 'Ier'" that "in France women do not rule their husbands," and eha[ courting at I 1113 nJgltt. divorce at either partner's �esire. and s�xual fr�edol1l (or both spouses, before er marriage, had to be forbidden. Here JS a [cUing exchange Le Jeune had, on Of aft api man: this score, with a Nask
"I [old him it was not honorable for a woman to love anyone else except her husband, and that this evil being among them, he himself was not sure that his son, who was present, was his son. He replied, 'Thou has no sense. You French people love only your chil­ ildren of our tribe.' I began to laugh see­ dren; but we love all the ch ing that he philosophized in horse and mule fashion" (ibid.: 50).

Backed by the Governor of New France, the Jesuits succeeded in convincing the Naskapi to provide themselves with some chiefS, and bring "their" women to order. Typically, one weapon they used \.vas to insinuate th:iIC women who were too independ­ ent and did not obey their husbands were creatures of the devil . When, angered by the men 's attempts to subdue them, the Naskapi women ran away, the Jesuits persuaded the men to chase after their spouses and threaten them with imprisonment: "Such acts ofjustice" - Lejeune proudly commented in one particu­ lar case -"cause no surprise in France,because it is usual there to pro­ ceed in that manner. But among dlese people... where everyone consid­ ers himself from birth as fiee as the wild animals that roam in dleir great orests... it is a marvel, or radler a miracle, to see a peremptory conunand f ormed" (ibid.: 54). obeyed, or any act ofseverity or justice perf The Jesuits' greatest victory, however, was persuading the Naskapi to beat their children, believing that the " savages' " excessive fondness for their offipring \.vas the major O�lacl e to their Christianization. Le Jeune's diary records the first instance in which a

girl was publicly beaten, while one ofher relatives gave a chilling lecture to the bystanders on the historic significance of the event:"Thi, is the first punishment by beating (he said) . We mflict on anyone of our Nation . . (ibid.: 54-55). tha The Montagnais-Naskapi men owed their training in male supremacy to the fact or private property, to induce th t the French wanced to instill in them the "instinct" f to become reliable partners in the fur trade.Very different was the situation on the n�tions, where the sexual division oflabor was inunediately dictated by the planters' qUl relllencs f or labor-power, and by the price of commodities produced by the slaves On Ih . e Illternational mar t. ke Until Ole abolition of tile slave trade, as Barbam Bush and Marietta Morrissey have
. .



)i" ,tic m; "" were sub jected to the same degree of' expl( ,co ... ound it more profitable to work and "consume" slaves to death than to en planters f ,u r. documented, both women and men their reproduction. Neither the sexual division oflabor nor sexual hierarchies were thus
kin; as for women, far f rom being given special consideration, they were expected to



nounced. Mrican men had no say concern ing the destiny of their f emale companions and in the fields like men, especially when sugar and tobacco were in high demand, and were subject to the same cruel punislunents, even when pregnant (Bush with the men of their class (Momsen


1990: 42-44).


Ironically then, it would seem that in slavery women "achieved" a rough equ ality

1993). But their treatment


W omen were given less to eat; unlike men, they were vulnerable to their masters' sex ical agony women had to bear the sexual huntiJiation al'\vays attached to them and damage done, when pregnant, to the f etuses they carried.

never the sante

assaults; and more cruel punishment were inflicted on them, f or in addition to the phys..



A new page, moreover, opened after 1807. when the slave trade was abolished and the Caribbean and American plante", adopted a "slave breeding" policy. As Hilary Beckles points out, in relation to the island ofBarbados, plantation owners had attempted to control the reproductive patterns off emale slaves since the

17th century, "[encourag.­

ing] them to have f ewer or more children in any g iven span of time," depending on how much field labor was needed. But only when the supply of M rican slaves diminished did the regulation of women's sexual relations and reproductive patterns become more sys­ tematic and intense (Beckles

1989: 92).

In Europe, f orcing women to procreate had led to the imposition of capital pun­ ishment f or contraception. In the plantations, where slaves were becoming a precious conunodity, the shif t to a breeding policy made women more vulnerable to sexual assault. though it led to some "ameliorations" of women's work cond itions: a reduction of work­ hours, the building of lying-in-houses, the provision of m idwives assisting the delivery. an expansion of social rights (e.g of travel and assembly)(Beckles: 1 989: 99-1 DO; Bum 1990: 135) . But these changes could not reduce the damages inflicted on women by

field-labor, nor the bitterness women experienced because of their lack off reedom.With ural reproduction" f ailed, and the birth rates on the plantations remained "abnormally low" (Bush

the exception ofBarbados, the planters' attempt to expand the work-force through "nat­

1 36-37; Beckles 1 989. ibid.).Whether this phenomenon was a result of out­

right resistance to the perpetuation of slavery, or a consequence of the physical debili­ tation produced by the harsh conditions to which enslaved women were subjected, is still a matter of debate (Bush f or

1 990: 1 4311). But. as Bush points out. there are good rea­

sons to believe that the main cause of the f ailure soon

the refusal of women to procreate.

slavery was eradicated, even when their economic conditions in some

respect deteriorated, the conmlU n ities of freed slaves began to grow (Bush

1990) .18

W omen's refusaJs of victimization also reshaped the sexual division of labor, as occurred in Caribbean islands where enslaved women turned themselves into semi-free market vendors of the products they cultivated in the "provision grounds" (in Jamaica. "polinks"). given by the plante", to the slaves so that they could to support themselVes. The planters adopted tillS measure to save on the cost of reproducing labor. But access to the "provision grounds" turned out to be advancageou f or dle slaves

well; it



of ood market.Visitors were impressed by their singing. the diaspora (pp.against shaped the development of the slave community and of the islands' economies. and bedrooms. wluch osalyn T erborg Penn has identified as the essential tenets ofcomemporary African f em­ I nislll. especially that of white women . Despite the legislation introduced to prevent them from selling or limiting the places in which they couJd do so. slavery in the Caribbean had practically ended. who periodically worried that these activities may place the slaves beyond their control. These practices and the values attached to them. by the �on system century. and dleir extravagant man­ n�r ofspeaking which are now understood as a means of satiriz. even before all odds . often f front gang-labo r and emancipated. Enslaved Caribbean women had also 3 decisive impact on the culture of the white population. Those most devoted to the success of the provision grounds were t leir \lOmen. But their main achieve -reliance. who also survived mostly through the growing and marketing of r ood crops. and their "dom ination" of the kitchens. according to some historians. of their maste" (Bush Not surprisingly. who marketed the crops. enslaved women in the Caribbean had carved out f or themselves a � Iud-18th supplemented with goods taken from the master's shop. or crops they cultivated. seers. they were f orming a proto-peasantry with �m:mcipation. FClnaJe slaves . Their relationship at times couJd be hostile: proletar­ jan European women. enslaved women continued to expand their market­ IIlg activities and the cuJtivation of their provision plots. 3-7). which they came to view as their own so that. or given to them f It was in this capacity that f emale slaves also came into contact with white prole­ ormer indentured servants. re-appropriating and reproducing within the planta­ lace in the plantation economy. redefi ned the Af They created not only COI1U1llIlUty of rican the f ou ndations for 3 new f oundations f or a new emale African identity. or sale by their maSters. and also as hucksters and market vendors of the slaves the by I � what had been one of their main occupations in Africa. even after the latter had been removed tarian women.Thus. if not the creation. they were seen as the heart of the slave conmlunity. But both groups of women also collaborated in build­ ing a vast network of buying and selling relations which evaded the laws passed by the colonial authorities. by the late practically a monopoly of island markets. exchanged with other slaves. the ones who. 1 8th century. through their activities as healers. contributing to the expansion. and the possibility to use the time allotted f or their cwtivation f or t helll ivities. Being able to produce small crops that couJd be eaten or sold boosted act er th independence.ing their maSters. whom a contempo­ 1990). or attempted to im_pede their sales. 1989: 81). As a result. despite dle authorities' ITI3ny attempts to linut their power. stole at times the products that slave women brought to the market.more mobility. They did so both as producers of much of the f ood consumed le isJa nd's f and the white population.were a key f orce in tlus process. grounded in survival ment was the development of a poHtia of self strategies and f emale networks. their head-kerchiefS and dresses. willie balancing trays with goods on their heads (Beckles as behaving like Africans. but also the f rary portrayed lu ps. experts in magical practices. walking with their children strapped on their � 113 . Af rican and Creole WOI1'len influenced the customs of poor f emale whites. with their determination.

lies alld lI(hieve some tllliot/omy.e heart ojthe ttlSlaved (otlmumi.from A jrim. 1990. such lIS "'lIrkelillg lilt.Above: A fomily €ifshIVes (ddt/iV..y.vit. (From BtlfiHmr BliSh.o".t'" pfmlliU. \ produce Ihey grcu" 1l1/. W otnell were as the heart €ifsuch glllheri"gs were they tl.) &lolV:A f estive�athering 011 tI W est 11Il1.nue the act. a"d Ihe staullchest dtj wders ojthe cutll4re brough.(h erlllbled Iher" to beuer supperl lileirfomi. 114 .a they IlIId CIIrried Ot' it' Af rica. Etlslalltd l4Iometl slmggled 10 (011· I.

against the capitalist attempt to impose scarcity and in women's concentration and _appropriation oflife conditions ra1 re the to lc[U rrl fundamenta1 means of subsistence. was ofII new aspect of capitalist development. but their experiences. and the cre­ iltlon of" sav ages" and "cannibals" both in Europe and the New World. while being an inUl1ense boost to capital accumulation . Tills point must be emphasized. . their lives. which have alienated workers f As we have seen. ood. In dle next chapters I f urther examine dlis disaccumulation process by discussing three key aspects of transition f rom f eudalism to capicaJism: dle constitution of the pro­ le�rian body into a work-machine. starting from the land. h ierarchies.celebrated dle degradation of women's work and social position. inequalities. the advantages which the capitalist class derived from the diff between agricultural and industrial labor and within industrial labor itself.itccd . the power-difference between women and men and the con­ cealment of women's unpaid-labor under the cover of natural inf eriority. the sexual division oflabor was above all a power-relation. the mceT-generatlOnal transnUSSlOn 0f knowIedge and cooperation. the construction I CapitalisIYl and the Sexual DiviSon of Labor a division within the work-force. Thus. making of women the servants of the male work-f orce. han . in Adam Smith's ode to pin-maJcing . . or maj a On its basis a new sexual division oflabor could be enforced that diff erentiated not orm. divisions. primitive accumula­ tion has been above all an accumulation of diff erences. erentiation In reality. as they have tried to maintain their power with respect to apical by devaluing and disci­ plining women. no less than the n to capical relatio r ei th international division oflabor.pale when compared to those it derived from As I have argued. and d1e "primitive disaccumulation" of their own individual and collective powers. in many cases. the production of the ds as of . the persecution of women as witches. and r patriarchal order. liS . Thus."and use the (male) wage to accumulate women's labor. only the tasks that women and men should perf and [0 other sectors of the working class. rom each other and even from themselves. But the power that men have imposed on women by virtue of d1eir access to \vage-Iabor and their recognized contribution to capitalist accumulation has been paid at the price ofself -alien­ ation. children. and the populations d1e capitalist class has colonized. As this hriefhiscofY of women and primitive aCClilTIuJation has shown. male workers have often been complicitolls with this process. have enabled capitalism to inunensely expand the "unpaid part of the working day. they have also served to deflect elass antagonism into an antagonism between men and women. given the tendency to atuibuce the leap capicaJ­ ism brought about in the productivity oflabor only to the specialization of work-tasks.� dependence ieey comm. .

putting their military expertise . 1988. According to the records. that the craft campaigned in several with regard to women. instance._ Peter Blickle ob jects to the concept of a "peasant war" because of the social position of this revolution. drawn from more remote regions.I 1. The Anabaptists. the medieval heretics. and an abolition of death taXes (Bickle 1985: 195-201). at the time.. a repeal of the poaching law's. The twelve "articles" included: the refusal of bondage. which provoked an "active resistance" among presumably repressed with imprisonment and even executions (po-Chia more investigation. • - . . the German princes mobilized the troopI of the Swabian League. miners. exp".. shouJd not presume that events unfolded as narrated. and In1teU:eC1t lQl . On the history ofthe Landsknechte and their participation in the p� (1994: 237-256).. The Peasant War combined ideological sophistication.chellecchi l resistance. women had at first enjoyed a high degree of f reedom in the town. 2. the took control of the city of Munster.: 58-59)." Tltings changed with the decision by the ref ormed government to duce polygamy in 1534. installed in it a communaJ unver·nn'" based upon the sharing of goods. In ODe case. and a powerful military ur in the t\velve "articles" which the rebels put f ization. were the elite mercenary troops in Europe. to break the � W ar. politicaUy.. in various occasions. As Po-Chia Hsia writes. The Landsknechte headed the peasant armies. For the rise of the real wage and the faU of prices in England. But the episode 3. a reduction of the tithes. which included many artisans.Wbea it was clear that they could not be trusted. and nothing indicates they opposed the persecution of the witches. in f act. represented a fusion of'the late medieval social me_.Their take-over of ·Mun . refused to move against the rebels.mt Dutch Anabaptists. given the divisive role that the crafts played in the ""amali'.: tional military prowess demonstrated by the rebels depended in part on the PIt'­ ticipation of prof essional soldiers in the revolt. they condemned economic individualism and greed supported a f orm of Christian communalism. Endnotes uo1 among its ranks. an affirmation of the rights to gather WOod. J Lallz. For Florentine wages. orward. I n 1531. see Carlo M.. The <>«:ep. including the Landsknechte • the f amous Swizz soldiers who. e know. Cipolla (1994: 116 .. the records of jerusaJem were destroyed and its story has been told only by itS enemies.. renamed it New Jerusalem. an affirmation of the rights to the conunon. see Reinhard Baumann. see North Thomas (1973: 74). when unrest and urban insu rrections spread Frankf urt to Cologne and other towns of Northern Germany. lessening of labor services. a reduction of rents. their service and. they motivated their refusal by arguing that they too came f rom the peasallllty and that they depended on the peasants for their sustenance in times ofpeace. "they could divorce their unbelieving husbands and enter into new riages.W tries to exclude women from the waged work-place. eiccUftIfl in the wake of the Peasant War. Why this decision was taken is not clear. and under influence ofinuuigr.1 ments and the new anti-clerical movement sparked offby the Ref ormation.

. all f [Q began profits to the payment of rent.tlurive accumulation" include: SamirAmin (1 974) and Maria Mies (1 986).As described by Gunder Frank. In Tile Commoner: www. the term "primitive accumulation" was actually coined by Adam Smith and re jected by Marx. in essence. As Michael Perelman points out. which required the Indian conunuluty's chief s to supply rhe Spanish juez repartidor (distributing judge) with a certain number of days of labor per month .A different critique is f ound or generating the impression in Yann Moulier Bout. 8.uk. The Colltj/lui"g Appeal ofNationalism. Detroit: Black and Red. and Mitchel Cohen. . .as MouJier Boutallg stresses . s. SlicherVan Bath (1963: 160-170).Whilc SamirAm.conulloner. capitalism. to transition the on debate the and Dobb On Maurice 23-69. . 16-27).in focusses on Marx's Eurocentrism. 7. the fall in the value of output in England see R. .. Rodney Hilton argues that this period saw ies . which he devoted to the study of primitive acculllulation. H. Marx prefixed the pe jo­ rative 'so-called' to the title of the final part of the first volume of Capital.and Inga Clendinnen (1987). not to encourage mobility. For a description of the systems of the e"comienda." But in 1 548. "Fredy Perlman: Out in Front of a Dozen Dead Oceans" (Unpublished manuscript.45. York: New Historia".1ng (1998) who faults Marx f that the objective of the ruling class in Europe was to free itself f rom an unwanted work-f orce. Martin's St.) Andre Gunder Frank ( 1978). the Spaniards "began to replace the etlcomienda de sen/icio by the reparrjmjemo (called cacequil in Mexico and mita in Peru). class ruling the place by industrial production and disorganized towns the in Revolt . 984). Marxist British The Kaye. and catequil see (among othe. Capitalism . Marx.4. Stern ( 1 982). . Fredy Periman.org. resistance peasant strengthened countryside the revolt in 240-241). because of its ah istorical character in Sm ith's usage. "Marx and Primitive Accumulation.has always been primarily concerned with preventing rhe flight of labor (pp. Britnel (1 993: 156-171). .. .. Moulier Boutang underlines that the opposite was the case: land expropriation aimed to fix workers to their jobs. 1985. . (1 Press. (HiltOn 1985: further" even dropped thus profits and Rent see Harvey J. . Critics ofMarx's concept or'pri. On the relation between the historical and the logical dimension of "primitive accumulation" and its implications for political movements today see: Massimo De Angelis.resses Marx's blindness to the exploitation ofwomen. 6. the eIlcomienda was "a system under which rights to the labor of the Indian conullunities were granted to Spanish landown­ ers. On the eff orts of the Spaniards to bind labor in Mexico and Peru in the course of the various 117 . Capital ·Enclosures· . probably felt in the first "a contraction of the rural and industrial econom industrial and conuncrcial and revenues Seigneurial . The Continuous Character of .H. mita. The Spanish official in turn dis­ tributed this supply of labor to qualified enterprising labor contraccors who were supposed co pay the laborers a certain minimum wage"(1 978: 45). dismissed Smith's myth ical 'previous' accumulation in order to call attention to the actual historical experience" (perlman 1985: 25-26)."T o underscore his distance from Smith. see B. . SteveJ. Mies st. 1 998). On the stagnation of agricultural production in a number ofEuropean countries.

by the Portuguese. under the new regime.T o stress the existence o f European slavery in the 1 6th and 1 7th centuries (and after) is also important because this f act has been often "f orgotten" by European historians.I . (I 998} has powerfully reconstructed the history of the German artisu "During the Protestant Ref ormation some among the best 1 6th-century German artistS abandoned their laboratories to join the peasants in struggle . Sanur Amin ( 1 974). 90-95. includes f amous names. Slavery had never been abolished in Europe. which England pio­ neered in Europe. and [Tilman] Riemenschneider mutilated . and the impact on it of the catastrophic collapse of the indigenous population. Paolo Thea who sided with the peasants. 69-70. midwives bring life into the world. For a discussion of the "second serf dom" see Inunanuel W allerstein (1 974) and Henry Kamen (1971). . this self -induced oblivion was a product of the "Scramble f or M rica.. from M rica. 14. Sometimes . the alleged cradle of democracy. But by the end of the 15m century slaves began to be imponed again. Attempts to impose slavery continued in England through the 16th cenrury. is in icselfan eco.). Peter Kriedte ( 1 978). . 9.] Grunewald chased f rom the court of Magollza where he worked. met the rigors of the penal code. 11.." [My translation] 118 .. progress. They drafted documents inspired by the principles of evangelic poverty. [Philipp] Dietman beheaded. af ter the military def eaa of MayJune 1 525. Bono argues that Europe's elites could not admit to having employed slaves in Europe. Far less convincing is Marx's accompanying observa_ tion.V nomic power"(1 909: 824). It is important here to stress chac the newly enserfed peas­ ana were now producing f or the international grain market. Comparing f orce to the generative powen of a midwife also casts a benign veil over the process of capital accumulation.. mostly as f emale domestic slavery.. . According to Salvatore Bono. surviving in pockets. stages of colonization. This methaphor also suggests that capitalism "evolved" out of f orces gestating in the eudal world . l : "Force . 12. . sug_ gesting necessity.[Matthi . . 13. . and ultimately. See.. Among them are OorgJ Ratget quartered in Pf orzheim (Stuttgart) .The endless list of those who. Immanuel W allerstein ( 1 974). according to which:"Force is the midwif e of every old society pregnant with a new one" ern: 10.both in Wurzburg . see again Gunder Frank (ibid. (ibid.. First... resulting (after the inrroduction of public relief) in the construction of work-houses and correction houses. the com­ mon sharing of goods. 1 3m echoing here Marx's statement in Capital. .an assumption which Marx himself ref utes in his bosom of the f discussion of primitive accumulation. they took anns in support of the cause. o n this point. . and the redistribution of wealth.. . a city that was torn apart by religious conflict. Holbein the Y oung was so troubled by the events that he £led from Basel." which was jus­ tified as a nussion aimed to ternunate slavery on the Af rican continent. inevitability. I n other words despite the seem ing backward character ofthe work-relation imposed upon th omy and international capitalist division oflabar. they were an integral pare of a developing capitalist econ­ ol.. not destruction. mercilessly applied by the winners against the vanquished. : 43-49).

some of the main peasant 119 . "The coun­ tryside had become animated . . The echoes of the Anabaptist revolution were f elt in Elizabethan EngJand and in France. taxes.: 7). and the Tyrol artists participated in me PeasantWar. inspiring uOnost vigilance and severity with regard to any challenge to the constituted auchority. i Enrly 1 71h-amtury Centultl engnwtlg revilin g the Atltl/x'PlislS' belief ill lilt: 16. through the 1 6 th and 1 7th centuries. through the prism of the Peasant War and Anabaptism that the European governments.Also in Switzerland. In a number of territorial states. animals. Village authority and privileges were maintained in the hinterland of some city­ states. Thea points out that the deeply f ipation of the artists to the cause of the peasants is also demonstrated by the reval­ uation ofrural themes depicting peasant lif e ."Anabaptist" became a cursed word. as " communist" was in the United States in the 1 9SOS.Austria. It was 15. and labor services". a sign of opprobrium and criminal intent.: 155).� ofgoods. though serf dom was not abolished. (OtlltllUtlislj( sIJaritl. including famous ones like Lucas Cranach (Cranach the old) as well as myriad elt partic­ lesser painters and engravers (ibid. 73. : 1 2-15.79. [it] had acquired in the uprising a personality worth of being represented" (ibid. .in contemporary 16th-century German art (ibid. interpreted and repressed every f onn of social protest. and "terrorist" is coday.80). and flora . I n Upper Swabia. [My translation]. "they let me yell and give me nothing. ref erring to those working on his land (Buckle 1 985: 172)." complained the abbot ofSchussenried.dancing peasants. the peasants "continued to ref use dues.

Noble David Cook argues that: "Perhaps 9 miUion people resided with i n the linurs delineated by Peru's con­ temporary boundaries. in Maidnu. Meal alld MOlley ( 1 98 1 ) .OOO men. Ref erring to the growing pauperization brought about across the world by capi­ talist development. are too numerous to mention. Representations of battlefields.. On the changes in the nature of war in early modern Europe sec. and the towns. The extent of the demographic caeastrophe caused by "the Columbian Exchange" is still debated. : 1 72-1 74). but contemporary scholarly opinion is almost unanimous in likening its eff ects to an American Holocaust. yrol and Salzburg (ibid. [as] the prince was still bound to the consent of the common man. leaking into every representation. . serfdom .is leading capitalism to a ma jor crisis. New territorial assemblies emerged after 1 525 " [real­ izing] in a weakened f orm one of the demands of 1 525: that the C0l1U1l011 man ought to be part of the territorial estates alongside the nobles. Andre Gunder Frank writes that: "Within little more than a century. even those ostensibly devoted to sacred subjects. some areas reached settlements that were positive for the peasants" (ibid. in Bern and Zurich. 120 . 17. Similarly."We have also one by Lucas Cranach ( 1 522) and by Mauheus Merian ( 1 630).vas abolished. it would have been twice that. and some other regions" ( 1 978: 43). "ln the 1 490s a large army would have consiSted of20. during the rom that f ormation of the absolute state. ..: 176-1 79). 20. War is possibly the main theme of 1 61b and 171h-century painting." BlickJe concludes that "Wherever this cause won out. f amine and wars it brings about. providing the f in place till the 1 91h century. Improvements in the 1m of the "corn. the clergy. viUages in Dames. But "the true mon man" were negotiated in T child of the revolution" . Albrecht Diirer's engraving was not the only representation of the "Four Horsemen. ofproducing their own subsistence and f eeding their children?" (1981 : 1 40). the French anthropologist Claude Meillassoux. Cunningham and Crell (2000) . The number ofilwbitants remaining a century after con­ tact was roughly a tenth of those that were there when the Europeans invaded the Andean world" (Cook 1 98 1 : 1 1 6). has argued that this contradiction spells a f uture crisis for capitalism: "In the end imperialism . we cannOt say that there the lords crowned their military conquest with political victory. Kalmer ( 1 998). Estimates of the population decline in South and Central America. portraying slaughters of soldiers and civil­ ians.grievances relating to inheritance and marriage rights were accepted with the Treacy of Menullingen of 1 526. . instituted after 1 525 in Upper oundation f or a system of self-goverrunent that remain ed Swabia.: 1 8 1 . "On the Upper Rhine. how many are still capable owing to the social disruption. f or even if there are still millions of people in the world. too. Peru. the Indian population declined by ninecy percent and even ninecy-five percent in Mexico. range widely. not directly involved in capitalist employment. Only later. 95-102.000 men" (2000: 95).vas the territorial assembly. did the prince succeed in freeing himself f consent" (Ibid. while towards the end of the Thirty Y ears War the leading European staces would have field annies of close to 1 50. I n Switzerland. by the 1 550.as a means of reproducing cheap labor power . Cunningham and Crell write tha. 1 9. rows of hanging bodies. 18.1 82). . in the first post-ColuJnbian century.

who were the face of greed in the peasants' imagination (Cornwall 1977: 22-28).uhcus Mcriall.. and conununal solidarity. Of this land. 22. FOUR HORSEAfE.. 2 1 . 11 ..\J 01 (16JO). Following are the most relevant columns . which very soon split along opposite lines. showing that twenty to twenty-five per cent of the land lost to the Church became the gentry's property. This outcome reveals the two souls of the Ref ormation: a popular one and elitist one. A fine snapshot of the winners and losers in the great transfer of land produced by the English Ref ormation is Table 15 in Kriedte (1983: 60).. It was against these "new men" that the peasants were prone to vent their anger.. 111 APOCAU'I'SE Mt. While the conservative side of the Ref ormation stressed the virtues of work and wealch accumulation. Hoskins (1976).. the popular side demanded a society run by "godly love" equality.I . Henry VIII sold sixty per cent (Hoskins 1976: 121-123). On the class dimensions of the Ref ormation see Henry Heller (1986) and Po­ Chia Hsia (1988). 121 . Those who most gained from the confiscation and more eagerly enclosed the newly acquired lands were not the old nobility. In England the pre.121-123.Ref ormation Church had owned twenty-five CO thirty per cent of the country's real property.. nor those who depended on the commons f or their keep." especially the lawyers and the merchants. but the gentry and the "new men.

.he added .. Roger Manning notes. Oanuary 2002). the hedge being the mad: use.(41 the making of partial enclosures of waste by the lords.62!! 15-20 45-50 25-33 5-10 [*excl. Michael Perelman has emphasized the canee of "customary rigllCS" (e. 'that the king's grace hath put down all houses of ...There were a variety ways to abolish collective land use in the 15d . aU 1 slightest legal opportunity" and physical violence were used to bring about evictions "particularly during the disorder years 1450-85 [i. the "enclosures" and the "commons" in friars. usually accon1panied by some degree of communal land ownership.. frequently concealed the use of force. D... wouldl abolished." had become so great devouren and so wild that "they eat up and swallow the men themselves. too. collecti� other barriers to the free passage of men and animals. 23. Fryde. and n.. Sheep .e. see "We need nOt idealjze the abbeys as leniem landlords co admit some contemporary allegations that the new purchasers shortened leases. See Midnight Notes (1990). tratla. The legal paths were (a) the purchase by one person of ments and their appurtenant common riglns. In whole fields houses and cities. and nuns..".. said John Palmer to a group of holders he was truth the houses of such poor knaves as yet be?'" (Hill 1958: 41). racked and evicted tenancs . "[p]rolonged harassmenc of tenancs combined WitJl threats of evictions at of ever. (September 24. 'Do ye not know... �. ditches..g . 16th centuries. Thomas More's ..e Commo"er. by enclosure. embodied in a Chancery d«:re c. see also 2001). �ri.3. E. 71Ie Ecologist (1993). under the provisions Statutes of Merton (1235) and Westminister (1285).. the War Roses)" (Fryde 1996: 186). especially n. 771e /'lVelllioli if Capitalislll (2000). Wales] Christopher Hill who writes: On the consequences of the Refonnation in England for land tenure. 17.. "enclosure" meant "surrounding a piece of land with hedges.DISTRIBUTION OF LAND BY SOCIAL GROUPS IN ENGLAND AND WALES: Great owners Gentry Yeomen/freeholders Church and Crown 1. therefore now is the time come that we gentJemen will pull dotra evicting.!U2* 15-20 25 20 25-33 1. of exclusive ownenhip and land occupation.... ... or the passage of an enclosure act by the Parliament. and the ongoing debate ." . ciallicense to enclose.that "consume and destroy and 25.2.." (b) the issuing by [he King of a agreement between the landlord and tenants. hunting) noting how dley were often of vital 122 . . that these "legal methods .. Primarily.II _ 1 1968: 1-2).... Hence. (c) be.n"'. superseded by individual ownership and separate occupation"lv· :..­ Utopia (1516) expressed the and desolation that these mass expulsions produced when he spoke of·h". till intimidation against the tenants" (Manning 1998: 25).. .

which in turn increased agricultural productivity. Sexuality Property alld Cllltu".a system by which the capitalist merchants d i stributed among rural f amilies wool or the enclosures. but it has received new energy from neo-Iiberalism..Among the rituals that enced off.. 32. the sociality that had char­ sports. DeVries (1 976) . Ellc/osu". acterized the village conununity was severely undermined.).especially the essays by James R.mainstays in the ideologica1 campaign in support ofland privatization in the 1 970s. Briggs ( 1 998). reorganized by Kriedte ( 1 983). and of ten also the instruments of work. for the other herdsmen. exemplified by the works of G. 1603-1660 (1 985). Carroll.ia privatize communal lands as a condition f or receiving loans (W orld Bank I 989). Mingay ( 1 997) and Robert S. fields meant to bless the future crops. while the conUl1Ons were tique of the cOl1unons in the T udor period carried out by the spokesmen of the has found that there was a lively def ense of enclosures and cri­ 28. 55. The more recent academic literature has caken a more even-handed "costs/gains" approach." (CarroU 1 994: 37-38).mart Period. ill Early Moderll Ellglalld (1 994) . An example of disciplinary border-crossing s i ftichard Burt and John Michael Archer. each pu"uing his best incerest" (In Baden and Noonan..) David Underdown. The "modernization" defense ofthe enclosures has a long history. the "nurleries and recept:lcles of thieves. E. According co this discourse. A classic defense of the productivity gains derived from enclosure is f ound in Harriett Bradley (1 968. Latin America and Ocean. ill Ellgland. rural industry.'tragedy.u"." and William C. eds. 1 1 -12. the enclosures encouraged private enter­ prise. Carroll enclosing class. IIouvtnux riches. Its main advocate has been the W orld Bank. Siemon. originally published in 1 9 1 8).When they were f 30. to distinguish itself from the the capitalist merchants to take advantage of the large pool of labor liberated by and power of the urban guilds. This is how the putting-out system was born . Duplessis (1 997: 6S-70}. tills move the merchants a i med to circumvent the high wages COtton to spin or weave. and then picked 123 . Riot alld Rebellioll: Popular Politics and Cul. in a hypothetical common. so that "ruin is the destination CO which all men rush. making the diff the "tragedy of the COnUll01l5" (1 968) was one of the on essay Hardin's Garret 27. 38ff.games. In his view. like The commons were the sites ofpopular f came to an end was "Rogationtide perambuJation. eds.im. rogues and begga. 289-3 16. Asia. and Sedition in the T udor. '''The Nursery of Beggary ' : Enclosure. 1 998: 8-9). "Landlord Not King: Agrarian Change and Imerarciculation. With COttage industry was an extension of the manorial. each herdsman wants to l11ax. which also describes the eff Rtvel.V agrancy.The batde concerning the enclosures has now crossed the disciplinary boundaries and is being debated also among literary scholars. estivals and other collective activities. and meetings. 42-43. orts made by the older nobility especially Chapter 3. which has often demanded that govenunents in Africa.' in Hardin's version." a yearly procession among the fields (Underdown 1985: 81). Acts. 31 . Hoskins ( 1 976). nificance. is the inevitability of Hobbesian egoism as a determinant of human behavior." Willianl C. The .ize ills gain regardless of the implications of his action erence between survival and toeal destitution (pp. that was prevented by the hedging of the On the breaking down of social cohesion see (among othe.. 29.

The literature on vagabonds is vast. Beer (1982). declared that it did Mother Hubbard's Yair not make any diffe rence whether one lived under one's enemy or under one's 34.which studies price hikes from the Middle Ages 124 . a character in Edmund Spenser's (1591). see in particular Earl J. 37. "the outSider. 45-52. Among the most impor­ tant on Fletcher (1973). Hanwcon's now classic work. Herzog (1989).ey [the husbands] shall pay the fines and damages. one year after James "s witchcraft law. The increasing presence of women in anti-enclosure riots was influenced by a popular beljef that women were "lawless" and could level hedges with impunity (Mendelson and Crawford 1998: 386--387). Cormvall (1977). 38. In 1605. riot or otherwise. and emparkments to setde their feuds with their betters. By 1600. A closely-related category consists of six absentee gendemen" (Manning 1988: 50).A History (1994). this topic are A.e Great Wave: Price RevolutiotlS alld the Rhythms oj History (1996). among others. 9&-97. On the Price R. 137-241. David Hackett Fischer TI. Wage labor was so identified with slavery that the Levellers excluded waged work_ ers from the vote."the gentry's leadership in enclosure disputes dimjlljshed and small-holders or artisans and cottagers were more likely to take the initiative in heading agrarian protests" (Manning 1988: 312). and it cheap­ ened the cost of labor. d. was organjzed in this fashion. notwithstilnding the trespass or the offense is committed widlOut the privity of the husbands" (Manning 1988: 98). 35. The importance of the put-out system and cottage indus­ ish industry can be deduced from the fact that tht try for the development of Brit entire textile industry. it ruled that "if women offend in trespass. since its home-based organization provided the workers with free domestic services and the cooperation of their children and wives. 114-116. engrossments. 64-77. Beier (1974) and B. 281.e impact of the America bullion on it. 1501-1650 (1965). the leader of the Diggers. after 1549. New owners and farmers were the victims of enclosure rims in 24 of the 75 Star Chamber cases. But the Court of the Stat Chamber went out of irs way co disabuse people of this belief.evolution. which studies d. Maria Mies (1986). "Why should a free person make oneself a slave?" asked The Fox. the most important sector in the first phase of capitlli st development. who were treated as helpers and paid low "auxmary" wages. Geremek's Poverty. America" Treasure alld the Price Revolutioll ill Spaill. 33. as were farmers of leases. Manning (1988). Mendelson and Crawford (1998)." "Merchanrs attempting to buy their way into the landed gentry were particularly vulnerable to enclosure riots. Manning describes the typical victim of an enclosure riot as brother if one worked for a wage (Hill 1975). and an action is brought against them and their husbands. But. 36. 39. not considering them sufficiently independent from theif employers to be able to cast a vote.up the finjshed product. In turn Gerrard Winstanley. At the beginning of the 16lh century many enclosure riots involved the lesser gentry who used the popular hatred for enclosures. On this subject see.The cottage industry had cwo main advantages for employers: it prevented the danger of 'combinations'. real \vages in Spain had lost thirty percent of their purchasing power with respect to what they had been in 1511 (Hamilton 1965: 280).82-139.

in Gennany around 1 52 1 : Peasant:What brings me to you?Why. who gave you so much money that you spend all your rehabilitated. he proceeds to assign his pasture and field to me as his pledge. it was illegal f or Jews to live in most of was Western Europe. In a good house I lend him a sum ofmoney on it. and est.' I reply: 'Excellent! Pledge your meadow and your 6eJd as collateral.in particular Chapter 2 (pp. I confiscate h is land. worth a hundred gulden the two of them. 66-113). As Peter Kriedte ( 1 983) sums up the economic developments of thi s period: "The crisis sharpened the diff erentials in income and property. this not only with peasants but with artisans as well. I will take possession of your land and make it my property. W allerstein ( 1 974). and Peter Ramsey's edited . Geneva ( 1 490). Spain ( 1 492). Between 1 544 and all but disappeared. Milan ( 1 489).oy Ladurie ( 1 928-1 929). At the same time the propor­ 32"A. tide was 16th and early 1 7th centuries] resulted in a decisive sh. 41. 'that if ever you f ail to pay your interest on time."But I must tell you. He says: 'Yes. burgher. Expulsions and pogroms continued f or a cemury.l. 1 have a good meadow and a fine field.Parma ( 1 488).' And tlus does not worry the peasam. . Braude! ( 1 966). Pauperization ization were paralleled by an increased accumulation of wealth . previously declared unworthy of a Christian. 71. to 63%" (!Criedte 1 983: 54-55). I inquire of him whether he owns a pIm of good pasture land or a nice field f or plowing.40. and proletarian Work o n Chippenham in Cambridgeshire has shown that the bad harvestS o f [the late arms 1 7 1 2 the medium-sized f land increased f rom rom 3% to 14%. 5 1 7-524. volume. Burgher: How should I spend my time? I sit here counting my money. and bef ore long the house belongs my time counting my money. . burgher. As soon as money-lending became a lucrative business.ift. And I do to me. households without tion of properties of 90 acres or more rose f 42. the expulsion of the Jews from most cities and countries of Europe in the 1 5th and Austria ( 1 496). Until the turned by R. you can have your loan of twenty gulden: Happy to hear the good news. this activity. Le R. V oI. evict him and meadow and field are nune. as shown by this dialogue between a peasant and a wealthy burgher. the ifyou will undertake to pay one gulden a year as inter­ peasant replies: 'I gladly give you my pledge. The growing interest of capitalist entrepreneurs f or money-lending was perhaps the motivation behind and 16th centuries . I lend him tile money and he pays inter­ est punctually f or one year or two.' I re join. If a tradesman owns this way I acquire much property and weaJth. 83.udolph I I in 1 577. CelHury En gland ( 1 97 1 ) to the present .e Price Revolution i" Sixteen. which is why I spend all lZS . l would like to see how you spend your time. A peas­ ant comes knocking at my door and asks me to lend him ten or twenty gulden. 1 . written anonymously time counting it? Burgher: You want to know who gave me my money? I shall tell you. then comes a bad harvest and soon he is behind in his payment. can't you see? Peasant:T ell me. .

44. On the growth of prostitution in the 16th century see. Society (1992). "[a]t Maldon in 1629. 45. On d. 46. this cannot be believed by anyone who has not experienced it" (quoted by Carlo M. Soly (1979). Strauss: 110-111). Cornwall (1977). 48. cheese. in England "between 1500 and 1600 grain prices rose six­ ltis wages could no longer pay for the subsistence minimwn of his fam_ due to the enclosures and the Price Revolution see also C. Lombardini (1983). see also Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford (1998). Between 1566 and 1575 and from 1585 to the outbreak of d. later tried and hanged" for her leading role in the protest 47.the purchasing power of cottars and waged workers feU by forty five percent.h century. Beer (1982). Peter Kriedte writes that: able adequately to maintain his wife and two chiJdren from his annual income during the 6"t three decades of the 16. Peasanc: And I thought only the Jews practiced usury! Now I hear that Burgher: Usury? Who is talking about usury? Nobody here prac tices usury. . History: Prostitution Manning (1988). over the seas" (1985: 117). so that life is incolerable." For instance. etc. workers and cottars were but 'house beggars' for Francis Bacon. in the churches. as butter. in piazzas.: 385-86). Underdown notes: j" Wlhores in �sle". Kamen (1971). half dead peo­ In a similar vein were the conunents of a physician in the Italian city of Bergamo. one of them complained of a local merchant who "did send away the best fruits of the land. crowd of over a hundred women and children boarded the ships to prevent grain from being slupped away. in France. 169-179. 43.. With reference to Germany.Christians do it. and in addition the foul stench rising from them as well as the constant spectale of the dying . Lis & H. Thenceforth his �ving standard began to fall. who write that "women played a prominent role in grain riots [in England].:72-4)."They were ted by a "Captain Ann Carter. On women's presence in food riots. (ibid. On 16th and 17th-century protest in Europe. too. during d. . Not surprisingly.Berce (1990). Fletcher (1973).As David Underdown "The pronunent role played by female [food] riote" has often been noted. CipoUa 1993: 129). At Southampton in 1608 a group of women refused to wait while the corporation debated what to do about a ship being loaded with grain for London." (ibid. Women were thought to be the likely rioters in the inci­ dent in Weymouth in 1622. at street doors. wage labour and poverty were considered synonymous. Beree (1990). they boarded it and seized the cargo.. see Henry Kamen.." In the same period. while at Dorchester in 1631 a group (some of them inmates of the workhouse) stopped a cart in the mistaken belief that it contained wheat.e Thirty Years War was "Recent research has shown that a building worker in Augsburg [in Bavarial ily" (Kriedte 1983: 51-52). As they write.e fanune of1630: "The 10adUng and terror engendered by a maddened crowd of ple who imporrune all comers in the streetS.e impoverishment of the Europen working class 72-79. while wages rose threefold. fold. "In New Castile. wheat. What the debtor pays is interest (G. (I 985). Nickie Roberts. TIlt IratI Cel/tury 126 .

but a measure intended to prevent the flight of workers and thereby create a local labor market ( 1 998}. 51. In Spain. On revolt in pain and Italy. and Manning (1 988) . 35. 739-743. Lis and Soly write that ". On [he instirution of Public Assistance. see Braudel ( 1 976).rving rural people (a constant f eature. among the momen[5 o fsociality and collective reproduction that were tenninated due to the loss of the open fields and the COnUllQI15 there were the processions that were held in the spring to bless the fields . in Grenada in 1648. It is not coincidence. see Cornwall (1 977) .tlhe available evidence suggests that the overall crime rate did indeed rise markedly in Elizabethan and early Stuart England. in this context. L'tSclava ge au salariat (1 998) . and the most badly paid. Lis and Soly ( 1 979). 1 42-177). see 49. Finland. 29 1-293. he underplays the degree to which assistance was the result of a struggle .which could no longer take place once the fields were f enced off-and the dances that were held around the Maypole on May First (Underdown 1 985). also Braudel ( 1976. with many popular rebel­ lions coincided in time"(p. in particular Chapter 10. Kamen ( 1 972) .Vol. and Lis and Soly ( 1 984). France.). 54. 1 550-1660" (pp. Underdown ( 1 985). the center ter its def eat. 50. 52. For riots and rebellions in 1 6th and 17th. Chapter 4: "The Ref orm of Charity" (pp. 55. especially between 1 590 and 1620" (p. De knowledgeable about the poor one of the main supporters of pub­ Sub". He also stressed [hat authorities should find work f or the able-bodied. MouIier Boucang overemphasizes the degree of mobility available to the dispossessed proletariat as he does not con­ sider the diff erent situation of women. but included assaults.( 1 972). (ibid. in Inid-1 6th-cenrury France) and other f orms of attack. There were rebellions in Naples in 1 595. the center and the model of the Kett Rebellion became. The main work on the rise ofwork-house and correction houses is Dario Melossi 127 . that Norwich. the crooked. the thieving and the idle should be given the hardest work. beside Beier and Geremek.a struggle that cannOt be reduced to the flight of labor. 350. 361-63). 218). lic charity. and Ukraine. Lithuania. 331-385). 1 4 '1 in this volume. shortly af of Poor Relief ref on115. 11). rebellions erupted in 1640 in Catalonia. in order that their example m ight serve as a deterrent to others" (ibid. the invasion of towns by masses of sca. In his De was was Poverty A HiS/ory ( 1 994). As Kamen writes.397-403. who relief systems of the Flanders and Spain. Probably never before in European history had 1647 SO was operative throughout Europe.. insisting that "tlle dissolute.nish human."" ioll Pal/perum (1 526) he argued that "secular author­ or the aid [0 the poor" (Geremek ity rather than the Church should be responsible f 1994: 187).in Cordova and Seville in 1 652. 390-394. Austria. See RichardJ.V ol. 738-739. Furthermore. see Geremek's On vagrancy in Europe. On the rise ofpropercy crimes in the wake ofme Price Revolution see the Charter on p. "The crisis of 1 595-7 repercussions in England. "Popular Rebellion. II. Hu ngary. a response to the misery produced by land expropriation and price inflation. 1 620. 336). Kamen (1972).cenrury England. 92.i" Juan Luis Vives.: 334-35. The Sp. I only partially agree with Moulier Boutang when he claims that Poor Relief was nOt so much Yann Moulier Boutang. Evans (1 996).As already mentioned. 53. I n England.

for the sanitary. While Hackett Fischer connects the 17th century decline of poulation in Europe co the social effects of the Price Revolution (pp. 91-92).The later concept of "population" is an atomistic one.. the notion of population has been functional to the reproduction of labor-power.as well as population growth and population movements and their insertion into the economic realm. in his view.seKUaI. The decline was. 143). that became the basis of the modern sci­ an organic and hierarchical concept. possibly to be attributed to the fierce attack on any 57. I make this distinction with the Canadian sociologist Bruce Curtis' discussion of the Foucauldian concept of "population" and "bio-power" in mind.e. that there is a continuity between these two notions. He points out that "populousness" was form of contraception. actual or poten­ tial laborers.and penal control of individual bodies. 128 The heyday of Mercantilism was in the second half of the 17th century. with the notion of "population. According to this paradigm. 63).This estimates would indicate the presence in 17"'-century Europe of a far higher naca1ity rate."with its own laws and structures. Peter Kriedte presents a more complex picture. 38-64). on one side. 111t Priso" and tilt Factory: Origi. and on the other to the landlords' appropriation of the larger portion of the agri­ cultural income (p.When the mercantilists used it they were con­ cerned with the part of the social body that creates wealth.and Massimo Pavarini. See also Geremek (1994). It took a in the 17th century the growth process was reactivated within less than half a cen­ tury (p. the rise of bio-power went hand in hand with the rise of liberalism and marked the end of the juridical and monarchic state.206229." I argue. "Bio-power"is the concept Foucault used in his History ofSexuality:An Iutrodud. arguing that demographic decline was a combination of both Malthusian and socio-economic factors."Bio-power" expresses the growing concern. a response CO both the population increase of the early 16th century.The authors point out that the main purpose of incarceration was to break sis of the 17th century was far swifter than that after the Black Death. For France. Curtis con­ trasts the concept of "populousness. i. centered on the "fostering of the power of life"in 19th-cen­ nlry Europe.on (1978) to describe the shift from an authoricarian form of governnlent to one more decentralized.Curtis writes . Duplessis (1997) who writes that the recovery afier the population cri­ by time" . 59. 1 (1909: 793). Capita/Vol." which was current in the 16th and 171h cen­ turies.u oj tilt Penitatlliary System the sense of identity and solidarity of the poor. at the state level. as in both the mercantilist and liberal capitalist period. however. 58. century for the population to scan growing again after the epidemic of1348. see Marx. while Robert S. 56. its dOIll- . see Foucault. An imeresting observation which supports my arguments concerning the con­ nection between demographic decline and pro-natalist state policies is offered (1981). On the schemes concocted by EngJish proprietors to incarcerate the poor in their parishes. "Population consists of so many undifferentiated atoms distributed through abstract space and ence of demography in the 19th century. especially Chapter 2:"The Great Confinement" (pp. Madness and Civilizatiotl (1965)..

for example. 1978-1 991 . ". as compared with 19 out of 1 22 charged with witchcraft (1 993: 52). Chapter 8. Margaret King writcs that Nuremberg "exccuted f ourteen women f or that crime between 1578 and 1 6 1 5. A study of infanticide in the early seventeenth century showed that ofsixty mothers. 61. W omell o J. ina nee in economic lif e being associated with the names of William Petty (1 623-1687) and Jean Bapti"e Colbert. Howell writes: "Comedies and satires of the period. Calvinist Geneva shows a much higher rate ofexecution for infanticide that witchcraft. who write that "[t1he crime of infanticide was one that single women were more likely to conmuc than any other group in society. IGng. 62." which recognized men's right CO appropriate women's bodies and women's labor.60. Ruth Mazo Karras (1 996) writes that "'Conunon woman' meant a woman avail129 . 1 74-183. for example. but punished infanticide more severely. who writes that "in Geneva. W ome". W1)rkillg W1mlcII . 25 women out of 3 1 charged with infanticide during the period 1 595. anticide see (among others) John For a discussion of the new legislation against inf Riddle ( 1 997). 66. Carol Pateman (1 988) argues that the "social Contract" \-vas based on a more fundamental "sexual contract./1 Rellaissallce Germany (1986) . The Parliament of Rauen from 1 580s to 1606 prosecuted about as many cases of illf. However. with characterizations that not only ridiculed Or scolded them f or taking on roles in market production but frequently even charged d. For the closing of broth­ cIs in Germany sec Merry Wiesner. the finance minister of Louis XIV.em with sexual aggression"(p. nine women of eleven charged were executed for infanticide. Statistics also show that inf anticide was pun­ ished even more frequcntly than witchcraft. In a thorough critique of 17th-century social contract theory."e Rellaissance (1991). 174-185. Martha Howell ( 1 986). One oCthe first systematic formulations of mercantilist ecatlontic theory is f ound in Thomas Mun's ElIg'alld� 1'e". 63.These estimates are con­ finned by Merry Wiesner. Merry Wiesner (1 993).. Margaret L. Women were executed f or inf anticide in Europe as late as the 18th century. 182). fifty three were single. Jean Bodin in France and Giovanni Botero in Italy are considered proto-mercantilist economiscs. 194-209.mticide as witchcraft. See also Merry Wiesner ( 1 986). Providence: Berghahan. com­ pared to only one of thirty suspects for witchcraft (p. six were widows"(p. as formuJated by Th omas Hobbes and John Locke. 78. 65. from 1590 to 1630. the late 17th-century mercantilists only systematized or applied theories that had been developing since the 1 6th century. An cxtensive catalogue of the places and years in which women were cxpeUed from the crafts is found in David Herlihy. 163-166. of ten portrayed market WOme n and trades women as shrews. Family a"d Society ill Medieval Europe: Historica' Essays. 67. and Mendelson and Crawf ord (1998).. 52-53. 64. The ref erence is to an Italian f eminiSt song from 1971 tided "Aborto eli Stato" (State Abortion). 149). An interesting article on this topic is Robert Fletcher's "The Witches Pharmakopeia" (1 896). 10). by Forraign Trade (1622). but only one witch.1 7 1 2 were executed.

Discussing the changes contract theory brought about in England. 69.e Radical Future of Liberal Femj"ism (1981). in the legal and philosophica1 attitude towards women.Volume Two. unlike 'collunon man' which denoted someone of humble ori­ gins and could be used in either a derogatory or a laudacory sense. according to which women wouJd consent to their husbands' appropriation of their property and voting rights upon realizing their intrinsic weakness and necessary depend­ ence on men." and "government by consent. It will nor go unnnoticed [hat [his is also [he period when witchcraft accusa­ tions reach a peak" (1985a: 119)." in Anthony Fletcher and John Stevenson (1985). wives domineering or beating their husbands: all seem to surface more frequently than in the period inmlediately before or afterwards. 138).. 70. 72. and Andre Burguiere and Fran�ois Lebrull. Mendelson and Crawford (1998).sia in spice." He writes: "Colonial enterprise in the 16th century produced capital in a number of ways. "The Taming of the Scold: The Enforcemem of Patriarchal Authority in Early Modern England. Zilla Eisenstein. See Underdown (1985a)... see again Pateman (1988). 69-71. A second was plantation agricuJrure. f On the character of t 7th-century patriarchalism and.33). who writes that: "The spread of Roman law had a largely negative effect on women's civil legal status in the early modern period both because of the views of women which jurists chose to adopt from it and the stricter enforcement of existing laws to which it gave rise" (p. One was gold ands silver lnining. Underdown concludes that "between 1560 and 1640. Sonmlerville argues that the contrac­ tarians supported the subordination of women to men as much as the patriar­ chalists. 95f.A fifth \vas slaving. lames Blaut (1992a)points out that within a few decades after 1492"the rate of growth and change speeded up dramatically and Europe entered a period of rapid development. . Being at least formally cOl1unitted to the principle or'natural equality.. and Family. but justified it on dife f rent grounds.38).68. principally in Brazil. the concept of patriarchal power in sociaJ contraCC theory . Sex a"d Subjecrio. 130 ." sec Lawrence Stone (1977)."Priescs. et aI. For the family in the period of the "transition.116-136."in defense of male supremacy they invoked the theory of women's"narural inferiority" . SOllunerville. On women's loss of rights in 16th and 17th-cenrury Europe. single women refusing CO enter service. see (among others) Merry Wiesner (1993).cloth and much more.. andMargaret R. A History of elle Family: 71/t [mpace of Modemiry (1996)."in Burgujere. 73. A fouM ele­ ment was the profit returned to European houses from a variety of productive and commercial enterprises in theAmericas .A th.. 71. Women scolding and brawling with their neighbors. such records disclose an intense preoccupation with women who are a visible threat to the parriar­ chal system. in particular. able to all men.:Arritudes To Wome" [" Early Modem Society (1995).ird was trade with A.idarity"(p.. Prince. it cUd not con­ vey any meaning either of non-gentile behavior or of class sol. TI.Accumulation from these sources was massive (p. Adding to the dramas and tracts also the court records of the period.

and cinnabar. arsenic. Dust and fine par­ ticles were released into the air by the striking of the tools used to break the ore loose.i"a. 75. and a sharp temperature diff erence between the m ine interiors and the rarefied Andean atmosphere . . i c anhydride. it was incurable when advanced. . 131 . in which Noble Cook writes: A coyota in encomienda. The most deadly ones were the mercury mines. 231-258). Ruth Behar (1 987) . Barbara Bush (1 990) points out that.thanks to whose Jabor they were able to maintain a certain degree of economjc autonomy (pp. . Exemplary is the case of Bermuda. 1 4 1). W orkers who remained f or long periods in the mines perhaps suff ered the worst f ate of all. . . Mestizo and illegitimate became almost synonymous" (p. 77. . 45.usually other women . inadequate ventilation in the underground challlbers. or m i ne sickness.205-6). (pp. like that in Huancavelica. June Nash (1 980) writes that "A significant change came in 1 549 when racial ori­ gin became a f actor. and f alls as a result of slipping shafts posed daily threats. slave women cer­ tainly knew how to. resulted in death. Known as mal de la ". thousands of workers died ofslow poisoning amidst horrible suff erings. if they wamed to abort. In less severe cases the gums were ulcerated and eaten away. person born out of wedlock was allowed to have Indians 76. floods. Long exposure . 78. . . having had available to them the knowledge brought f rom M rica (p. mestizo.The new law stated that no I11ulatto (offipring of a black man and an Indian women). As David "Laborers in the Huancavelica mine faced both inunediate and long term dan­ gers. Indians inhaled the dust. Cave-ins. cited by Elaine Fomlan Crane ( 1 990) . along with legally sanctioned marital unions. Crane writes that several white women in Bermuda were owners of slaves . in defining rights of succession. was a part-mestiza and part-Indian woman. . which contained f our dangerous substances: mer­ cury vapors. Intermediate health hazards were presented by a poor diet. .74. arsen. 140).

.d to tilt: . s/. TI. the llUtllor tells us IIIlJt "in prostitute or iJ midu1fr) 10uIM her eyts.e(l(rt could "ot be mortcomplete.O" ofIhe IIeIV nlmlom.'(lmnn dissected (md dcl.'!.ph of the mnle.1543).eftmalejigurt in the bilck (ptri"rps" Sfil'" fwd ilS implicit viole. U.!t. IN'trinrclml order through tilt (lin" st.CilI tl."bUI '!fier it"US l I ered tlml sht ity of t he WlIS Title page of A"drcas Vtsllli"s' DEi HUMANt CORPORIS FABR.1CA (Aldl"' . uppn c/Jus. .e tri"".t 14W hutI. TI.vcrt. OJ the Jem oJbci ng /ratlged /she/ hnd declnred "t1SeifprrgtUJlJ/. possibly aslmmtd i" frolll of tlu' ob#"" senfe not.tIU.mbticgllZe.

. . and my Mother is very sick. the pulpit. in the areas of Western Europe most aff ected by the • � Of the preconditions f or capitalist development was the process that Michel ult defined as the "dhciplining of the body.. so I hope you will he so good as to give my Friends a small Trifill of Money to pay f or a Coffin and a Sroud. For what is the heart. take some Pity on me.chapter examines how this process was conceived and mediated in the philo­ . you would be willing to have your Body saved f rom the Surgeons." which in my view consisted of an . consedar if it was your own Cace. hut so many stri ngs. the political and philosophical imagination - l33 .. f or to take my body a way f rom the Tree in that I am to die on. condemned to death in London in 1739) IOpbical debates of the time.ery field nt R. 1680-1 708) .The Struggle Against the Rebel Body Lif e s i Th e Great Ca liban but a motion of limbs. 1 650) Yet I will he a more nohle creature. IIevt concep t of the person. . Irs most ideal embodiment is the Shakespearean Prospera _ ID . � Was in the 16th century. and the joints but so many wheels.. so I hope you will take it into Consideration of my poor Body.. . f or my Friends is very Poor. Leviathall. . my Spirit shall rise and soar and fly up towards the employment of the angels. . but a spring.. (Letter of Richard T obin. and the strategic interventions which it generated. giving motion to the whole body. (Cotton Mather. (Hobbes. and the nerves. and at the very time when Iny natural necessities debase me into the condition of the Beast.. . and I am to die next Wednesday Morning. . that we see emerg­ the stage. Diary.::nPt by state and church to transform the individual's powers into labor-power." and dont be f aint Hearted .ef ormation and the rise of the mercantile bourgeoisie. .

l In defeating Caliban. 1987. if within the compass of my self l do not find Faith. On the one side. there are the "forces of Reason": parsimony.. Reason against 1928: 76) 134 . materiality of Caliban. Prospero must admit that "this thing of darkeness is mine." is a theme IlllIt pervndes all tire /medirwf} popular tradition. On the other. and my Conscience against all. The battle is fought on many fronts because Reas the must be vigilant against the attacks of the carnal self." thus reminding In the 17th century.The out­ come is reminiscent of the medieval skirmishes between angels and devils possession of the departing soul. the person becomes a terrain (or a war of is reconstructed as a battlefield. di 1\'014. which reconceptual­ izes classic Judeo-Christian themes to produce a new anthropological paradigm. But the conflict is now staged within the person who audience that our human partaking of the angel and the beast is problematic indeed. systen1atic all against all: Let me be nothing. (Thomas Browne the battail of Lepanto: Passions against Reason.Yet he betrays an anxiety over the equilibrium achieved thac rules Tempest (1612). prudence. In the extreme case. the "low instincts of the Body": lewdness. and prevent "the wisdom o( flesh" (in Luther's words) from corrupting the powers of the mind. sense of responsibility. who combines the celestial spirituality of Ariel and the brutish his for the on dissipation of one's vital energies.nQ 6 m. idleness." (From Alfonso M. Faith against the Devil. self-control.15th century woodall.inal foreboding is formal­ ized as the conflict between Reason and the Passions of the Body. where opposite elements clash for domination. what in Prospero remains a sublim.) of the 111< out any pride for "Man's" unique position in the Great Chain of Being.e dy. "nit dt!lli/'s assaulr 011 ti.

I: 186). But only in the second half of dle 1 9th century can we glimpse type of worker .4 This tOO leads to. as constituted in pre-industrial society. Capitalism also attempts to overcome our "natural state. . upon � 13S .. According to Max Weber. and capable oflooking upon the imposed conditions of the capi�'1l­ . fi the gura­ or f taste baroque the to only ascribed be cannot sorts. the worker becomes (though only f ormally) the "free owner" of "his" labor-power.&ee. iIal to be delivered to the highest bidder. and "rebellious subjects. . prudent." and "imperious des" and R." "mulinhabited by "rulers" state (with Thomas and commands" "chains" "seditions. By transf orming labor inco a commodity. refers to a working class already molded by the : The image of a worker freely alienating his labor.eason. too." our instead of treating it as a means f or the satisfaction of orf eit all spontaneous el�oyment of life (Weber 1958: needs. sees the alienation from the body as a distinguish ing trait of the capi­ IDeDt: the worker "only f eels himself outside his work. I : 809) . and in his work f eels outside him­ self.3 The battle which the later to be purged in f on the person imagines unfolding in the microcosm of the indi­ discourse ry enru vidual has arguably a foundation in the reality of the time. a SCnse of dissociation from the body." by breaking the barriers of natUre and by lengthening the working day beyond dle limits set by the sun. It is an aspect of that broader � o.e sition "the ultimate purpose of life. shall 72). which becomes reified.that Ptrsonifies the capitalist utopia and is the point of ref erence for Marx. as the philo­ rom the body-politics representation ofindividual psychology borrows images f disclosing a landscape . the priation of [he peasantry from the coounon lands . proud to possess a watch O'hompson 1 964). in the "Age of R.temperate. his own conmlOdity" (Marx 1 906.: we executioner As the ) citIl ne even " betthe between confrontation riotous a as philosophers the by described e Body. &be ref oml of the body is at the core of the bourgeois ethic because capitalism makes acqui­ In the course ofthis process a change occurs in the metaphorical field. the seasonal cycles. II) submit their activity to an external order over which they have no control and with talist work-relation.2 (ibid. capitalism causes workers Marx.was nOt sufficient to f orce . � � :. thus.Vol.ormation. it requires that we f 53).that is. . and the body itself. . with the development ofa capitalist economy. Furthermore. [he labor process becomes a ground of self -escrange­ (Marx t 961: 72)." the rising bourgeoisie ptO'es5 of social ref the subordinate classes in conformjty with the needs of the develremold to It£eIIlpted oping capitalist economy. Thus. onn a new type of mdivldual that the bourgeOISIe engaged It was in the attempt to f ill chat battle against the body that has become irs historic mark. TillS implies that "[h]e must constandy look upon his labour-power" Otis energies.eason between conflict this . responsible. or confronting his body as cap­ talist work-discipline." "lower and the avor of a "more masculine" language. reduced to an object 1rith which the person ceases to be inunediately identified. whereby. who.Ibode of production as "self -evident laws of nature" (Marx 1 909. Unlike Milton's Adam. which (unlike the slave) he can place at ti. disPOssessed proletarians to accept wage-labor. the Th� Situation was radically diff erent in the peri�d of primitive accumulation when etnerglOg bourgeoisie discovered dlat the "liberation oflabor-power" . his facul­ lies) "as his own property.Vol.e disposal of the buyer f or a limited period of time. He is at home when he is not working and when he is working is nO[ at home" which they C3IDlot identify.

6 Tills was the first capitalis-t: crisis.WOmlltl selling "ws and IItJgllb o"'d 77. In the 157 0s. vagabonds or criminals." Taverns were closed.7 As is well-known..000 people were hung by Henry the VIII during the thirty-eight years of his reign. undermined the indiv'li C 136 . the response of the bourgeoisie was the instinltion of a true regime of terr or.ons af the capitalist system in the first phase of ies devel­ being ex pelled from the Garden ofEden. implemented through the intensification of penalties (particularly those punishing the crimes against property). besides being useless..e expropriated pcasntl/s ('tid • Ilrt.ding class was not confined to the repression o {ra� t a e dic a JP gressors. In England alone. It also aimed at a radical transformation of the person. the introduction of "bloody laws" against In ual's sense of responsib ility and 4'work ethic. rather than sub­ crises that threatened the foundao. Devon alone.s the expropriated peasants and arcisans did not peacefully agree to work for a wage. as once the serfs had been bound to the land. The di mensions of th is attack are apparent in the social legislation that.A long pr ocess would be required [0 mit to the new conditions of w or k (Hill 1975: 219-39). set forth cheerfully for a life dedicated co work._ -I Design by Louis-Uopofd &illy (1761-1845). 72. by ��e vagabonds. intended to er the proletariat any form of behavior not conducive to the imposition of a stricter w or kdiscipline. inte nded to bind worl<ers to the jobs imposed on them... along with pLlb 16th century.). and the multiplication of executions. More often they became begg ars. StillS did tlOI peacefully agree to uurlt for n IUlge. In the 16th and 17th centuries. was introduced in England and France. . one far more serious than all the conmlercial m jdd Je of the "devoured by the g allows in ooe place or another every year" (Hoskins 1977: 9). ­ f But the \'iolence of the n. 1. the hatred for wage­ labor was so int ense that many pr Olet a rians preferred to risk the gallows. beggms. vagabotlds or crill/i'll/Is. 300 to 400 "rogues" were opment . More ojifll til. lIt'(t1lll t p roduce a disciplined work-force. particuJarly games of chance that. and the massacre continued into the late 16th century. Games were fo�b� : d den. se venty-four people were hanged just in 1598 (ibid.

.was the same social sub ject who increasingly appeared as cbe source of all wealth. !he �ovelty was that �he ol t e bod bOdY was attacked as the source of all evils.studied with the same passIOn in the same years. Scene 2) container of labor-power. wherever they went. Ploughs. then. Muskets . cast into Ordnance. . more than land or any other "'natural wealth. We must not f orget that the beggarly and riotous proletariat who forced the rich to travel by carriage to escape its assaults. (Abbott ·1946: 2) � the value oflabor. never tired of repeating (though not without second thoughts) that ten deploring that so many bodies were wasted on the gallows. bolts.� Nakedness was penalized. (711e Tempest..bo. But dlat work ("industry"). came to the f oreground of social policies because it appeared not . whose consolidation was continuously undermined . Houses. tried.S It was in the course of this vast process of social engineering dlat a new concept h y and a new poHcy toward it began to e shaped. Act I. spikes. wrought into Anchors.by the threat of riots and social disorders. there was more. in the streets or on their travels. It was the same of whom the mercantilists. swear." is the primary source of accumulation was a truth well understood at a time when the low level of technological development made human beings the most important productive resource. sold. begging them or preparing to rob them. . when it is compared with the employment and advantage it yields being digged." of pantheon ofeconomic thought. For Iron in the Mines is of no great worth. nails and the like. Coaches. Y et. the first economists Many decades were to pass before the concept of the value oflabor entered the rA capitalist society. . It was forbidden to drink. It was also the fear f Why was the body so central to state politics and intellectual discourse? One is pled to answer that tlus obsession with the body reflects the fear that the proletariat twO pistols under the pillow .but also detennined .9 It was the fear felt by the bourgeois or the nobleman alike . Carts. a 137 oaIy as a beast inert to the stimuli of work. and other instru­ ments f orTiIlage. animated the investigation of celestial motion. were besieged by a threaten­ elt by those who . crowd. He does make our fire Fetch in our wood. transported. and yet It was. f or the use of Ships. As Thomas Mun (the son of a London merchant and spokesman f or the mercantilist position) put it: . but also as the The bOdy. . and serves in office Even Shakespeare's Prospero insists on tlus crucial econonuc fact in a little speech That profit us. . as were many other " unproductive" f orms of sexuality sociality. as 'tis We cannot miss him. we know that our own natural wares do not yield us so much profit as our industry . . curse. or to go to bed with ired in the ruling c1ass. bought. which he delivers to Miranda after she manifests her utter disgust With Caliban: But. � : � _ ded over the administration of the state. 10 "'the more the better.

with Descartes.otlS and individual tale"ts. and the Stu d or bodily motions and properties becomes the starting point for most of the theore speculation of the age .whether aiming. assess its advantages and disadvanta ges. A basic task ofD�can�' enterprise is to institute an ontological divide between a purely mental and a purel physical domain. A further sign of a new curios­ TIlt! lItUltomy lessoll at tilt U"ivcrsity oj A/dom.all human faculties from the viewpoim ity about the body and "of a change in manners and customs from former times whereby Puritan analysis of play in exploring the details of corporeal and psycholog.12 which was the beginning of a bour­ sion that the "book of human nature" has been opened for the first time or. their possibilities weighed with such a thoroughness that one has the � I)' that a new land has been discovered and the conquistadors are setting out to chart its paths. whose constirutive elements .e mllJtotlly theatre disdostd to tlte public eye " disellc/llllltta. one of the central concerns of the new Mechanical Philosophy Was tl It or � o j Man (published in 1664)11 is a true anatomical handbook.from the circulation of the hi Indeed. This is why. attitude. but also much interest. ill DE FASCICVu (1494). and sensation is thus defined. with Hobbes. In this.The care they dis­ geois psychology.were caken apart and classified in all their components and possihiliti e/. their limits a marked. from the effects of sensations to voluntary and involun motions . � we Descartes'Treatise to the dynamics of speech.more likely. Venczia desccJ'{lled body.cal reality reappeaT1l in the i"e/j"at. compile the list of its natural resources. the primary work-machine. or CO investigate. explicitly srudying. DE MEDfCINA. we find much violence. to assert the immortali cat ty the sou1. Hobbes and Descartes were representatives of their time. Every manner. in the strategies ado pted by the state cowards it. the premises of social governability. 138 . all ies o j the body.means of production. n. thou the anatomy it performs is as much psychological as physical. impres­ � of their potential for work and contribution to discipline.in this case.

in a p... dese­ .. " . Chapter VI)."No." Nicholas Malebranche who...Thus the sense ofpride . in a play of attractions and aversions where everything is regu­ IIIed as in an automaton (Levialilall Pare I. reasonings. the body is a con­ word.it in ways that make its operations intelligible and controllable. operates on the basis Dialogues ou Metaphysics a"d au Religiotf ( 1 688). however.h and 1 8'''-century social disciplines (Foucault 1 977: 137). ulties. of it. a striking f ant. f eel­ p opkin 1 966: 280).. � we find a diff erent perspective &om that of mewevaJ asceticism.. industry : De hUlllalll corporrsj ab"ca (1 543).V oJ. in the _ it is obvious that such relations are not perceptions.... beyond a doubt.Yet. I. mechan. �e... In Mecharucal Ph ilosophy. makes wstinctions. whkh only in principle can be conceived as the site of the soul. and its death is no 8IOre to be mourned than the breaking of a tooL IS � than conuniseration) with which Descartes insists that "this machine" (as he per­ Certainly.. lacking autonomous power.ical theorists seek to conceptual­ . desires... Galzigna 1 978). does not w . • aD externaJ causation... body is described by analogy with the mtUlzi . Once its devices were deconstructed and it \YaS itself reduced to a tool. aD the modifications of such an extension consist only in certain relations of wstance. pleasures. neither Hobbes nor Descartes spent many words on economic mat­ or Dutch merchants. For Hobbes.. body is a .e te� to it by both Natural Magic and the popular superstitions of the time .: 137-38). . the body be opened to an infin ite manipulation of its powers and possibilities. The anatomy "theatre"l3 discloses to the public eye a wsenchanted. It rom any rauonal qualities: 1'be dy is conceived brute matter. Iary narure of earthly pleasures and consequently the need to renounce the body itself.. and degrades the body only in order to rationalize its fac­ In Mechanical Ph ilosophy we perceive a new bourgeois spirit that calculates.lid. niles the crucial question "Can a body think?" to promptly answer... of Mechanical Philosophy what Michel Foucault maintains to the 17.. The body is a pure "collection of mel11&loa not know.was Intelligible the possibility ofsubordinating it to a work process that increasingly on unif orm and predictable f orms of behavior.. He is echoed ten with emphasis on its �t1erti .y calls the body in the Treatise oj Mat. void ofany intrinsic teleology .bodY can be opened" (in the words of a 1 7th-century physician) �Yas also the devel­ .. where the degrada­ willa zegard It is true. 139 .the "occult virtues" � .�v . T o l'ale the body as mechanical m3tter. but actu- But willie the body emerged as the main protagonist in the philosophical and eature of these investigations is the degraded conception they scenes. thoughts" ( . seeking to establish the temporal and illu­ c:lasifies.nerate of mechanical motions that. as sho epochal work . as weU.-� body. . whoUy wvorced f bo as o the eye of the anatolllist eated as a separate reality (Galzigna 1 978: 163-M) .. we cannot fail to see the important contribution which speculations on human nature gave to the emerging capitalist science of work. Here. 152). ssecting the "di � I � ..::. aiming not JUSt at intensif ying its sub jection but at maximizing its social utility (.) is just an automaton. of : � .92. ' ... ollowing its long relegation to the InteUec­ of allatomy as a scientific discipline. f underground in the Middle Ages (Wighonan 1972: 90. IIDIl ofthe body had a purely negative function. does not f eel. Descartes claims in his 1634 Discourse 0/1 Method (1 973. I. One could .. and it would be absurd to read into their philosophies the everyday concerns of the � .14 T flY is tr n by the ti e tha� And�as Vesalius gave to f actory.. Far f rom renouncing the body.

and how they can be more rationaUy OW lized. the ruling class had to confront a corporeality that was far different from dlat appearing It is difficult. the body had to die.Just as flature. Like the land. in a cond # ilar to that which Newton's physics established between mass and motion. sterile matter that only the will could move.caug1t I 111 · a system 0f Sllb· �ectlon." likewise the body."[ am not this body. In Descartes." Descartes insists throughout his indeed. however.� �. and the joints so many wheels." could be conquered and (in B ac : words) "penetrated in all her secrets. h certain passions can be avoided or neutralized. whereby it was decided which of its properties could live and which.ist work-discipline. the reduction of the body to mechanical matter allows for the development of mechanisms of self-management that make the body the subje ct of the will. most indi sp e nsa ble step. sented in Descartes' and Hobbes' works.Mechalllcal Philosophy contributed to increasing the ruling-class . COtl� tral over the natural world. the labor was beginning to appear as a dynamic force infinitely capable of developl11ent . [0 this sense. in the years in which Descartes and Hobbes were writing their treatises. the virtues of habit. to reconcile the insubordinate bodies that haunt the social literature of the "Iron Century" with the clock-like images by which the body is ally" because. though seemingly removed from the daily first conceptualized the development of the body into a work-machine. " w hereb y . it is literally dehuman� ized. work was also beginning to conunand the relation between the body and labo . body and nature are identified. Descartes and Hobbes express two different projects with respect to corporeal reality. h�d all into work-powers. by contrast. but bodily powe� . at least. And U nfet � As we will see. affairs of the class struggle. in his philosophy the body joins a continuum of dock-like matter that the tered will can now contemplate as the object of its domination. 16 I emphasize"ide­ in their prefigurations. one of the main tasks of primitive accumulation." we perceive in his words a bourgeoi s spirit. Hobbes declares that "the heart (is) but a spring . ideally.. comrol over human nature bemg the first. the uses of fear. technically thought and invested of power relations" (Foucault 1977: 26). · . 51 n itio body was seen as inert. i great ontological divide which Descartes institutes between the essence of humanity an investigate the vices and limits of imagination. wh ere ellJ e b to mass tends to inertia unless a force is applied to it. inste ad. the mechanization of the body justifies the total sub­ mission of the individual to the power of the state. in fact. emptied of its occult forces ' au d b e . In Descartes. Thus t only is the Cartesian body pauperized and expropriated from any magical virtue. for example. suited for the reg_ ularity and automatism demanded by the capital. it is in the specuJations of the two philosophers that we repre­ find . For the same relation that capitalism introduced between lan d hile W r. the Outcome is a redefinition of bodily attributes that makes the body. When. Its b ehaVlor couId be calculated 0 rgan� ized. reduced to a "Great Machine. the body is divorced from the person.: 140 . This project is a clue to understanding why so much of the philosophical and reli­ gious speculation of the 16th and 17th centuries consists of a true vivisection oJllle ImmlJ1J body. whereby not only is work the cotJditiotl and motive if existence o j the body. but the need is felt to transform all bodily powers into work powers.� des and act in obedience to uniform physical laws set in motion by God's will. It was a social alchemy that did not nlrn base metals into gold. Yet.. Ub_ Cool' • Meditatio/J5 (1641). In both. In Hobbes.. � its accidental conditions. for both are made of the same pa tl .

it.This means that the mechanical body. This is why. where every 141 . " idden treasures. The body had to die so that labor-power could live. . coudition of the existence of labor-pouJeT.powers Im�tly derived rom f the belief ill II COrrespo"­ dellce belweeu tIlt micro­ IIfflO'o(OSIIf lIS II f TIlt ronap/joll o lIlt body jmagiad m?pllide o cos". despite the eff orts of the Church. could not have What died was the concept of the body as a receptacle of magical powers that had DeW philosophy we find a vast initiative by the state. to decide that ment of resistance to its expend the body is the body had no value. "Knowledge" can only become "power" ifit can enf lbpt'escriptiol1s.the age of scepticism and methodical doubt ­ ./Orld. of Ilu' jlldjlljdual and Iht tilll .. then. At the basis of magic was an animistic con­ :: � � n o� nature that did not adn'lit to any separation between matter and spirit. For while tMted ilnd first of all broken up. well-supported by many who subscribed to the -. the body-machine.have a ferocious attack on the body. it was destroyed. This is how we must read the attack against witchcraf t and against that magical lie\v of the world which. In reality. whereby what the philosophers clas­ ti6ed as "irrational" was branded as cri ion was the necessary "sub­ me. it is also its lim. For in the background of the orce text" ofMechanical Philosophy. populated by occult f orces. practices. It was not sufficient. and ttnagllled the cosmos as a living organism. This state intervent become a model of social behavior without the destruction by the state of a vast range IttIularization of corporeal behavior promised by Mechanical Philosophy. as the main ele­ i" itselfthe prevailed in the medieval world.doctrine. 0( pre-Clpitalist beliefS. as iIIuslrtlted ill oj tile celes­ this "61"-CClllury image of tile "zodj{wd I/ftlll. so that it could relinquish its h iture. had continued to prevail on • uJar level through the Middle Ages. and social subjects whose existence contradicted the • the peak of the "Age of Reason" .

picturing lite OCtoR ro". days on which to marry and others on which every enterprise sh ould be cautiously avoided? Equally incompatible with the capitalist work-disciplin e was. the proreded spll(e ofllis IlltIgiCQ/ element was in "sympathetic" relation with the reS[. FAUS'IUS (1604). Eradicating these practices was a necessary condition for the capitalist rationaliza­ tion of work. ers by magical incantations. to play unknown instruments. to gain inunu­ nity in war. a variety of practices were designed to appropriate the secrets of nature and bend its powers to the human will. plants.where nature was viewed as a universe of signs and signatures. to win somebody's love. Thus. that is. to leave one's body. since magic appeared as an illicit fonn of power and an instrument to obtai. In this perspective. "Magic kills indusuy. the power to make oneself invisible. from the use of charms to sympathetic healing. OC conception of the cosmos that attributed special powers to the individual: the lllagne oth­ of look.". gi­ It would not be fruitful to investigate whether these powers were real or ima nary.� 142 .herbs. moreover.l what one wanted U/ithout work. It can be said that all precapitalist societies have believed in them and. From palmistry to divination.hid virtues and powers peculiar to it." lamented Francis Bacon. . admitting that nothing repelled him so much as the assumption that one could obtain results with a few idle expedients. How could the new entrepreneurs impose regular work patterns on a proletariat anchored in the belief that there are lucky aud unlucky days. to become invisible. days on which one can travel and others on which one should not move from home.. to chain the will . in Oll times. marking invisible affinities that had to he deciphered (Foucault 1970: 2&--27).! ' drde. that is. There was magic designed to win card games. rested upon a qualitative conception of space and time char pre­ cluded a regularization of the labor process. rather than with the sweat of one's brow (Bacon 1870: 381) Magic. every element . a refusal of work in action. to make children sleep (Thomas 1971. Wilson 2000). we have witnessed a revaluation of practices that. Let us mention the growing interest in parapsy _ rece. metals. w have been condemned as witchcraft. and most of all the human body . at the time we refer to.magic opened a vast number of possibilities.Cllrisropller Marlowe's D Frontispiece to tilefirst edirio " oj the D ('V"/fi magidml conjllr.

eople �laimed to have. Similarly. that is.. space giving strialized indu the with return.. Uknt!ficatiol1. nor c�uld tI�ey functionally inte­ . the :au o f the body i" space a"d time. gave but yet that they are justly punished. But regardless of the dangers which magic posed. while keeping his distance. From their vlewpomt It hardly mattered jlea!ening was the use that the lower classes made ofprophedes. Historically they have been a means by which the "poor" have externalized their . revolution... the English Civil W ar (as already in the Middle Ages). . at threat. this was not an option f and experimental phase of capitalist development.er real or not. the bourgeoisie had to combat ipltion. or the 17th-century ruling class which. in this However. that is. by the State . will upset the coordinates of individual decision-making. the CIIIy insofar as it is assumed that the future will be like the past. which. watch before going to work. joined with their purpose to do it if they can" (Leviathml 1963: 67). bourgeoisie had to combat the assumption that it is possible to be in two places at the -. particularly dur­ .This was certainly an imped­ . given legitimacy to their plans. existence ry 6e ve or example.and Newton's er. had not yet achieved the social ..e time. Equally r" magic into the orgamzatlon of SOCial life. or aspi d to have. "As f or witches. from a capitalist viewpoint. by the help of magical charms (Thomas 1971: 234-37) . :. Prophecies are not simply the expression of a f atalistic res­ deliberations. Isaac Barrow.. is that here the f uture can be antic­ ipated only insof ar as the regularity and immutability of the system is assumed. and no major change. f or irbether the powers that p � ." W<>rks VI: 399).consumer of astral charts will automatically con"'1IrI"'"I� that even the most devoted that. as magic placed die determinants of social action in the realm of the stars. "Behemot. as the f oresight of the sequels of their actions. 143 apProval. . The mechanization of the body is so constitutive of the individual jeop­ not does orces f occult in belief the to countries. prophecy being many times desires. the widespread belief in the possibility of finding hidden treas­ T ake. Hobbes recog­ IIiIed this when he warned that "There is nothing that . " I th ink not that their witchcraft is any real . in the rationalization of space and time that characterized the philosophical spec­ aIItion of the 16th and 17th centuries.17 The incompatibility of magic with the capitalist work-discipline and the require­ ofsocial control is one ofthe reasons why a campaigtl ofterror was launched against � �cal philosopher and member of the Royal Society Richard Boyle. to allowed be can too Astrology social of behavior. prophecy was replaced with the calculation ojprob­ lllilities whose advantage. served to f ormulate a program afotrUggie (Elton 1972: 1 42fl). f or thefixation . out of their reach and control. and have been spurred to action. regularity the and biofeedback practices that are increasingly applied even by mainstream med­ revival of magical beliefs is possible today because it no longer represents a \Dit:ial COIJUOI necessary to neut�z� the prac�ce of magic. is an essential condition f or the regularity of the work-process. so well directs men in their the principal cause of the events f oretold" (Hobbes. f . f alse belief they have that they can or the f SUch nlischief. 'I1ws. power because it undermined the principle ofindividual responsibility. of magtcal beliefS was a source of SOCial msubord matlon.pat to the institution ofa rigorous and spontaneously accepted work-discipline. .a terror applauded without reservations by many who are presently CIOasidered among the f ounders of scientific rationalism: Jean Bodin.IS Even the materialist Hobbes. Mersenne. � ." he wrote. the individual's spatio-tempo­ .

D'Es/MCNE PoRJVGAL.into the hands of the state and the medica profession. and uniform behavior.e torture chamber.fiT DE HfSJOfRES DES INQUISITIONS REUCn:USES D'/"ri1UE. 1809 etlgrm'./Ig by MtIIJct itljosepll LnmUec." Linebaugh reports that in early lry 1 81h-ce£ltl 144 . TI. Hobbes witches and other practitioners of magic died. for blood and torture were necessary to "breed an animal" capable the new rules (Nietzsche that stood in the way of the transformation of the individual and social body into a set of regular. The stakes on which fitted eliminated of predictable and controUable mechanisms. And it was here again that the scientific use of torture was born. indelibly marked with the memory of 1965: 189-90). and much knowledge about the body was gained. Here those irrationalities were was weU advised. which consigned the female body . argue that the persecution of the witches was the climax of the state intervention agaiTlS( uterus reduced to a maleficilml of abor­ I iUg Here let us stress that despite the violence deployed by the state. and the chambers in which their tortures were executed. homogeneous.the l machine for the reproduction of labor . the disciplin ell c of the proletariat proceeded slowly throughout the 17th century and into the 18th r­ ove tury in the face of a strong resistance that not even the fear of execution could "T come. A significant element in this context was the condemnation as tion and contraception. I wiU return later to this point. He added that if these superstitions were eliminated. were a laboratory in which much social discipline was sedimented. in the chapter on the witch-hunt. where the proletarian body in the modern era. An emblematic example of this resistance is analyzed by Peter Linebaugh in he Tyburn Riots Against the Surgeons. "men would be much more than they are for civil obedience" (ibid.).

It was also believed that a corpse . 'JYburn. significantly occurring at the f oot of the gallows. (ibid. Certainly.g. Dissection thus appeared as a further infamy. and the clash of two opposite concepts of the body. It was believed that the dead again" and exact their last revenge upon the living.�). a battle was f or �se the corpse f seizing from the to prevent assistants of the surgeons condemned ofbelng ear f the because fierce. connecting the This attempt was even more important. the body is seen as dead even when still alive. 1 9 The course of scientific rationalization was intimately connected to the uatomy depended on the ability of the surgeons to snatch the bodies of the hanged at iDlersect. to be taken apart just like any machine. "At the attempt by the state to impose its control over an unwilling workf orce.That the path of scientific rationalization intersected with the disciplining of the body is even more evident in the social sciences.This battle naronucal inated the possibility that the ear of death. . two opposite investments in demonstrates both the violence that presided over the scientific rationaJization of the king (ibid. anatomical vided models f or the new science. but the fact that the machine UNlS becomillg the model of social behavior. standing at the con junction of the Tyburn and Edgware roads. the eyes as lenses.: England ter death. organized clubs all over England in order to demonstrate the predictability of phenomena. chac their 14S who. ies were drawn from the workshops of the manufacturers: the arms were viewed as • DeW scientific worldview to the increasing mechanization of production can only hold as Ibe body. "we find that the history of the London poor and the history of English science • death. nor was it a coincidence that the progress of metaphor (Dickson 1979: 24).jL On one side. and f or the speculations of MechalucaJ Philosophy on leven. )aid bealing virtues. and to dispel the popular belief that comets announced sociaJ rus­ . in concomital}Ce with the appearance in 1695 of the comet later named . On the other. so that crowds of sick �eople gathered aroUl �d the gallows. This battle. riends and relatives of ought by the f at the time of an execution." This was not a coincidence.: 109-10). the clock and the automated devices that so much intrigued Descartes and his contemporaries (e. in fact. But these mechanical metaphors reflect not the influence of tech­ taaIogy per se. was (Linebaugh sturues 1 975). It is aJso true that starting from the 17th century." Peter Linebaugh it is conceived as a mechanicaJ device. Dissection elim a ted was no less than the f ten occurred in 1 8th-cenof as hanging. and the spent their last days making sure thac their body should nOt be abandoned condemned intO the hands of surgeons. hydraulically moved statues). the fist as a hammer ::. and by death was oarY Ie according to which the body continued to live af possessed the power to "come hed with new powers. the corpse does not inspire repulsion. insof ar writes. we have a concept of the body that sees it endowed with powers even • world. and is nOt treated as something rotten pDows. W e can see. heart as a pump. as a determinant of new attitudes towards the movements of the body. expectfrom the limbs of the dead effects as nuraculous as those attnbuted to the touch of ::': � : : 01' irreducibly aJien. a after executed revive poorly nught nmed was spread among the body the of conception magical A 102-04). a second and greater death. As David Dickson argues. the lungs as bellows. pro­ lIIIog I. � � The inspirationaJ f orce of the need for sociaJ control is evident even in the field astronomy. than the development of technology. A classic example is that of Edmond Halley (the secretary of the Royal him . the of <Mumrord 1962: 32).

ml (OlueptiolJ of the .prodlldioll. other lVords. CuUen 1975) [he which perform on the social body the same operations that anatomy performs o n ual was the basis for the development of what Hobbes' terminology) Marx's terms. was tile first machine developed by capitalism.ghts.. as they dissect the population and study its movements . In con­ �� the clock.in their dIe silled and reguJar aspects.frolll nata as­ m t mos ity to mortality rates. We Catl see." constructed in a uniform way.a new science that was to study every foml of social behavior in terms of Numbers. and subject to a radical decharacterization. so that all of its faculties can be grasped onJy in their most standardized aspects. development of statistics and demography (Wilson 1966. and / l o l individual underwent in the transition to capitalism. body� . as a social average. we can see that the develoPI1 William Petty would later call (using PoliticalAritltmetics. tillS 1 (jtlr-celltury Germ(lPJ C1Jgmll_ ing 1V11l!re ti. Petty's project was real­ ized with the. and Measures. this is an "abstract individual. 146 . if. that the humau body alld /lot tire steam ellgiue. and the struction of a prototypical individual to whom l­ individual body."! lUa ­ opment of the productive forces that took place in the period of primitive acc u n t etJff' cion. A telling eX(lmplc of the new mcc/ulII.e PCll5(lW is represe nted ll5 1I0//'illg morc til(ln (l l1Ieml$ oj development was premised on the homogenization of social behavior. from generational to occupational structures . The construction of this new individ­ all would be expected to conform. lvitll his body (Oil/POsta clltirely of (lgrirultllml imp/l'metllS. Also from the point of view of the abstraction process [hat of the "human machine" was the main technoiogical leap. We. the main step in the de.

COMPeNDIUM AN..nOMICu." • 147 . Itl colltrast 10 in which tlte blood vessels are seetl as {wigs growing our cif the humall body. Ihe "mechalli(lJ1 t/llJtl " is this image ciflhe "ve getable mml.! (1696)..J. Case.

But if the body is a machine, one problem inmlediately emerges: how to ntakt It work?T wo different models ofbody-govcrnment derive from the theories ofMe cha Philosophy. On one side. we have the Cartesian model that, starting f rom the IlSsuru� fll cion of a purely mechanical body, postulates the possibility of developing in th e i" � vidual mechanisms of self -discipline. self -management, and self -regulation allowing voluntary work-relations and government based on consent. On the other side, the ,r IS the Hobbesian model that, denying the possibility of a body-f ree Reason, exrcrnaj

ocus of the philosophy ofDescanes, who Oet us remember it) comple the body, is the f r onnatton nOt m the France of monarchical absolUtISm but in the ho his IIlteliectual f Ur_ geois Holland so congenial to his spirit that he elected it as his abode. Descartes' doctrin es have a double aim: to deny that human behavior can be influenced by external f actors (SUch as the stars, or celestial intelligences), and to free the soul £lom any bodily conrution ing' thus making it capable of exercising an unlimited sovereignty over the body. Descartes believed that he could accomplish both tasks by demonstrating the mechanical nature ofanimal behavior. Nothing, he claimed in his Le Moude (1633), causes his

the f unctions of cOlTunand . consigning them to the absolute authority of the Stat e. The development of a self -management theory, starting from the mechanization

r: IZes



every morning he went to the butcher to observe the qua.rtering of the beasts. 20 He even perf onned many vivisections, likely comforted by his belief that, being mere brutes "des­ titute ofReason, . . the animals he dissected could not f eel any pain (Rosenfield1 968: 8).21 because he was convinced that here he could find the answer to his questions concern­ To be able to demonstrate the brutality of animals was essential f or Descartes,

so many errors as the belief that animals have a soul like ours. Thus, i n preparati on f or Treatise o f Mal/I he devoted many months to studying the anatomy of animal organs;

ing the location, nature, and extent of the power controlling human conduct. He believed

ical, and involuntary actions; that, consequently, it is not constitutive of the penon; and that the human essence, tlleref ore, resides in purely iltunaterial f aculties.The hwnan body, f ers upon "him" mastery over the surrounding world is the presence of thought.Thus, the soul, wh ich Descartes displaces from the cosmos and the sphere of corporeality, returns at the center of his philosophy endowed with infinite power under the guise of individual reason and will. could then break his magic wand, becoming not only responsible for his own actions, bUI ­ seemingly the center of all powers. In being divorced f rom irs body . the rational self cer , r ,,/eve tainly lost irs solidarity with its corporeal reality and with nature. Irs solitude, ho Placed in a soulless world and in a body-machine, the Cartesian man, like Prospera. ism between the thinking head and the body-machine. onJy a master/slave relation, su�cc: too, is an automaton f or Descartes, but what diff erentiates "man" from the beast and

that in the dissected animal he would find proof that the body is only capable ofmechan­



to be that of a king: in the Cartesian model of the person, there is no egalitarian d.ual­

the primary taSk of the will is to dominate the body and the natural world. In the Cartesl3 al1 model of the person, then, we see the same centralization of the functions of conun -as .... . te that in the same period was occurring at the level of the state: as the task of the sta to govern the social body, so the mind becanle sovereign in the new personality. Descartes concedes that the supremacy of the m i nd over the body is not achieved, as Reason must confront irs inner contradictions. Thus, in

easdY of fIIt TI,e Passio/lS

( 1 650). he introduces us to the prospect ofa constant battie between the lower and

�han ::

ging or arresting i� passions. It can, �owever, neutralize them by diverring its , . am the movements to WlllCh they dispose restr noon to some other tlung, or it can body. It can, in other words, prevent the

aculties of the soul which he describes in almost m.ilitary terms, appeaHng co OUf f e of our passions. W to be brave, and to gain the proper am15 to resist the attacks capable be always not might will er our suff or to f ared eats, temporary def be prep

) 1973 , 1 : 354--5 5 .

passions from becoming tlctiom (Descartes

With the institution of a hierarchical relation between mind and body. Descartes

cheoretical premises f or the work-discipline required by the developing �Ioped the For the mind's supremacy over the body implies that the will can (in economy. capitWS[ the needs, reactions, reflexes of the body; it can impose a regular order control principle) of ics desires. jadepcndendy Most importantly, the supremacy of the will allows f or tlle interiorization of the mechanisms of power. Thus, the counterpart of the mechanization of the body is the e find clC'velopment of Reason in its role as judge, inquisitor, manager, aruninistrator. W
bae the origins ofbourgeois sub jectivity as self -management, self-ownersh ip, law, respon­

unctions, and f orce the body to work according to external specifications, OIl ics vital f

sibility, with its corollaries of memory and identity. Here we also find the origin of that
ptoIif ention of"micro-powers" that Michel Foucault has described in his critique of the juridico-discursive model of Power (Foucault

1977). The Cartesian model shows, how­

ever,that Power can be decentered and diffused through the social body only to the extent .. it is recentered in tlle person, which is thus reconstinned as a micro-state. In other - but simply acquires the collaboration of the Self in their promotion.
cbe main benefit that Cartesian dualism offered to the capitalist class

WOlds. in being diffused, Power does not lose its vector - that is, its content and its aims

Consider, in this context, the thesis proposed by Brian Easlea, according to which the Christian

deCrnse ofthe immortality ofthe soul, and the possibility ofdef eating the atheism implicit .. Narural Magic, which was loaded with subversive implications (Easlea 1 980: 1 32£1).
Easlea argues, in support of this view, that the def ense of religion was a central theme in Cartesianism, which, particuJady in its English version, never f orgot that "No Spirit, No
GIl the "reactionary" elements in Descartes's thought makes it impossible f or Easlea [0

God; No Bishop, No King" (ibid.: 202). Easlea's argumell[ is am-active; yet its insistence

IIIong tha[, even after Newtonian physics dispelled the belief in a natural world void of
OCcult powers, and even after the advent of religious tolerance, Cartesianism continued

llllwer a question that he himself raises. Why

the hold of CartesiarUsm in Europe so

� � �

abaPC the dominant worldview? I suggest that tlle popu.larity of Cartesianislll among , nuddle and upper class was directly related to the program ofself-mastery that Descartes'
�ophy promoted. In its social implications, this program was as important to es�s elite contemporaries as the hegemonic relation between humans and nature . as legll:mtized by Cartesian dualism. (i.e., self-government. self -development) es an essential requirement in a capitalist socio-economic system in which self ­ hip is assum�d [0 be the f undamental social relation, and discipline no longer relies

�The development of self-management


" -Y On external coercion. The social significance of Cartesian philosophy lies in part

. . . . replaces the unpredictable power of the magiCIan (built on the subtle manjpulatio nW . astral Influences and correspondences) with a power f ar more profitable - a pOwer C! Ot which no soul has to be f orf eited - generated only through the administration and d nation of one's body and, by extension. the administration and domination of the b . lCS of th r f eUow bell1 . e can not say, then, as aslea does (repeating a criticism raised ? � � . by Lelbruz), that Carteslarusm f ailed to translate Its tenets into a set of practical regub _ tio05, that is, that it f ailed to demonstrate to the philosophers - and above all to the me,_ chants and manufacturers - how they would benefit from it in their attempt to COnt rol the matter of the world (ibid.: 151).

in the f act that it provides an inteUectual justification f or it. In this way, Descartes' thea of self -management defeats but also recuperates the active side of Natural Maoic • . . Fm ty .


IfCartesianism f ailed to give a technological translation ofits precepts, it nonethe_

less provided precious information with regard to the development of"human technol_

ogy." Its insights into the dynamics of self-control would lead to the construction of a new model of the person, wherein the individual would function at once as both mas_ ter and slave. It is because i t interpreted so well the requirements of the capitalist work_

discipline that Descartes' doctrine, by the end of the obsolescence of the mechanistic paradigm.

out Europe and survived even the advent of vitalistic biology as well as the increasing The reasons for Descartes' triumph are dearest when we compare

17th century, had spread through_

the person with that of his English rival, Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes' biological monism

his account of

re jects the postulate of an inunaterial mind or soul that is the basis of Descartes' concept ofthe person, and with it the Cartesian assumption that the human will can f ree itselffrom corporeal and instinctual detenninisl1l.22 For Hobbes. human behavior is a conglomerate of reflex actions that f ollow precise natural laws, and compel the individual to incessantly

(Leviafhall: 141 fi). Thus the war of all against all (in a hypothetical state of nature), and the necessity for an absolute power guarantee­
strive f or power and domination over others ing, through f ear and punishment, the survival of the individual in society. For the laws of nature, as justice, equity, modesty, mercy, and, in sum, terror of some power to cause them to be observed, are contrary to like doing to others as we would be done to, of themselves, without the our natural passions, that carry us to partiality, pride, revenge and the

(ibid.: 173).

legislation men are inevitably led to revolution (quoted i n Bowie

I to the individual will that f unction of command which, in the Hobbesian model, is e f oundations, O solely in the hands of the state. As many critics of Hobbes maintained, the f nDr Public discipline must be rooced in the hearts of men, [ or in the absence of an inte y nO Hobbes," complained Henry Moore, "there is no freedom of will and conseque ntl

As is well known, Hobbes' political doctrine caused a scandal among his contem­ he poraries, who considered it dangerous and subversive, so much so that, although 3). 16 2: 195 strongly desired it, Hobbes was never admitted to the Royal Society (Bowie �le Against Hobbes, it was the Cartesian model that prevailed, f or it expressed n buo attri already active tendency to democratize the mechanisms of social discipline by

" 111 1 9 51: 97-98) .

of conscience or reason, but only what pleases the one with the longest sword" 159). More explicit was Alexander Ross, who observed that "it is ;/ ",.o.:eu in Easlea 1980: orce that restrains men from rebellion, there is no outward law or f curb of conscience conaccusing an as cruel so no is torturer no there judge so severe, JIIOre powerfuL . . . ....ce" (quoted 111 BowIe 1952: 167). ,0 The contemporaneous critique of Hobbes' atheism and materialism was clearly

:::V ;:U

particular its defense of the existence of God with all that this entailed, losOphy, and in power of the state. I f we do privilege the f eudal Descartes we miss the of the nse .. a defe elimination of the religious element in Hobbes (i.e., the belief in the exis­ the ic:t that tence of incorporeal substances)

orm of social control not depending wholly on the iron rule of the state. bility of a f erence between Hobbes' philosophy and Cartesianism.This, the main diff is Here, I argue, JIoWever, cannot be seen if we insist on stressing the f eudal elements in Descartes' phi­

His view of the individual as a machine motivated purely by religious concerns. appetites and aversions was re jected not because it eliminated the conby its ed only inated the of God, but because it eli m image the in made creature human of the

oCthe Puritan sects during the English Civil War had demonstrated, self-mastcry could easily rurn into a subversive proposition. For the Puritans' appeal to recum the manage­ ment of one's behavior to the individual conscience, and to make of one's conscience che ultimate judge of truth, had become radicalized in the hands of the sectaries into an

• Cartesian model o j self-mastery which Hobbes undoubtedly distrusted. As the activism


actually a response to

the democratization imp/idr in

IIWChic ref usal of established authority,23 The example of the Digger.; and Ranter.;. and opposed state legislation as well as private property, must have convinced Hobbes that
the appeal to "Reason" was a dangerously double-edged weapon.24

oEthe scores of mechanic preachers who, in the name of the "light of conscience," had
The conflict between Cartesian "theism" and Hobbesian "materialism" was to be

JeS01ved in time in their reciprocal assimilation, in the sense that (as always in the his­

location in the individual, was finally obtained only to the cxtent that a centralization occurred in the power of the state.T o put this resolution in the terms in which the debate was posed in the course of the English Civil W ar: "neither the Diggers nor Absolutism,"
OIl the souls who proceeded too far in the ways of self -determ ination. The crux of the

lOry of capitalism) the decentralization of the mechanisms of conulland, through their

but a well-calculated mixture of both, whereby the democratization of command would

rat on the shoulders of a state always ready, like the Newtonian God, to reimpose order

lllatr te was lucidly expressed by Joseph Glanvil, a Cartesian member ofthe Royal Society

� in a polemic against Hobbes, argued that the crucial issue



IIlvolved the developent of new faculties in the individual that wouJd appear as other with


IDem of the capacity f or self -control within the persoll.

IQind Over the body. This, however, did not simply imply the control of the ruling class (the mind par exceJletlce) over the body-proletariat, but, equally important, the develop­
As oucauJt has demonstrated, the mechanization of the body did not only involve repression of desires, emotions, or f orms of behavior that were to be eradicated. It also


the control of the

to the body itself, and become the agents of its transf ormation. The product of this on from the body, in other words, was the development of individual idelltity, conprecisely as "otherness" from the body, and in perennial antagonism with it.

160 crimes in England were punishable by death (Linebaugh 1992) and every year thousands of"common people" were transported to the colonies Or con� demned to the galleys. irrational female (the "woman in us. an object ofspeculation. no less than Prospero. and treated as an agent ofintcr­ nal subversion. developed and kept at hay I'n t order to obtain from it the desired resuJts." wrote Henry Power." "rude.The emergence of this alter ego. made suspicious by fear." as Hamlet to say) or the "wild" Mrican. rather than the interiorization of social rule." the senses were seen as a prison for the reasoning soul. "The great multitude of men. Even those who dl not foUow Descartes saw tile body as a beast that had to be kept incessantly under Oll� trol. This awareness pervades the literary prodU'd cion of the 16th and t 7th centuries. Yet. raise A Soul inslav'd so many wayes? 152 . since self-mastery at the popular level meant the rejection of the established authority.re�r�ent the bi�h. On an individual level as weU.As Easlea points out. The terminology is revealing. right into the 18th century. self-management remained a bourgeois pre­ rogative. It WOlJ� . Indeed." "hot-headed. In this process. it to voice anti-authoritarian demands. as they lack any reasoning power. in the sense that the body became a purely relational tenn. when the philosophers spoke of"man" as a rational being they made exclusive reference to a small elite made of white. for a long time. when the populace appealed to reason." a "many-headed monster." and in particular the weak. • was was as a no was was was c o who shall. that Caliban was part of itself (Brown 1 988. and only metaphor can be called men" (Easlea1 980: 140).." 1t also interiorized by the dominant classes in the battle they wa� against their own "natural state. Thus. longer signifying any specific reality. among the"lower classes" the development ofself-managemen as self-discipline remained. Moreover. an English foUower of Descanes.e pr<>­ letariat was of a different race. not only ctid the body lose all naturalistic connocations." wild. and the determination of a historic cOnfli between min� and body. Its instincts were compared to "subjects" to be "governed." As we have seen." that is. the struggle against this "great beast" not solely ctirected against the "Iow'cr sort of people. through the 1 7th century. "resembles rather Descartes' automata. the beggar is always "lusty. in the Elizabethan literature. from this Dungeon. but identifying instead any impediment to the dom­ ination of Reason." "disorderly" are the ever-recurrent terms in any discussion of the lower class. As we pointed out." the body became "the proletariat. but a body­ jU" dion began to emerge. This means that while the proletariat became a "body. adult males. the bourgeOISie too had to recognize that "rtJhis thing of darkness is mine." and "sturdy.2SThe "better sorts" agreed that d. become a tYPICal characteristic afthe 1I1diVIdual molded by the capitalist work-disciplin to confront one's body as an alien reality to be assessed. the proletariat appeared as a "great beast. being purely defined through its limit­ ing function. upper-class. ofthe individual in capi. given [0 any excess (Hill 1975: 181 ff. How little self-disci� pline expected from the "conUTIon people" can be judged from the fact that. ritual vocabuJary identified the masses as purely instinctual beings. Tyllard 1961 :34-35).�tsociety. that is through its "otherness" from Reason. In their eyes. Linebaugh and Rediker 2000) . vociferous.

in addition to appearing as Waste. body as a receptacle or filth and hidden dangers. posing tbe crucial question of whether human beings are voluntary or involuntary agents. and there Deaf with the drunun ing of an Ear. confessed how humiliated he f elt one day when. Many practices began to appear in daily lif e to signal d. the development ofshame with respect 10 nakedness. walked.asked Andrew Marvell. A Soul hung up. (Tillyard 1961 : 75). The conflict between appetites and reason was a key theme in Elizabethan liter­ ." Witness the case of Cotton Mather who. and Arteries. jaR. this obsession with human ents reflected in part the disgust that the nuddle class was beginning to f eel f or lIon-productive aspects of the body .is also to be traced back to this conception of . whose attitude is typical of the Puritan experience. V Irtues) (Hunt 1 970: 1 43--46) . How much do our natural Necessities abase us. Meanwhile. the advent of "m. where excrements posed a logistic problem.. when­ ever I step to answer the one or the other Necessity of Nature. where the subjugation of the body was a daily practice (Greven 1977: 67). Clearly. play (Elias 1 978: 1 29£1). The great medical passion of the time. .� � IS3 . the Dlfa/ysis o f excrements ." With bolts of Bones.. debates on education and on the "nature of JDIIl" current among the "middle sort" centered around the body/mind conflict.. that f etter'd stands In Feet. and place us in some regard on the same level with the very Dogs' . the latter became an object ofconstant observation. and Veins (quoted by Hill 1964b : 345).f rom which Ol deductions were drawn on the psychological tendencies of tile individual . Accordingly I resolved tllat it should be my ordinary Practice. Particularly repugnant were those bod­ Iy functions that directly confronted "men" with their "animality. as t'were. divine Thought (ibid.. in his Diary. he saw a dog doing the same : Thought I 'what vile and mean Things are the Children of Men in this mortal State.... .e deep transf omla­ lions occurring in tlus domain: the use of cutlery.The body began to inspire fear and repugnance. and manacled in Hands.). Here blinded with an Eye. as ifit were an enemy. in Chain Of Nerves. But the definition of a new relation with the body did not remain at a purely ide­ aIogical level. noble. WIllie the individual was increasingly dissociated f rom the body. uri­ Dating against a wall. to make it an Opportunity of shaping in my Mind some holy.umers" that attempted to reguJate how one laughed. while among the Puritans the idea began to take hold dlat the "Antichrist" is in every man. But in this obsession we can also read the bourgeois need to regulate and ::. how one should behave at the table..a disgust inevitably accentuated in an urban . and to what extent one could sing. sneezed." declared Jonathan Edwards. " The body of man is full of filth. in his "Dialogue Between dle Soul and the Body..

exorcised. letarian was that "rnaterial being by itself raw and un digested" that Petty recommended be consigned to the hands of the state. dangerous. where vis erotlCi! into an indefatigable worker.26 T o sleep one hour of deep sleep without waking one earns six francs. lust f or immediate physical satisfaction. Ifwe move � c# o ne the witch-hunt to the specuJations of Mechanical Philosophy. riven of milk. in its prudence. Above all . the bourgeoisie tried to con quer . Hence all mechanization of the body. in these same years. The pro. Graus 1987) . and tile Puritans' r lVould become vis lalJOrariva. the proletariat personified the "ill humors" that hid in the social body. and cne "'" that were admin. because they were the symbol ofthc "ill humors" that were believed to dwell in the to whkh every perverse tendency in human beings was attribmed. We se reflected the same passion with which. emetics. Hence the use of purges. but one paid to eat and drink: 1 978. I­ Hence this battle against the body. beginning with the disgusting monsters of idleness and drunkenness. Excrements were so much analyzed and deb �d eyes was the prolecariat.. In the eyes of his masters. unproductive being that in its : where houses were made of sugar. For the prolecarian was the great Caliban of the time. ever ready to explode in riotous commotions. For the Puritans cleanse the body-machine from any element that CQuid incerrupt its activity. Like Caliban. must have seemed a desperate enterprise. [t meant literallY and eternal indigence. mand wouJd be transf ormed into lack of desire and autonomous will. this country is jolly. abstinence. the y became the visible sign of the corruption of human nature. incontinence.Y . but at the same time was uncontrolled passion and unbridled f antasy. and which has continued. "must better it. and where need would be experienced only as lack. which characterized the early phase of cap talist development. subjugated. The idea of transf orming this lazy being. and where not only could one obtain what one wished without eff ort.a sort of original sin th at had to be combatted.we could say "colonize" . tha.istered to children or the "possessed" to make them expel their devil nO. 111 f the f ocal point f or the first experiments in the organization of tile state. but the land of Cockaigne (Burke was In this obsessive attempt to conquer the body in its most intimate recesses. its utopia being not a lif e of labor. one earns ten f rancs a day to make love (Burke: 1 90). and crea t� " dead time" in the expenditure of labor.that alien. lack of productivity. which. . it was indis­ cipline. in diff erent ways. and shape it to its advantage" (Furniss 1957: 17£1). and to drink well one earns a pistol. its life was pure inertia. manage it. to "rurn the wodd upside down. who dreamt of lif e as a long Carnival. where inertia to con1. (Thorndike 1958: 553£1). which was the pro ject of the new Natural Philosophy. 194 ." but in a totally capitalist f ashion. to our day.

his own executioner. will have � �liberation oflabor-power.of individual talents." Didactically . h. Thus. who in his Vanity advocates a language fit to describe clear and distinct entities (Glanvil 1970: xxvi-xxx) . ."There is. . The ref ormation oflanguage . whose powers had to b( II ormation of labor-power. On the Passions/Reason conflict. .. religious ref s orm. after proclainung his adherence to the Cartesian world view. women lSS Marx does not distinguish between male and female workers in his discussion of the . BU[ having both. (1961: 75-79. we see that a single thread ties the seemingl. who will spare no torture nor torment to f orce his sub jects to work. and opposed co himself (PtllStt. and the scientific rationalization 0 ath . investigations social of legislation. which in the end he renounces f or a more Prospero is a "new man. If he had only passions without reason . a language of Dogmatjzj"g (1 665). where he will draw Ius power not from magic. the body was increasingly politicized in tlus process. But already i n the island ofrus exile." in man between reason and the passions. a reason for maintaining the mascu­ in the description of this process. declares that: "There is internal without strif e . he cannot be human "microcosm" and the "body politic.: xxx). will distingujsh sharply between nund and matter. and as it were. will present a picture of the universe accord­ ing to its logical structure. his activ­ but through the enslavement of many Calibans in f ar distant colonies.o t. and the "correspondences" between the from Bacon co Locke .and of the shif of human exploitation. but from the government of his sub jects. continuously redrawn boundaries which these relations pro­ ns. . . in the war PenSft. the birth it was denat­ As we have seen. Thomas Browne writes. and "will avoid metaphor as a way of knowing WOrds of great generality and clarity. . Medcalfsums it up in Ius introduction to Clanvil's work. terms . and fit to describe such a world will bear broad similarities to mathematics. nt p "". . Prospero's exploitative management of Cali ban prefigures the role of the future plantation mas­ U[E]very man is his own greatest enemy.As S." in Elizabethan literature see Tillyard 3." the out�r lilnit ofsocial discipline. . If he had onJy reasons without pas­ to his excessive interest in magic books. .a key theme in 1 6th and 1 7tl:Lcentury philosophy. . 412: 130). however. as the concept of the body would _ the body to define a specific org:uuc reality. map the in IJItCe � and redefined as the "ocher. 94-99) .was a ma jor concern ofJoseph Clanvil. . . While "f reed" from the conunons. 2. and subordinated to the development and f :. Pascal. f or metaphor depends on the assumption that the uluverse does not COnsist of wholly distinct entities and cannot therefore be fulJy described in posi­ between subjective and objective.This was the attempt to rationalize human nature.is misf ortunes are attribU[ed by Shakespeare ter. where power is not gained through a magic wand active life in his native kingdom. tOO. in the t 7th century also marked Its end. and describing. to � distinc. and become instead a political sigtufier of class ting. pivene. I Endnotes ities prefigure a new world order. sions." (ibid.. Thus he is always divided against.


were not channeled Onto the path of the wage-labor market. "With labour I must earn / My bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse ; / MY labour will sustain me" is Adam's answer to Eve's fears at the prospect ofleavi ll h gt • blessed garden (Paradise Lost, verses 1054--56, p. 579) .
As Christopher HiU points Ollt, until the



of slave ry ,so much so that the Levelers excluded wage workers from the franchise, as they did not consider them independent enough to be able to freely choose their repre. sentatives (Macpherson

220-22). B y the 171h century wage-labor was still considered a form

15th century, wage-labor could h. v, appeared as a conquered freedom, because people still had access to the cornnl Ons and had land of their own, thus they were not solely dependent on a wage. But by the 1 6th century, those who worked f or a wage had been expropriated' nl , Ore� over, the employers claimed that wages were only complementary, and kept the m at their lowest level. Thus, working for a wage meant to fall to the bottom of the social ladder, and people struggled desperately to avoid this lot (Hill, 1975:

1962: 107-59).

When in 1622 Thomas Mun was asked byJames I to investigate the causes ofthe eco­ nomjc crisis that had struck the country, he conduded his report by blaming the prob. lenlS of the nation on the idleness of the English workers. H e ref erred in particular to time in idleness and pleasure" which, in his view, placed England at a disadvantage in its commercial competition with the industrious Dutch (Hill, 1975: 125).

easting, f actions and misspending of Our "the general leprosy of our piping, potting, f

8. 9.



1960: 80-83; Thomas 197 1 ; 1985: 7-72).

V an Ussel

1971: 25-92;


1973: 19ff;

inspired in the ruling class can be measured by this tale narrated in Social England

The f ear the lower classes (the "base," "meaner sons," in the jargon of the time)

fllustrated (1903). I n 1580, Francis Hitchcock, in

to England," f orwarded the proposal to draf t the poor of the country into the Navy,

a pamphlet titled "New Y ear's CUi

arguing: "the poorer sort of people are . . . apt to assist rebellion or tojoin with whomsoever dare to invade this noble island . . . then they are meet guides co bring soldiers or men of war CO the rich men's wealth. For they can point with their finger 'there it is', 'yonder it is' and 'He hath it', and so procure martyrdom with murder to many

eated; it wealthy persons f or their wealth . . . ... Hitchcock's proposal, however, was def ob jected that if the poor ofEngland were drafted into the navy they would steal the ships or become pirates


sory labour f or

all penalties, 'which will increase labour and public wealth' . . Why all [he inquired] should not insolvent Thieves be rather punished with slave ry th death? So as being slaves they may be f orced to as much labour, and as cheap fare. as

axts Eli E Heckscher writes that "In h is most important theoretical work A Treatise ,fT atld COlII,ibutiatls (1 662) [Sir William Petty] suggested the substitution of compul

(Soda/ Etlg/atld fllustrated 1903: 8S-86).


. ..

1 1.

leys in order to "maintain this corps which is necessary to the state" (ibid.: 298-9 . ter af The Treatise 011 Mall (Traite de I'Homme), which was published twelve years " InatUre Descartes death as L'Homme de Retlc Descartes (1664), opens Descartes
, •

exhorted the Court ofJustice to condemn as many convicts as possible to the gal'

h. nature will endure, and thereby become as two men added to the Conunonwealt � lbe and not as one taken away from it" (Heckscher 1962, 11: 297). In France, Co



bodY, Descartes attempted to explain all physiological functlons as matter In mOtion.

1 2.

Giovanna Ferrari has shown,one ofthe main innovations introduced by the study 1 3. As ofanalOmy in 16th-century Europe was the "anatomy theater," where dissection was ject to regulations similar to those that governed organized as a public ceremony, sub theatrical perf ormances: modern times into rinlalized ceremonies that were held in places spe­ inunediately apparent if one bears in mind certain of their f eatures: the cially set aside f or dlem. Their similarity to theatrical perf ormances is Both in Italy and abroad, public anatomy lessons had developed in

reatise) .. . . . that all the "� I desire you to consider" (Descartes wrote at the end of the T rom the dis­ naturally . . . f ollow f . . . attributed have I machine that this to tions func d e movements of clock or other do no organs than ess more no the of ion posit . , the arrangement of Its counterweights and wheels (Treatise: 113). automaton, from or a parim f tenet that God has given "man" special gifts fitting h It was a Puritan Calling; hence the need f or a meticulous self -examination to resolve the r ocula eber1958: 47ff). calling for which we have been designed (Morgan1966:72-73; W

od." Here, applying Galileo's physics to an investigatio� of the attrib� tes o the peri

division of the lessons into diff erent phases . . . the institution of a paid entrance ticket and the perf ormance ofmusic to entertain the audience, the rules introduced to regulate the behaviour of those attending and the care taken over the "production."w.S. Heckscher even argues that many general theater techniques were originally designed with the per­ f ormance of public anatomy lessons in mind (Ferrari 1987: 82-83) .

14. According to Mario Galzigna. the epistemological revolution operated by anatomy
in the 16th century is the birthplace of the mechanistic paradigm. It is the anatom­ ical

coupure that breaks the bond between nucrocosm and macrocosm. and posits (f abrica) . The Passiol1s o f tile Soul (Article VI), Descartes mininuzes " the roff erence that

the body both as a separate reality and as a place of production, in V esalius' words: af actory 15. Also in

exists between a living body and a dead body": . . . we may judge that the body of a living man differs from that of a dead man just as does a watch or other automaton (i.e. a machine that moves of itself). when it is wound up and contains in itself the cor­ poreal principle of those movements. . .from the same watch or other machine when it is broken and when the principle of its movement ceases to act (Descartes 1 973.V ol. l . ibid.). 16. Partic ularly important in tlus context was the attack on the "imagination" ( "vis

force by which the magician could aff ect the surrounding world and bring about "'health or sickness. not only in its proper body, but also in other boroes" (Easlea 980: 94f1) . Hobbes devoted a chapter of the LeviatJ,all to demonstrating that the

imag­ itlativa") wluch in 16th and 17th-century Natural Magic was considered a powerful

boque of imagination is also found in Sir Thomas Browne's

lDlagination is only a "decaying sense," no diff erent from memory, only gradually ened by the removal of the ob jects of our perception (part I . Chapter 2); a cri­

Religio Medici (1642).


17. Writes Hohbes:"No man therefore can conceive any thing, but he must Con . it in some place . . . not that anything is all in this place and aU in another pi C�IVt . the same orne; nor that two or more things can be in one and the same � � pia c� at once" (Leviathan: 72). 18. Among the supporters of the witch-hunt was Sir Thomas Browne, a doc tor reputedly an eady def ender of "scientific f reedom," whose work in the eyes contemporaries "possessed a dangerous savour of skepticism" (Gosse 1905 : , Thomas Browne contributed personally to the death of two women accu sed . being "witches" who, but f or his intervention, would have been saved from the lows, so absurd were the charges against them (Gosse 1 905: 147-49). For a delail e analysis of this trial see Gilbert Geis and I van Bunn (1997). 19. I n every country where anatomy flourished, in 1 6th-century Europe, statutes Wer passed by the authorities allowing the borues of those executed to be used anatomical sttldies. In England "the CoUege of Physicians entered the anatontical field in 1565 when Elizabeth I granted them the right of cl:unung the bodies dis_ elons" (O'Malley 1 964). On the collaboration between the authorities sected f anatomists in 1 6th and 1 7th-century Bologna, see Giovanna Ferrari (pp. 59, 60, 64, 87-8), who points out that not onJy those executed but also the "meanest" of those who died at the hospital were set aside for the anatomists. In one case, a sentence to lif e was conm1l1ted into a death sentence to satisfy the demand of the scholars . 20. According to Descartes' first biographer, Monsieur Adrien Baillet, in preparation f or his Treatise o fMall, in 1 629, Descartes, while in Anuterdam, daily visited the slaugh­ terhouses of the town, and perf ormed dissections on various parts of animals: . . . he set about the execution of his design by studying anatomy, to which he devoted the whole of the winter that he spent in AnlSterdam. T o Father Mersenne he testified that his eagerness f or knowledge of this sub ject had made him visit, almost daily, a butcher's, to witness the slaughter; and that he had caused to be brought thence to his dwelling whichever of the animals' organs he desired to dissect at greater leisure. He often clid the same thing in other places where he stayed after that, finding nothing per.;onally shameful, or unworthy his position, in a practice that was innocent in itself and that could produce quite useful results.Thus, he made run of certain maleficent and envious person who . . . had tried to make him out a criminal and had accused him of "going through the viJlages to see the pigs



�f �




killed" . . . . [H]e did not neglect to look at what Vesalius and the most experienced of other authors had written about anatomy. But he taught himself in a much surer way by personally dissecting animals of diff erent species (Descartes 1 972: xiii-xiv) . In a letter to Mersenne of 1633, he writes:"J'anatomize maintellant les teteS de di\'(fS S1!1 animaux pour expliquer en quoi consistent I'imagination, la memoire . . . .. (CO� 'o'l� VoLIV: 255) . A1so in a letter ofJanuary 20 he ref ers in detail to experime nts Of VI 1 section: "Apres avoir ouverte la poicrine d'un lapin vivant . . . en sorte que Ie [�1 lI1�). Ie coeur de I'aorte se voyent f acilement . . . . Poursuivant la dissection de cet �!1 vivantje lui coupe cette partie du coeur qu'on nomme sa pointe" (ibid. Vol VII . 35


�nly with understanding, which is absent in brutes (Rosenfield 1968: 8). �

finally. in June 1640 , in response [0 Mersenne, who had asked him why animals f eel ain if they have no soul, Descartes reassured him that they do not; for pain exists

doctrine concerning the mechan ical nature of animals represented 3 Wtal 2 1 . Descartes'

ectively desensitized many of Descartes' scientifically nunded TIUs argument eff vivisection.This is how Nicholas ontcmporaries co the pain inflicted on animals by R..oyal by the belief in animal Port at created the atmosphere on(aine described talk of autOI1l:lta . . . . They didn't who harcUy was solitaire, a "There automatism : made fun of those who and indifference ect perf with dogs CO beatings adm.inistered w re clocks; that said a'�nals They that pain. elt f had they if as creatures pitied the � . . of nOise wluch had the sprmg only little a were struck when emitted the cries they eeling. They nailed poor ani­ f been touched, but that the whole body was without see the circulation of the and them vivisect to paws our f their by mals on boards 1968: 54). conversation" of (Rosellfield ject sub great a was blood which inversion with respect to the conception ofanimals that had prevailed in the Middle Ages and until the 16th century, which viewed them as intelligent, responsible beings,

with a particularly developed m i agination and even the ability to speak. As Edward

Wesrermarck, and more recently Esther Cohen, have shown, in several countries of

Europe. animals were tried and at times publicly execmed for crimes they had com­ mined.They were assigned a lawyer and rhe entire procedure - rrial, sentence, exe­ cution - was conducted with all f ormal legalities. example, asked for the expulsion of the grasshoppers from their town, and in a

f ere nt case the worms that infested the parish were exconID1l1nicated. The last trial ofan an imal was heJd in Fl"3nce in 1845 . Animals were also accepted in court as wit­ nesses f or the compurgatjo. A man who had been condelTUled for murder appeared
in cQurt with his cat and his cock and in their presence swore that he was innocent

In 1565, the citizens ofAries, f or dif ­

22. It has been argued that Hobbes arch-mechanistic perspective actually conceded
more powers and dynanusm to the body than the artesian account. Hobbes rejects Descartes dualistic ontology, and in particuJar the notion of the mind as an inuna­ terial, incorpoteal substance. Viewing body and nund as a monistic continuum, he accounts f or mentaJ operations on the basis of physical and physiological principles. However, no less than Descartes, he disempowers the human organism, as he denies srlf -motion to it, and reduces bodily changes to action-reaction mechanisms. Sense or Hobbes the product of an action-reaction, due to the perception, f or instance, is f
nal ob ject; imagination is a decaying sense. Reason toO is but a computing machine.

and was released. (Westerm.rck 1 924: 254ff.; Cohen


resistance opposed by the sense organ to the atolluC impulses coming from rhe exter­

23. As Hobbes lamented in Behemoth:

No less than in Descartes, in Hobbes the operations of the body are understood in terms of a mechanical causality, and are sub jected to the same universal legislation that regul ates the world of inanimate matter. [A]fter the Bible was translated inco English, every man, nay, every boy and wench, that could read English, thought they spoke with God Almighty and understood what he said when by a certain number of chapters a day they had read the Scriptures once or twice. The rever-


25. UND OF COCKAICl\'E (1567). few objected to Descartes' mechanical view of the human body. that would not walk in their steps? (Winstanley 1941: 197). in whi 4). and starve his body in a close room? Did the light of Reason make this law. that if one man did not have such an abundance of the earth as to give to others he borrowed of.C. that others might be opprest with poverty? Did the light of Reason make this law. none of the ardent defenders of the animal soul in this first period took up the cudgel to pre­ serve the human body f rom the taint of mechanism" (Rosenfield 1968: 25). 190). Rosenfield points out: "this is one of the strange things about the whole quarrel. As L. that he that clid lend should imprison the other. and to the bishops and pastors therein was cast off.ence and obedience due to the Reformed Church here. that some part of mankinde should kill and hang another part of mankinde. E Graus (1 967) states that "The name 'Cockaigne' first occurred in the 13th century (Cucatlietlsis comes presumably from Kucken). 19 ns 24." since the first context in which it is found is a satire of an English monastery in the time ofEdward If (Graus1967: 9). It is tempting to suggest that this suspicion concerning the humanity of the "lower classes" maybe the reason why. Exemplary is Gerrard Winstanley's "New Law of Righteousness" (1649). 26." (p. D' Igger ask5: Did the light of Reason make the earth f or some men to ingrosse up into bags and barns. Graus discusses the difference between [he medieval concept oC'Wonderland" and the modern concept of Utopia. � the most notOriOUS . leaving their calling"in order to hear mechanical preachers (p. arguing that: rieter Bruegel. among the first critics of Cartesian mechan ism. and every man became ajudge of religion and an interpreter of the Scriptures to himself. He added that "numbers of men used to go f orth of their own parishes and tow on working-days. and seems to have been used in par­ ody. 160 .

" but is much more "concrete. . there is a150 the f ountain of youth. . Lucas CrillUlch.In modern times the basic idea of the constructability of the ideal wocld means that Utopia must be populated with ideal beings who have rid themselves of their f aults.). THE FOUNTAIN OFYOU1H. for instance. In other words. . ." "lean [ing] heavily on the vil­ lage setting. but only to gluttonize. youths and gids. The utopian visions of the f ulfill his present desires In Cockaigne Midd1e Ages on the other hand start f rom man as he is and seek to one had longed to do in everyday life. In this Cockaigne . there is (ibid.just as (SchfaralJenlalld). there is no desire to "nourish oneself" sensibly.: 6)." and "depicts a state of perf ection which in modern times knows no further advance (Graus ibid. f ood and drink in abun­ handsome which so well reflects the simple view ofan ideal life (Graus 1967: 7-8) . The inhabitants of Utopia are marked by their justice and intelligence .Then the Story proceeds with its "Wishing T able" attinlde. the ideal of Cockaigne does not embody any rational scheme or notion of"progress. . 161 . which men and women step into on one side to emerge at dle ocher side as dance.

me HePldritksfor witd/craft i" Amsterdllm ill 157 1 .I Jail ulykerl. . o fA. TI.ot.e exerut.

There is the sulphurous pit.To this day. 1659). if not a matter of folklore. it remains one "the most understudied phenomena in European historyl or. world history. Burning. the impediment to Industry . sans costance.. (French 17tlLcentury saying about women) Down from the waisce they are Centaurs. stench. I . sans craince. That the victims. impiety and ruin. (Shakespeare. suggesting that it was a phenome­ -.The Great Witch-Hunt in Europe Une here imparfaicte. of minor significance. scalding.. 1IDrians' past indifference towards this genocide. you leap upon us. There is hell. Introduction 1be witch-hunt rarely appears in the hiscory of the proletariat. there is darkness. consumption. But to the girdle do the gods inherit. You are the traitors of W isdom. that allure us with the fairness of your skins and when folly has brought us within your reach. sans foy. Ephesian Malro". if . Ki"g Lear) You are the true Hyenas..You are the Fool's Paradise. the clogs to Virtue and the goads that drive us to all vices. an indifference that has bordered on "-rt Even those who have studied the witch-hunt (in the past almost exclusively men) ci� since tlle elimination of the witches from the pages of history has contributed : tr iviaJiz mg their physical elimination at the stake. Beneath is all the fiends. rather. in Europe.Consider that the charge of devil worshipping was carried by missionaries and con­ tJIiItadors to the "New World" as a tool for the subjugation of the local populations. Though Women all above. were mostly peasant women may account for the his- 163 . While deploring the exter- �� . often worthy heirs of the 16th-cenUiry demonologists. the wiseman's Plague and the Grand Error of Nature (Walter Charleton.

have consigned the witch-hunt to oblivion. much of the liter. They also realized that such a war against a turning point in the history of women in Europe. much as disturbed individuals today. influ­ enced by newspaper headlines. f antasy themselves as sought-after mur­ derers (Daly 1978: 213).T. E. even when studying the "transition to capl." an "epidem. Selesnick's TI. of the slave trade. the enactment of "bloody laws" against vagabonds and beggars cant that the witch-hunt occurred simultaneously with the colonization and ext�r� 164 .e Histor sexual f Examples of the misogy": that has inspired the scholarly approach to the witc h. y o f Psychiatry where we read that: .lgt : � lll mination of the populations of the New World. was 1978: 83ff). at the same time. and tortured in less than two centuries) It should also have seemed which u6S . ce f "social therapy. 1 976. as hundreds of thousands of women were burn hanged. as if c ssa I11a were irrelevant to the history of the class struggle." all characteriz ations that exculpate the witch hunters and depoliricize their crimes. As M.� n ta1ism. G. But it was only in the wake of the f eminist movement that the witch-hunt (1970). the first and second generation of witch-hunt scholars. 7. to institutional practice and male-female relations. the "original sin" in the process of social degradation that women.ic. she achieved some erotic gratification by dwelling on all the details before her male accusers. should have raised some suspicions. many have insisted on portraying them as wretched f Ool . the dimensions of the e . accused witches oftentimes played into the hands of the persecu­ tors.nure On thO hunt abound. .2 Feminists were quick to recognize that hundreds of thousands women suffered with the advent of capitalism. the beginrl all . afflicted by hallucinations. the English enclosures. so that their persecution could be explained as a pro ss s." with very f ew exceptions. Among the latter we should remember Alan Macf arlane There have been exceptions to this tendency to blame the victims.Y et. 1977).A1exander's and S. . and a phenomenon.ary Daly potnted out as lace as 1978. A witch relieved her guilt by conf essing her sexual f antasies in open court." a "craze. by contrast. or even as perverts who enjoyed teasing their male inquisitors with th elf antasies.W Monter (1969.. 1972: 3) � d rom "a woman-executing viewpoint" that discredits the vieti IS topic has been written f ailures (women "dishonored" Or f of the persecution by portraying them as social f ru trated in love)." serving to reinf orce neighborly cohesion (Midelf ort O r cou be described in medical terms as a "panic. theref ore. thanks to the f em inists' identification with the witches. both among emerged f rom the underground to which it had been confined.mil latian of the witches. carried out over a period of at least two centuries. and Alfred Soman revolt of women could not have been massacred and subjected to the cruelest tortures unless they posed a challenge to the power structure. Daly cites the example ofF. who were soon adopted as a symbol of f emale (Bovenschen (1992). we must continually return if we are to understand the m isogyny that still characterizes Marxist historians. These severely emotionally disturbed women were particularly susceptible to the suggestion that they harbored demon and devils and would conf ess to cohabiting with evil spirits.

So far. teaching men to fear the power life. and incipiem feudal crisis that we have the first witch trials (in t her n France. Here I want to stress that. and social subjects whose exis­ ments of social reproduction. But. this aspect of primitive accumula­ COnsunu . by which sorcery was declared a form of and the highest crime against God.e" in tha[ interregnum between the end of feudaHsl11 and the capitalist "take '.6Thus. Nature." and the "Great Confinement" of paupers and vagabonds in work-houses and &cDCe was incompatible with the capitalist work discipline. dat L.... and never. inflamed the hearts of the slaves in Europe with the opuk of a dying feudal world. � � epide mics. the witch-hunt was not the last did not persecute any witches. and the State (Monter 1976: 11-17). we will see what fears the witch-hunt dispelled for the European ruling class aad what were its effects for the position of women in Europe. at a time when the peasant conul1unity against ched ]aun was already disintegrating under the combined impact of land privatization. the witch-hunt was an essential aspect of primitive accumulation and che"ttansition" to capitalism. The witch­ oCwomen. in time. It is weU established that the "superstitious" Mjddle Ages �ct of freedom. the first descriptions of the Sabbat. the crime of malificium was introduced in the codes af'the new T eutonic kingdoms." were there mass trials and execu­ Iions. increased axation. under the name of malificium.? ::115.} .like the comemporary attack on "popular cul­ ture.S In the 7th and 8th centuries. truly remained a secret.8 and The situation changed by the mid the J5th century... inspiring them to take anns against their owners. In this sense. only magical practices cbaoe Who believed in magical deeds. and destroyed a universe of practices. Italy). Larer. rwenty -eight treatises on witchcraft were written (Monter lopment of the doctrine of witchcraft... the very concept of "witchcraft" did not take shape until the late Middle Ages. For the unleashing of a campaign of terror European peasantry to the assault the of resistance the weakened ution. reputedly.c in whe n the peasantry in Europe reached the peak of its power but. apparently. 16S . This was the time of the Arab conquest that. this legal IIIDovation Dlay have been a reaction to the fear generated among the elites by the advance of the "Saracens" who were. as it had been in the Roman code. It had been feared by the ruling class as a tool of insubordination among the slaves. also nate d its hjs[Qric defeat. and the extension of state control over every aspect of social bunt deepened the divisions between women and men. persec other it by the gentry and the state. Switzerland. UIIDlatched by any at. comrary to the view propagated by the Enlightenment. Germany. however. in the "Dark Ages. since the late Roman Empire. thus redefining the main ele­ correction houses.despite the fact that magic permeated daily life and.. great experts in the magical arts (Chejne YIere PUnished that inflicted damage to persons and things. and the church criticized 1983: 115-32).4 110n h2S I : Witch-burning times and the State Initiative 'What has not been recognized is that the witch-hunt was one of the most imporum pts in the developmem of capitalist society and the fannacion of the modern prole­ against women. at tillS time. It was in this age of popular en 1435 and 1487. beliefs.

It wa. with the publication in 1 486 of �rc � ) ny It was after the mid-16th century. as witches escalated. th considered witchcraft a new threat. was still characterized by skepticism towards a oUowing a new p Malleus Maleficarum (17le Hammer cifWrtclles) that. and the Spanish Netherlands. France. Boxes were placed in the churches to allow the inf onners to remain a�onr from the pulpit to testifY against her and f orbid anyone to give her help (Black 1971: 13 In the other countries too. when f eudal relations were already giving way to the econom ic and political institutions typical of mercantile capitalism. almost by a tacit agreement. to Giordano Bruno. make such. that is. the ministers of the Presbyte"' Church were ordered to ask their parishioners. this last introducing the death penalty even in the absence of any damage inflicted upon persons and things.As Christina Lamer has shown in the case of � 0 � � f pri nces 166 .that established that witchcraft be punished by death. under oath. "a movement from below to which the ruling and administrative classes were obliged to respond"(l. the minister exhorted the f tiueaten ing to punish those who hid them or came to their assistance (Larner 1 983: 2): taneous process.s Desiderantes (1 484). by contrast (especially in the case afBru no). that the number of Women tried the secular courts (Monter 1976: 26). a witch-hunt required much official organization and administration.amer 1983: 1}. on the eve of Columbus' voyage. " N nef ns' is the motto ofa character in one of Bruno's comedies. laws and ordinances making witchcraft a capital cri me and inciting the popuJation to denounce suspected witches. from Ludovico Ari osto � . was Ivitcllcr4t The mechanisms of the persecution confirm that the witch-hullt not a spon­ Scotland. after a woman had f alJen under suspicion. After 1 550. in some cases carrying with them lists with the names of suspected witches and I n Scotland. or entire communities were seized by a "panic. Italian intellectuals. in a period. in countries of ten at war against each other the stakes multiplied and the state started denouncing the existence of witches and tak ing the initiative of the persecution. otl incanti ma (omnlll. in the very decades in which the Spanish CO _ n quistadors were sub jugating the American popuJations. It was in this long "Iron Century" that. and travelling from village to village in order to teach people how to recogniz� them. witll the Synod ofAberdeen (I 603} . rather than the damages presumably provoked by it. and the initiative f or the persecution passed f rom the Inquisition to � in 1532 . then. In Germany. 1 563 and 1604. f ap Bull on the sub ject." (Unot charms but coi arious power of gold and money.the Imperial legal code enacted by the Catholic Charles V the persecution was legalized by three Acts of Parliament passed in 1 542.thing relating to the supernatural. were also passed in Scotland. stressing. this was the task the "visitors" appointed by the Lutheran Church with the consent ofthe German aJ{ mous. the intellectual climate that prevailed Ur� ing the Renahsance.9 Before neighbor accused neighbor. denunciations were solicited. the Carolina . However." a steady indoc­ trination took place. In Protestant England. InnocentVIJI's Sum". Switzerland. Witch-hunting reached its peak between 1580 and 1630. with the authorities publicly expressing anxiety about the spreading ofwitches. again. especially in Italy. indicated that the e h the infamous 1 976: 19) cuLninacing. These were re-issued in subsequent as years to expand the nwnber of those who could be executed and. the ma jor crime. if they suspected anyone 0 being a witch.. and Nicolo Machiavelli looked with irony at the clerical tales COn_ cerning the deeds of the devil.sununing up the perspective of the intellectual elite and the aristocratic circles of the time (Parinetto 1 998: 29-99).

ofetlgmllillgs the Centum (lr'.is uns .st Hfl/IS &lJutlg Grietl produced. pomogmphimlly exploiril�� rhe fellltlie body tlndcr 167 . 71. rile guise of dellu/ltimio/l.hefirst (Illd mostfilltlom of" series starting itl 1510. WrrcHES SABBATH.

The witch-hunt was also dle first persecution in Europe that made use of a Illu] l �edia propaganda to generate a mass psychosis among the population. by the end ofme 1 6th cennny. witho t o n Jd u turies of dle Church's misogynous campaigru against women. agreed that this was the most nefarious crime. it was the ministers and the authorities who fueled SliSpICIOns. the birth of modern science. I n this "century of geniuses" . contrary to the stereotype.was Jean on the cooperation of the most reputed intellecruals of the time.Bacon. who is credited wim authoring (DemommliaJ 1 580). the witch-hunt was not just a uct of popish f anaticism or of the machinations of the Roman Inquisition. They were the ones who systematized the argurnenu answered the critics and perf ected a legaJ machine that. But. including philosophell athers of modern rationalism. and that children too be burned. through pampWets publicizing the most famo trials and the details of their atrocious deeds. in which he insisted that witches should be burned alive instead of philosophical and scientific rationalism. me men of the law could COunt the English political theorist Thomas Hobbes. statesm en. and the development of Galileo. wrote a volume of "proofS" being "mercifully" strangled before being thrown to the flames.s : the magistrates. the famous French lawyer and political theorist. The Roman Catholic Church provided the metaphysical and ideological scaff soin sly of the witch-hunt and instigated the persecution of witches as it had previou rg­ gated the persecution of the heretics . Among them was and scientists who are still praised as the f the Aristotle and Montesquieu of the 16th century. Artists were recruited to the task. to whom we owe the most damning portraits of witches. f orcing them. Descartes . Pascal. Judges. among them the Gennan BaJdung.d tion. ��a . that the witch-hunt was a major political initiative.lie to the dangers posed by the witches.a century that saw the triumph of the of witches . Alerting the pu�: . witchcraft became one of the favorite sub­ jects of debate f or the European intellectual elites. accounting f or the similarities of a standardized. that they should be cau­ terized so dlat their flesh should rot before death. and made sure that they would resule in denunciations. Bodin was not an isolated case. was one of the first tasks of the printing p US (Mandrou 1 968: 136). the witch-hunt wo have been possible. above all . the many papal bulls u ­ cen ut ing the secular authorities to seek out and punish "witches" and. lawyers. There can be no doubt. among other things. while in dle areas where the InqIJISIO e operated (Italy and Spain) the number of executions remained comparatively Iow. Bodin. to wrote pamphJets and demonologies." and called f or its punishment. To stress this point is not to mininuze the role dlat the Church played in the persecu­ ol. Kepler. M r 168 prod. then. But it was the jur i contributed to the persecution. OI the secular courts conducted most of the trials. Copernican Revolution. A fierce enemy Bodin. often embodied by the same person. Hr. philosophers. who rn� ga� ormat to the trials. to carry signs on thm dresses so that people would keep away from them (Mazzali 1988: 1 1 2). In their work.obsessive in his hatred for them and in his calls for bloodshed . who despite his skepticism concerning the reality of witchcraft. theologians all became preoccupied with the "problem. (St�u�s 1975: 54). they also mad e sure that th� accused would be totally isolated. scientists. participated in many trials. In Northern haIy. approved the persecution as a means of social control. . whom historian Trevor Roper calls the first treatise on inflation. almost bureaucratic f the confessions across national boundaries. Shakespeare. At its. Without the Inquisition. and the demonologists.

and performed many . The collaboration between the spared embarrassment be ed to and state was even closer in the areas of the Reformation. the even began to restrain the zeal of the authorities against witches� \��le inten­ �tion of Jews (Milano 1963:287-9). to y openly revealed i� political �onnotations. caused the other abominations? (However. Scodand. hundreds oj thousands of women were tried. tortured. usually obtained 1IDder tonure. the witch-hunt spread from France and Italy to (lennaI1Y. as the clergy on oded of shedding blood. example. crossing aU boundaries.13 : �Y explanatory theory. ideolog religious The political nature of the wltch-hunt IS further demonstrated by the fact that protestant Reformation.Church (as in England) or me Church had become [he State (as in Geneva. Here one branch of power legislated and executed. the centralization of state-power. the InqulSltlOn always persecution sifying its cooperation the of the state to carry out the executions. we have no way of establishing their authenticity. there no sure answers to these ques­ apinst the witches are so grotesque and unbelievable as to be inconunensurable with any motivation or crime. A major obstacle in the way of an explanation has been the fact that the charges It must be inunediately stated that. one cannot 1ritch-hullt was quite reasonable in the context of the contemporary belief structure!) Itcount for tlle extermination of the witches as simply a product of greed. What fears instigated such concerted policy of genocide? Why was so much vio­ Jcoce unleashed? And why were its primary targets women? I Devil Beliefs and Changes in the Mode of Production are tions. the shift in legal procedure from a private to a public accu­ 169 . beCome me r extent.11 Moreover.to what transpires of traditional folklore from between the cracks in the recorded An added problem is that we do not have the viewpoint of the victims. WItc h-hunt . the 1987). murdered scores of children. of a European unifi­ _Off. which undermined the Catholic Church's power. '!fier the schism brought about by the Reformation. accllsed of having sold body and soul to the devil and. Further. by magical means. Scotland). Switzerland. contenting themselves with identifying the preconditions for of the Reformation and Coumer-Reformation on social life (Levack It is for these reasons that some historians. burned death of their neighbors.t2 How to account for the fact that for more than two centuries. as no reward COInparable to the riches of the Americas could be obtained from the execution and the Coa6scation of the goods of women who in the majority were very poor. made potions with their flesh.as Carlo Ginzburg ( 1991) has done confessions. in le¥eral European countries. Thus. it is no exaggeration to daiIn that the witch-/amt lVas theflrst unifyillg terraill iu the politics oJtlte flelV Europeatlllatiotl­ sUItS. some historians ask us to believe that the alive or hanged. like Brian Levack. sucked their blood. For. and lesse a and. destroyed cattle and crops. the first both CathOlic and Protestant nations. and no matter how well we listen . England. raised storms. for all that Jemains of their voices are the confessions styled by the inquisitors. abstain from present­ � system that occurred in the late Middle Ages. even today. at war against each other in every other respect. and Sweden. to this day. where the State had � �rch joined arms and shared arguments co persecuce witches.for instance.

their labor.f or instance. These phenon�ena only led to the growth of poverty . and social dislocation (Le Roy Ladune 1 9 .11 Soutll America (1980). That the charges : � crime" exceplum. while at the same time it evoked the maximum ofhor­ f act ror . what is "natural" and what is antago­ tomary rights. . the Witch hunters truly believed in the charges which they leveled against their ' . f or such agnosticism. In son" (which.itions of lif e rad.(as it is often true with political repression in times ofintense social change and conflict) . hut so are the" metaphysical underpinnings of the social order .shism . however.all these f actors indicate that the target of the witch-hunt .­ nistic to the established customs and social relations (T aussig value is created. his association ber\vee the devil and the commodity f orm reminds us that also in the background ofthe \vitc hunt there was d. Taussig devel­ oped h is theory by studying the helief s of Colombian agricultural laborers and Bolivian �at tin lniners at a time when. and the charge of"terrorism" in our times. tOftUrt the charge of witchcraft perf onned a function similar to that perfonned by "high trea­ introduced into the English legal code in the same years).There is no need. 208). . in the cases Taussig scuclie 1 980: 1 7fl). Thus. was th ings . then we mllst conclude that witch-hunting in Europ \Va e e s an . in his classic work torical periods when one mode of production is being supplanted by another. the conception of how TI. bue previously accepted practices and groups of individuals that had to be eradicated from the conununity. If we consider the rust . through terror and criminalization. that witchCraf in the trials often ref t was orms of f emale behavior which they no long than in the elimination of generalized f er tolerated and had to be made abominable in the eyes of the population. nor do we have to decide wh e th . Still. where the author maintains that devil-beliefS arise in those his­ A first insight into the meaning of the European witch-hunt can be f ound in the" was the poor who suspected the better-offof devil worship. significantly. In such periods not only are the material cond. which involved the abolitio n h­ us­ n of c ��� 170 .ic resources. . hunger. that it was was included. or cyrucally used them as instruments of social repression. on a e l context in which the witch-hunl: occurred. they also transferred power into the hands of a new class of"moderruzers tile expansion of rural capitalism. II surviving f orms of subsistence-oriented production.£lationary wave i n modern Europe. • Witch hunting was also instrumental to the construction ofa new patriarchal ord where women's bodies. ishable even in the absence of any proven damage to persons and that is.Th. what generates lif e and growth. e spread 0f C�Ptt ' 1St reI3tlOns and the powe r that . the gender and class afthe accused and th eff ects ohhe persecution. and the first in. a crime to be investigated by special means. The very vagueness of the charge . compared with the older and stiD. 'vh0 . monetary relations were taking root t in peoples' eyes seemed deadly and even cliabolical.meant that i t could be used to punish any f orm of protest and to generate suspi­ cion even towards the most ordinary aspects of daily life. impossible to prove it. and th .is means under the control af the state and transf tha ishment of any specific tr:iInsgreSSiO the witch hunters were less interested in the pun made a erred to events that had occurred decades earlier. aI' attaek on won len 5 resl�tance co [h . women had gamed by virtue of thea sexua elf ability to heal. their sexual and reproductive powers were Pla e ormed into econom. hty. in both countries.. er vlCtlrns . thesis proposed by Michae1 Taussig.e Devil alld CommodilY Fet.the tills sense. their control over reproduction.ically transf onned. . and it pun.were not socially recognized crimes.

She was struck 171 . As for the diabolical crimes of the witches.. Mandrou 1968: 77)... they to the experience of superinllation conunon at the time Ippear to us as nothing more than the class struggle played out at the village level: the 'evil. . That the spread of rural capitalism. It was in times of need if'tbey were married. of witches (as weU as the fear of being accused of witchcraft.Kittredge 1929: 163)...while in the Anglicized and privatized -. It is signi6cant that.' the curse of the beggar to whom an aIm has been refused. and the . most of the wltch tnals occurred IIIEssex.. : . Jlent of one percent of the female population . Only as the persecution progressed. wage laborers . with all its consequences (land expropriation. that is. Later William Goodwin's servant denied her yeast.cottars.in the Highlands and in Ireland. Thomas 1971: . a derail perhaps related (t. and old '"""'" of sixty-five hanged at Tyburn in 1585: She had picked a basket of pea" in the neighbor'S field without per­ mission.r Ibat the Devil appeared to them. the demand for public assistance (Macf. whereupon his bre\v1ng stand dried up. both as "a platform on which a wide range of and a weapon by which 65). often their employers or landlords. the default on the nt of rent. The most outstancling examples in this cOntext are have nO record c:uU precluded the conmlUnal clivisions and the type of complicity with the both areas that made a \v1tch-hunt possible. the witch-hunt claimed at least 4. Thus .dane 1 970: 97. women t:be deepening of social distances.� ce t o social and ec�nomic restructuring coul� be d�feated.. the witches were usually old women on public assistance or women who sur­ was sowed among the population. couJd be pursued" (Normand and Roberts 2000 cj<eS • • • %e � British Isles where land privatization had neither occurred nor was on the agenda of witch-hunting.Asked to return them she flung them down in angcr. T heir poverty stands out in the confessions. where no trace can be found of the perse­ on. InEngland.willie those who ICCQSe(i them were wealthy and prestigious members of the conmlUnity.. individuals who were part of the local power structures IDd often had close ties with the central State. In vived by going from house to house begging for bits of food or a pot of wine or milk.. the breakdown of coUective relations) was a decisive fac­ .000 victims. t'fe. did accusations also come from neighbors.all·stEurope. likely because a coUective land-tenure system and kinship ties still prevailed in the presbyterian Reformation. but more often they were wid­ IIbes.e that Scottish Lowlands. OWS and lived alone.u.since then no pears would grow in the field. their husbands were day laborers." although the money he would give them on such occasions would soon turn to 1983: 95. where the hulk of the land had been enclosed. the equiv­ were safe during the witch-burning times. or of "subversive asso­ ciation'') Eagland. The many ways in which the class struggle contributed to the � � of anEnglish witch are shown by the charges against Margaret Harken. where the subsistence economy \vas vanishing under the ilnpact of and the Scottish Western Highlands.t . popular beliefs and practook off. It was by the initiative of this proto-capitalist class that the witch­ . to assure them that from now on they "should never WIDt. while in those regions of 1b century the 1 6 with fear and repulsion at the conununal fonns of life that had been typical of -""p". in the background of the witch-hunt is also proven by the fact that the majority of Ibose accused were poor peasant women .

surroutldered by I. Mother DeveU. Mother Waterhouse. after which they were unable to make butter or cheese (Thomas 1971: 556)." described as begging for some cake or butter and "falling out" with many of her neighbors (Rosen 1969: 76--82) . Windsor and Osyth. when denied yeast by a neighbor. id­ Mother Margaret and Mother Dutton. Elizabeth Stile. made one Grace lame af ter being denied some cheese. A gentleman told his servant to refuse her buttermilk. one of the Chelmsf r witches.and all of them went around begging and presumably caking revenge when denied.vitek· old. Ursula Kemp. Mother Margaret lived in the almshouse. later he died.VERS. decrepit. ntld yet "llIintainjng a defimll posture. W1TCHCRA"�rs by a baillif who had caught her taking wood from the master's ground.: 96).: ord 83-9\). cursed a neighbor who later developed a great pain in her head. all his horses died. DrSCOVliRl£S OF7HF. was a "very poor woman. On being refused some old yeast. (ibid. to death after he re 172 llPO� � . going away. were also poor w ows. the baillifwent mad. like their alleged leader Mother Seder. hanged at O s)" in 1 582. Another paid her less f or a pair of shoes than she had asked.er crotlies. which the neighbor's child f eU vehemently sick (ibid. One finds the same pattern in the case of the women who were "presented" to court at Chelmsford. the Collector f or the poor. 16 1 9. OF M ARGARErAND From THE WONDERF U L PHIWP FLOJ. hanged at Chelmsford in 1566. Mothe Scaunton suspiciously murmured. Elizabeth Francis. A neighbor refused her a horse. executed at Windsor in 1 579. she also caused a swell' � in the bottom ofAgnes Letherdale's child after the latter denied her some scouri ng sal fos Alice Newman plagued Johnson.er ntljmtds tllld I.A classic image ojtile Etlglish .

The daily experience of these people shows there is no limit to the use of superstitions .rwelve pence. 2000: xvii) so chat every event is interpreted as the expression of an occult power that must be deci­ phered and bent to one's will.. they are written on pieces of paper. The battle against magic has always accompanied the development of capitalism.. where the accused were also poor co�rs. the witch-hunt were living in constant fear of the "lower classes. to this very day..e Magical Universe (2000). and the branches of a certain tree.: a similar pattern in Scotland.. who denied her a piece of meat (ibid. these rituals 173 . As StephenWilson points out in n. taostilit'Y of their neighbors on account of having pushed their cattle to graze on their having paid the rent (Lamer 1983). They also make strange signs... swallowed. And then they practice magic with herbs.ty. to keep away harm and evil. using the names of Go d . Magic is premised on the belief that the world is animated. or not � I Witch Hunting and Class Revolt grew in a social environment where As we can see from these cases. probably with some exaggeration. who's enchanted them or to get an amulet. and life" (p.. roots. That trus fear expressed itself as an attack on popular magic is nO[ surprising. ::::tr ticed.These words are uttered both openly and in secret. when taking the beasts t6 the field.." (Wilson.. she also punished one Buder. but barely surviving and often arous1l1g the to on ng .ry thing they had. and that chere is a force in all things: "water.closing the windows at night.. What this implied in everyday life is described. trees. Jand..]. unpredictable. always trying to disaster and wishing therefore "to placate.. when they have lost an object or failed to find it.in1y be expected . in the letter of a German minister sent after a pastoral visit to .and even manipulate these con01 � forces . rhymes.health. they have their particular day and place for all these things (Strauss 1975: 21). and to procure the good which consisted . of the HolyTrinity. incantation.." who could cer­ the "better sorts" to harbor evil thoughts because in this period they were losing a... when someone gets ill or a cow behaves in a strange way they run at once to the sooth­ sayer to ask who robbed them. Everyone here takes part in superstitious practices. But in the eyes of the new capitalist class. xviii). words. without first taking recourse to some sign.. well-being.still 19).the people who prac­ were mostly poor people who struggled to survive. with words. when picking up or putting down the child.. noises and gestures.of the twelve Apostles . carried as amulets. For exam­ ple during labor pains... names.village in 1594: The use of incantations is so widespread that there is no man or woman here who begins or does anything .magic or pagan means.. substances. ftrt..We find a piece of land of their own.of theVirgin Mary.cajole.

most were Its likely targets. with many men imprisoned or slaughtered) remai ned t �t ROY 6 Ladurie f ound i n the Cevennes.This is what may ha\"t happened in Southwestern Germany. excessive taxation.By the � 6th century. it was above orecast the future. heal their neig h_ bors. armed with pitch­ f orks and spades. 1 628. in 1 593-1595. It was women. H owe\-" ' women who were seeking to protect their children from starvation. Even when the were not expert sorc rers/ll1agicians. there was the revolt of the Croquants against the tithes. a phenomenon that caused mass starvation in large areas of Europe. such as the ones Le 174 . Ai!lung · at comrolli ng nature. from 1 47 [0 he has not asked if there were f amily or conununity relations. which carry on the resistance. Though the witch-hunt targeted a broad variety of f them f emal tations and divinations . � n thus not easily generalized and eXPI en a Oi a Magl� was also an obs cl to th rao?nalizaIon o t� work process.h) [that] there Wert the greatest number of charges and persecutions"(Kamen 1 972: 249). f or generations would have been magnified into a demonic conspiracy had they occurred against a background of an intense social crisis and scuggJe.h century and the first half of the 1 7. and the rising price During these revolts. when hundreds ofmen. as well as the beliefin the existence of � � ailable only to particular individ�a1s. help them find lost or stolen objects. and the possibility of establ ishin a g privileged relation with the natural elements. they were the ones who were called to mar aJUm s when they f ell Sick. establishment afthe pnnclple ofmdiVldual responsibility. healers. and the revoh at Cordoba in 1652 that likewise was initiated by women. molecular conception of the diff usion of power in the world was an � ema. women and children. hel this anarchic.that women were persecuted. give them amulets or love potions. including the uprisings against the "enclosures" in England (in who has observed that it was "precisely in the period when there was the main price not 1549. although in a more subterranean maimer. that the magical arts that women had practiced all in this capacity . where a witch-hunt f ollowed by two decades S· end of the Peasant W ar. moreover. Exemplary were the revolt that occurred at Montpellier in 1645. Erik Midelfort has excluded the eXl ! tence of a connection between these two phenomena (M. giving confide nce to the poor in their ability to manipulate the natural and social environment and possi­ It is doubtf ul. performers of incan_ � bly subvert the constituted order. 17 between the thousands of peasants who. The world had to be "disenchanted" in order to be dominated. � � � � � � ��� � � � � � practices. the attack against magic was well under way and wO men . and a threa t to th . the capitalist organization of work must refu se the unpredictability implicit in t�e practice of magic. The coincidence between social-econom i c crisis and witch-hunting has been noted by Henry Kamen. Writing on the sub ject. ofinsubordination. pro­ claiming that "from now on we needn't work any more. it was often women who initiated and led the action. whO o (after the revoltS were crushed. on the other hand. hike (between the end of the 1 6. 1631)." [n France. Above all. magic seemed af or ofrefusal ofwork. and an instrument ofgrassroots resistance to p w rn o er. IS For their claim to magical power undermined the power of the authorities and the state. 16 Even more significant is the coincidence between the imensification of the per­ secution and the explosion of urban and rural revoles. These were the "peasant wars" against land privatization.as sorcerers.idelf ort 1972: 68). was started b)' of bread. 1607. set about destroying the f ences erected around the commons.

. i"dim'irlg . 16JO to .s f. {Olm JWOII l .lu! area 1650.cn s.e wiler Evny lries. • '20 ')0 .'C 1550s key dcmdts were (!.0 " 20 " I 1\ jI / \/... .osefro'" tile . Fran( ill illf Lorm a"d oj Nmllur ers specijimlly to ..lie dY'lllmja bllt it . '50 .e pnseculiot d oJJoo price tlu: wl. I : \\ \ 150S '10 and oj rite wild.) ted.V( of ti. trials /JeIWffl' 1505 11'. (From Henry Ka mclI .5 gmpll. ref t. rl. I � iV'\ II !.120 __ -." oliler EurO represmw. 1972 e5Cilla '40 '60 17S ._ 110 NAMUR LORRAINE 10 10 " so .

. decapitated. I n the same region in in the mountains with 1525 there was a vast peasant uprising. while she was her mother in law. less than two decades later. If the witches had secrets tills may have been one (Muraro 1 977: 46-47). by evoking the horrors ofthe Sabbat. travelling ofte nocturnal r n from far distant places. we can well imagine that the f erocious work repression which the German. who had seen and remembered. lages. on lonesome hills and i n the f orests. by appealing to the old legend. . But there is no doubt ities targeted actual f that. she saw a great fire in the distance. . . through the judges' obsession with these devilish gatherings. . Y et.I8 the peasants crucified.. . hos­ tels f or the poor. cannOt be established." her grand-mother had cried. or Synagogue. and that those who knew guarded the secret o fthese f orbidden meet­ ings. we hear the echo of the secret meetings the peasants held at Signora del Gioco (Tile Lady o f . massacred. But to us there seems to be a connection between the peas­ ant revolt that was being prepared and the tales of mysterious nightly gatllerings . the f reedom to hunt. .1525." 'Came'(gioco) in many diaJects of Northern Italy is the oldest name f or the Sabbat (in the trials oNai di Fierrune there is still men­ tion of a f emale figure who directed the game) . But they were def eated. convents and the clergy's houses. the author� orms of organization. princes conducted. "this is the fire of the Lady of the game. 176 . In tills context. less convents. to plot their revolts. in the same region an d plans of revenge. and those who survived for years were hunted by the revenge of the authorities. and the hundreds and thousa nds \>'il� 0 :� � f eunion where thousands of people presumably congregated.Whether or not. . Muraro conc1udes: The fire of the lady of the game f ades in the distance. sedimented unquenchable hatreds. se c all among older women. It was dass war carried OUt b ail to see a connection between the f other means.. .. . . . in LA night. and were likely to make their hostility known i n numerous ways to the local elites. We can only assume that the peasants at njght secretly met around a fire to warm up and to conununicate with each other.19 The Italian historian famous persecution of the Jews. "Run away. They demanded the elimi­ nation of tithes and tributes.Itt Game)(1977). while in the f oreground there are the fires of the revolt and the pyres of the repres­ sion . continuously rose up in anns against f eudal power and were so brutally def eated and the scores of women who. burned alive. the right of each village to elect its priest . we cannot f ear ofupris ing and the prosecutors' insistence on the Witches Sabbat. besides the echo of the Luisa Muraro has written on this matter. . They burned castles. . a study of the 16th century: of witch trials that took place in the Italian Alps at the beginning During the trials in Val di Fiemme one of the accused spontaneously told the judges that one night. were brought to the stake. above The persecution of witches grew on this terrain. run away.

and riches for whose sake a person was willing to sell (or his) soul.:raye� both as a . and that in the eyes of the prosecutors. the rebels mutilated the body of the magistrate responsi­ contempt for those who sold their blood by threatening to eat urnes showed their ." Parineno charges against the witches. was a central element in the monstrous se�ual orgy and as cleSC"iptions of t�� Sabbat. Parinetto concludes thac. proclaimed that "be fore three days Christian flesh will be sold" and. 177 . during a riot rent with the image of the witch as the personification of moral perversion which is sug­ points out that eating human flesh symbolized a [Otal inversion of social values. Indeed. utopian dimension of the witches' Sabbat is also stressed. consis­ psted by many of the rituals attributed [0 the practice of witchcraft: the mass celebrated the living symbol of "the world turned upside down. a central theme in the morphology of the Sabbat. tile travel. fiCa] specificity. shouJd be interpreted as an attack on the mobility of inmu­ also argues thac the flight.20 Kamen mentions what happened in the town of Romans (Dauphine. that :::� preoccupied the authorities in this period. together with sexual transgression. there is a continuity between the witch-hum and the earlier perse­ � n o�the dae heretics wluch also punished specific forms of social subversion under the of unposi ng religious ortodoxy. also Henry Kamen." a recurrent image in the lit­ ble for the price rise and ofe f red pieces of his flesh for sale (Kamen J 972: 335).i6canc also is �itch and the Devil was masters. when the peasants in revolt against the tithes. Significantly. Parineno points out that the nocturnal dimension of the Sabbat was a violation of the contemporary capi­ talist regularization of work-time. and represents a use of space and time contrary to [he new capitalist work-discipline. reflected in the fear of vagabonds. that is. reading its transgressive features difFerent angle. the morphology of the revolts. the witch was erature of the Middle Ages. It struggle (Dockes 1982: III workers and slaves by made n e oft pacts the like cotljllratio. and a challenge to private property and sexual ortho­ dcaty. Deed to give a modern interpretation of this gathering.Class revolt. . power. in Naples. to infringe every natural and social law. in 1585. an important element in the PInt and itinerant workers. culnuna bversive political witches to rebel against • SU'cipants had conunitted. :: an 222. Le Roy Ladurie 1981: 189. has insisted on the The subversive. the counter-clockwise dances. dressed in a bear skin. cbem 1972: 334. The threat of cannibalism. . in Streghe e Potae (1998). ate delicacies which passed for Christian flesh" (Kamen apinst the high cost of bread. the witch-hunt developed first in � Where the persecution of the heretics had been most intense (Southern France. as rebel workers at recaJls. the Devil «p. and with the devil instructing the the between pact the that sign. "the rebels' leldtr. Kamen bockwards. according to the winter of 1580.:hich was po. of the crimes which the account ong an wIth gathering. nted a promise of love. Again. caDed ::. during the Carnival. by Luciano Parinetto who. (Clark 1980. then. 216). Tigar and Levy 1977: 136). tied to millenarian aspirations of subversion of the social OIlIer. Kamen 1972). a new phenomenon. viewed in its .as the night shadows blurred the distinctions between the sexes and between "mine IDd thine. from a &om the viewpoint of the developing capitalist discipline of work. France). the nocturnal Sabbat appears as a demonization of the utopia ed in the rebellion against the masters and the break-down of sexual roles. � In this sense.

curio" ojthe heretics l/ad bee" most intense. " SECIUM V AWENSIUM. TIle uljrcl. III tIle early period itl some Switzer/at/d. IvircllCs were ofte" rif erred (0 as "looudois. TRACTA1US CON11t-i ill the MetIS ulhere I1l/: pffSf­ tlrt!tJS of 178 .sitln heretics tiS represetlted in jol/arlr'e5 1itl(loris.-hutlt developed first IMdden.

But the outstanding fact is that more than eighty percent �those w ho were tried and executed in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries for the � of witchcraft were women. even the apparent elements of continuity (e. at least in the first phase of the witch-hunt.. By the 16th century. in dae period between 155 0 and 1650. atha � The C ... lically . often being por­ IIayed with horns and claws. Jews too were ritually accused of worshipping the devil. Russell : 34fi). the aoctUrnal promiscuous banquet) had a different meaning than their anticipations in the Church's struggle against the heretics. But. men had represented up to forty percent of the accused. a watershed in European history . one that had been dra­ witch-hunt the t Bu first by the traumas and dislocations produced by the Black Death transformed. In part. The most important difference between heresy and witchcraft is that witchcraft was considered a female crime. In fact. Wh. there was hardly a IIiahop or a politician who.. cannot be doubted. itinerant laborers. Wo:m. and 8Iany Others. y wer� accused �f crimes that entered the decalogue of witchcraft: JCligion. and y heres occurred in a different historical context. from the Cathars to the Adamites.. and a smaller number continued to be prosecuted later. Inevitably. God had spared men from such a scourge. Conn of entrap historians. infantIcide. of serving the devil. and so were John Knox in Scocland.ile the authors of the Malleus TUm explained that women were more prone to witchcraft because of their "insa- I Witch-Hunting. That the witch was a woman was also stressed by the demonologists. especially the pope. accused of magic. these were ntual charges that the �hurch sodom y s moved against rival religions. in the 15th and 16th centuries.g.� _ Jura. the continuity between orial uisit IDq witchcraft. the heretics too were burned at the stake as traicors to the true .. who rejoiced . In some regions of Switzerland. was responsible for the increased preoccupation of the some to ing cord Middle Ages with the presence of the Devil in the world and the the late in hurch view of witchcraft as a counter-church. significancly. In an earlier phase. . Northern Italy). the nts used to justify tIus phenomenon changed.21 Further.and later. Protestants accused Catholics. in the heat of the moment.an-Hunting. Jean Bodin in France. They had also embraced a Manichean religion that.. then. of marnage and even of procreatIon. and t�� . essent been an par�cular. mostly dawn from the ranks of the vagabonds. aruma! worslup. infanticide.. was not accused of being a witch. except.. beggars. ("Waldenses") (Monter 1976: 22. N. Thus. witches called Hereg. as we have seen. y. ("heretic") or Waudoi. as well as the gyp­ lies and lower-class priests.vaca ment for the soul. Luther himself . This was especially true at the peak of the persecution. in an early phase. a sexual revolutIon had had alwa ial ingredient of the heretic movement. moreover. by the profound change in class relations brought about by the capitalist reorganization of eco­ aomic and social life. had � hallenged the Church's degrade� view of wOl en and in rs.. which they considered a rejectIon the ted .ulation of Labor � 179 . and the Accu:m. Sigrid Brauner ( 1995) has noted. more women were persecuted for witchcraft III this per iod than for any other crime. the charge of devil worship bad become a conunon theme in political and religious struggle.

But this expIa leO el lab tion too does not go far enough. By the 17th and animals. the women whol11 demo­ nologists prosecuted as witches were (according to this theory) practitioners of ancient f ertility cults aiming to propitiate birth and reproduction . the f act that until the e A diff erent explanation is that the prominence of reproductive crimes in t In cal typi witch-trials was a consequence of the high infant mortality rates that were eS the and centuries due to the growth of poverty and malnutrition. died so sudde nly. It does not account f or the f act that women as in suppOrt of this view. but wh.cults that had existed in the Mediterranean areas f or thousands of years. (witches) destroy the offipring ofwomen . being accompanied by the virtual demonization of contraceptive practices .tiable lust. of procuring abortions. the witch came to be associated with a lecherous old woman." Martit A fitrther diff erence between the persecutions of the heretics and that of th e witches is chat in the latter the charges of sexual perversion and inf anticide had a c en. the Bull of Irmocent VI II The association between contraception. hostile to new lif e. reproductive crimes f eafilred prominently in the trials. did 'he heretic become a IWlna". abortion." 1 6dt all ofthese factors have been cited � 16th 17th d 180 . were blamed f or the f act chat so many cltildren died. But all smgled ou[ women as evil beings.. " They hinder men f rom generating and women f rom conceiving.ich the Church opposed as pagan rites and a challenge to its power. and why lvas religious and soriaI transgression ref ocused as predominantly a reprodudive aime? In the 1920s the English anthropologist Margaret Murray in TIle Witch-Cui. . the role that women played in the Middle Ages as conununity healers. con jurations and other accursed supersti­ tions and horrid channs.a stereotype later popularized by children's books. I n the popuJar imagination as weU.22 The presence of ntidwives among the accused. enormities and off enses. in l#stern Europe (1921) proposed an explanation that has recently been revived by eeo­ f entinists and practitioners of"Wicca. spells. Witcl� it is argued. spurred by a new f ear of doctrinal deviation. W1ty Sl4c/I a change in the tra jectoryfrom heresy to lvitchcrafi? WlI)'. who fed upon inf ant flesh or used children's bodies to make her magical potions . tra! role." Murray argued that witchcraft was an ancient matrif ocal religion to which the [nquisition filrned its attention after the defeat of heresy. and of belonging to an infanticidal sect devoted to killing children or offering them to the devil. cenfilry ch ild-birth was considered a f emale " mystery. weakness as the anglO of this perversIOn. � (1484) which complained that n by their incantations. cenfilry witches were accused of conspiring to destroy the generative power of humans From then on. I n other words. and witchcraft first appeared i stressed women's moral and tnen� � uther �nd hum�nist writers . But this hypothesis cannot explain the tinting of the witch-hunt. whence neither husbands with their wives nor wives with their husbands can perf onn their sexual acts (Kors and Peters 1972: 107--{)8). i" other words. or were vulnerable to a broad array of ailments. jt! rht course o j a century. s nor �eU us why these f ertility cults became so abontinable in the eyes of the authoritie to call f or the extermination of the women practicing the old religion. die l1a� shortly after birth.

Against this bac . As we have seen earlier. when population in Europe began again to decline. and saw the beginning of demographic record­ . at least in part. deaths and marriages). raising the spectre of a demographic coUapse similar to that which had OCCUrred in the American colonies in the decades after the Conquest. what is certain is that the witch-hunt was promoted by a polit­ class that was preoccupied with population decline and motivated by the conviction 1>lri a large population is the wealth of the nation. This is a hypothesis. Thus.es cooking clti/dren. of census-taking. From FrmutJ[o Maria as witches were also accused of preventing conception. the rubric under which the question of the size of the work-force was discussed at the time. kgro und. with the question of repro­ duction and population size.CUd2'2'O� COMPEND/U\I MAlEFlCARUM. at the service of popu- :! . and the formalization of demog- 181 . . an attempt to on tncrease and the production and accumulation oflabor-power. it seems plausible that the witch-hunt was. and it fails to place the witch­ hunt in the context of 16th-century economic and institutional policy.. the labor question be came especially urgent in the 17[h century. (of bir ths. it misses the significant connection between the attack on witches and the development of a new concern.h cen­ �e birth comrol and place the female body. Wi/cI. among European statists and economists. the uterus. 1608. es were the heyday of Mercantilism.. The fact that the 16th and 17.

lile Youngerj." traditional ly 1975: 6£1)23."TIlt: Dallce o j Deal"/' iI series offorty-one designs first primed in Frollce in 1538..ltUlge 182 .raphy itselfas the first "state-science" is a clear proof ofthe strategic importance that Co n� trolling population movements witch-hunt (CuUen We also know that many witches were lnidwtves or "wise women.lJ o j i'ifn'" mortalilty is well-mplured by this .e d"'". TI. was acquiring in the political circles that instigated the from Halts Ho/be..

t nended that no woman should be allowed to practice this art. a conspiracy other IJl2de easier.ches offer children to the Devil. 'The Malleus derucated an entire chapter to them. the authors birth. been their inviolable mystery. 183 . they charged. by the begiIllung of the 17th century. within a century. for that they did not lude their pregnancies or deliver children out of wedJock inStance. marginalized.starting from the end of the 16th cen­ or were few women were allowed to practice obstetrics. by the exclusion of men from the rooms where women gave 24 Observing that there was not a hut that did not board a midwife.to check.ritll ofAgnes Sampson.'This reconunendation did not go unheard. unless she first recolTU demo nstrated to have been a "good Catholic. until that time. obstetrics has come almost entirely Wi. Then. 1591. since they helped the mother destroy the frult of her womb. had ury. arguing that they were worse than any As we have seen. woman.the depository of women's reproductive knowledge and control (Midelfort 1972:172). A woodcutfrom tI tmd 011 tile . Both in France and England. mjdwives were either recruited to police women . the first male tnid wives began to appear and. an activity that.

also enables us to avoid specuJating on the inten­ tions of the persecutors. the precondition f or its subord. in other words. that midwiv were marginalized because they were not trusted. Ulle5· Certainly. and concluded from tlus horrendous attack waged upon them . f ablialfx: ready to take initiatives. in f and relatives being burned at the stake. among those indicted there were women suspected of specific cr � One was ac�used ofP? isoning her husband. fo� act. � �. argued. in f act. and did not cry under torture . 184 . There is convincing evidence. and institutionalized the state's control over the f emale body. Descriptions of witches [he remind us of women as they were represented in the medieval morality plays and or . Thus. and realize that any contraceptive initiative on their side might be construed as the product of a demonic perversion . 25 from th � Just as the E"c/osures expropriated the peasa"try.under state control. swore. often organizing in f emale associations. For the tlrreat if rite stake erected more them toj midable barriers around lvofflenj bodies rlran were ever erected by thel eI/dug o ff if tire commOllS.looking. and because their exclusion prof ession undermined women's control over reproduction. when women had be involved. According to Alice Clark: The continuous process by wh ich women were supplanted by men in the prof ession is one example of the way in which they were excluded &om all branches of prof essional work." as Anne L. and concentrate instead on the eff ects of the witch-hunt on the social position of women.llUm rom any impedimew prevent. "Rebel She was the beggar who eked out a living by stealing some wood or butter from her neighbon.n expropriated wOlllellJrom their bodiesl Ivllich were thus /(liberatedJlj UflCtioll as machinesf or the production if labor. in the course of the struggle against f eudal power. in the witchcraft trials. imagine what eff ect it had on women to see their neighbors. But the witch was not only the midwif e. it describes the f emale perso"ality that had developed. another ofcausing the eath ofher eJl1pIO . e as a case of f emale de-profes­ But interpreting the social decline of the midwif sionalization misses irs significance. holding a whip. f elt. as aggressive and lusty as men. at the persecution "from within. Rather.ination to the reproduction of labor-power. Barstow has done in her Witchcraze (1 994) . pas­ the peasantry. among en ing a growing challenge to male authority and the Church. or also the loose. wearing male clothes . and here ref ers not necessarily to any specific subversive activity in which women might ))( in the f orefront of the heretical movements. chere can be no doubt that the witch­ hunt destroyed the methods that women had used to control procreation. The witch was also " the rebel woman who talked back. the woman who exercised her sexuality outside the bonds of marriage and procre­ ation.from the commwlal landl so tile Ivillh.the prostitute or aduJteress. "ill repute" was evidence of guilt. through being denied the opportunity of obtaining an adequate prof essional training (Clark 1968: 265). friends We can. From this point of view .26 Seeking to understand what the women hunted as witches and the other women in their commu_ nity must have thought. pronuscuous woman . another agam of haVing prosotllted her daughter (Le Roy Ladune 1974: 203-()4)· proudly riding on their husbands' backs. the woman who avoided maternity. especially gener­ ally. by indicting them as diabolical devices.

particularly the tvomaIJ of tIle Iou. in GUS[ as [he was lllasten in England did with runaway slaves). especially their l8S .w classes. 16th century. According to the standard procedure. England. declared. a woman who generated so much fear that in her case the relation between education and punishmem was rurned upside down. that was put 0" trial. tlre Immt alive. including their vaginas." it lOme villages few were spared. IOotth for the mark with wlUch the devil presumably branded IUs crearures Ihea they were pricked with long needles all over their bodies. they submitted to even more atrocious ordeals: their limbs were torn. the accused were Also the sexual sadism displayed by the torntres to which the accused were sub­ lbipped naked and completely shaved (it was argued that the devil hid among their hair). including the children of the witches. which all the members of C°llUnunity had to attend. their bones were crushed. it investigated 1Vbether Or not they were virgins . but the IVOmatl as such." And indeed. Often they were raped.a sign of innocence. in Jected reveals a misogyny that has no parallel in history. and if they did not confess.III the market of Gucmsty. Jean Bodin was not only the deviant woman. t!tree WOlt/ttl AI/ollymous ftlgmving. and cannot be accounted for on the basis of any specific crime. care � was taken so that the lesson to be drawn from their end wouJd not Unheeded. "We must. The execution was an important public event. they were seated : � �n chain under which fires were lit. "spread terror among some by punishing many. And when they were -as Or bu rnt.

image of women f orged by the demonologists and the image of f emininity consttucted typical woman. it was a concerted atte . but one who had litcle power . i � t \ .29 H e w . It The witch-hum reversed the power relation between the devil and the \VttC 186 . and destroy thelf SOetal power. . His image was that of an unsuccessful ill­ aS def encling his case in front ofa court oflaw (Seligman 1948: 1 5 1-58). as the witch-hu f amily lif nt progressing. t degrade them. and perf orm according to his master's wiJl. was credited with some virtues. while inf anticide was made a capital crime 'l7 emale friendships became an ob ject of suspicion. then." which in the Middle Ages had meant "friend. the Renaiss I W i t c h .The witch-hunt. a f urther sign of the degree to which the power of and conununal ties were undermined.s a sk illful worker who could be llsed to dig mines or build city walls. At the same time. Also. f :: e. was a war against women. In this case. daughters who. ." changed its meaning. too. willing Ot not. in some cases. althou gh he 1 31 routinely cheated when the time came for his recompense. demoruze them. that effectively The sexual politics of the witch-hunt is revealed b y the relation between the witch and the devil. It was also in this period that the word denounce each other as accomplices in cri a derogatory cOllnotatio n . denounced Simultaneously. weak in body and mind and biologically prone to evil. gender and property relations. devil as subordinate being called to task.on.a sprinkling of holy water and a few holy words w�rt usuaJly sufficient to def eat hjs schemes. The l11edieva� made . as in the case of H \Vas outlawed and so was birth out of wedlock. an umnistakable continuity between the practices targeted by the witch-Ilu Ilt and those banned by the new legislation that in the same years was introduced to regu laCe e. "gossip. would be whipped in f ront of the stake on which they could see their mother burning alive.0 the torture chambers and on the stakes on which the \virches perished that the bouvas til '&eOIS ideals of womanhood and domesticity were f orged. which is one of the novelties introduced by the 1 6th and 1 7 th-century with that to be f o und i n the medieval lives of the saints or in the books of Renajssance magicians.Hunting a n d Male S upremacy: T h e Taming o f W o m e n trials. view of the relati onship between the devil and the magician always portrayed �. At the same time prostitution Scotland by the stake. f ar from inspiring horror. Across western Europe. The Great Witch-Hunt marked a change in the image of the devil compared also l devil was a logician. the witch-hunt amplified contemporary social trends. (0 h. like a setvant.ished the adulteress with death (in England i gh Treason) . Th ere i . acquiring from the to WOmen Also at the ideological level. sometimes represented in the act 0 doer who.just as women-tO-WOnte pulpit as subversive of the alliance between husband and wif n ized by the prosecutors of the witches who f relations were demon orced them me. laws were passed that pun. In the former. competent in legal matters. the devil was portrayed as an evil being. 5. there is a dose correspondence between the degraded by the contemporary debates on the "nature of the sexes. In f act."28 which canonized a stereo­ served to justify male control over women and the new patriarchal order.

in both tile Mediterranean and Teutonic regions. in the place of the multitude of devils to be found in the medieval and Renaissance � and a masculitle Devil at that.es mINty Ihe soul of(I womml wI.TI. He stamped her with his mark. even when in revolt against human and divine law. "'n : 1I.e ftact.. Woodru(from OlllUS MagI/us. in a clear . . DllOme instances. Mter revealing himself to her. the succubus in body and sow.r 1983: 148). She rarely conjured him up" tint. he would ask her to become his ser­ handtwife relation.. the witch-hunt introduced olle siugle "41 del zogo'�..6guratio n of women's matrimonial destiny. while Ibe Devil functioned as her owner and master.. whose cWcs were spread among women in the Middle Ages. 1555). and what would follow then would be a classic example of a master/slave. Moreover.e dtvil CIIrr. hus­ (Lam. lltvil. pimp and husband at once.had to be represented as a perverted marriage conThe marital analogy was carried so far that the witches would confess that they"did How preoccupied were the witch hunters with the affirmation of male supremacy 187 . HIS'101UA DE GBN71BUS SEP1T:NfRlONAUnuS (Rom e. the slave. Hera. who "approached the intended witch. had sexual intercourse with her and.o st'rved IIi". and the culmination of their rebellion with the devil . for instance. &mous pact be seen from the fact that. women to be portrayed as subservient to a man.. in contrast with the female figures (Diana. It was the Devil. he even changed her name (Lamer 1983: 148). the woman now who was the servant.

are lovely to look at but co ntaminatin authors of the Malleus Maleficamm preacI g to the touch.".I I S ) A witch. they do everything to I P or their vices COSt men them. until ' orced to return them to their owners.nr bodies. btl[ the pleasure they give is more bitter than death. no man could f or even a f itch. In a village or small town of a few thousand people. every woman.J1 under duress. which they hid in great numbers in bird nests or boxes. IMmlellfly Oil their brooms to list 5abbat qfter applyillg u"gut7lt. tf hunt which derived witchcraf Not only did the witch-hune sanctify ma1e supremacy. but only to undermine them. presumably. could castrate men or make them Impotent.S to tl. printJrom 17.30 generative f �n � � � Some stole ma1e penises. either by f reezi ng their orces or causing their penis to come out and draw back as she wished. where at the peak of the witch-hunt dozens of women were burned in the space of a few years e and be sure that he did nOt live with a w eel saf ew weeks. they were f But who were these witches who castrated men or made them impotent? Potentially.a contradiction with respect to the ideology ofthe Wit C rom women's insatiable lust. and even to look at them as the destroyers of the male sex.not dare to disobey the devil. f loss of their souls .and perhaps their sexual organs (Ko. and Peters 1972: 1 14.0'1I(1S Em stus's DIALOGUES lOUCHAN'f LE � POVitOtR DES SORCIlRr� (1570) 188 . their copulations with him . 16'''-cetltury Frelld. that they did not find any pleasure ." or. more curiously. Women f ' th• lcd. they attract men. it also instigated Inen to ear women.

with one exception. like the CO' eb mentioned in the Malleus. We can Ip'te with Marvin Harris that. That this propaganda successfully divided women from men is suggested by the . The witch-hunt. No other group or organization rose up in defense of the The imervention of the Basque fishermen against the persecution of their female appointing themselves as "witch finders.. more than protest. we have no record of any male organizations f. [It] has made everyone feel impotent and dependent upon the the secular order.This one popular resistance was all it took to stop [from Basque country] heard rumors of their wives. and JUSt as today. They instigated men who had been expropriated. or to blum dae revenge of women they had raped or seduced. or hearing that women had the power to make their penises disappear. But there is no doubt that years of propa­ WOmen. men's failure to act apinst the atrocities to which women were subjected was often motivated by the fear ofbeing implicated in the charges. by repressing women. the ruling classes more effectively repressed the 189 . had n rme fishe � daughters [being] stripped. The exception is the case of the fishermen of the Basque posing the French Inquisitor Pierre Lancre was conducting mass trials that led to where on perhaps as many as six hundred women. (Kudansky to the burning place. mothers. that some men made a business of denouncing women. pauperized. the returned. engaged in the annual cod season. By this it has prevented the poor. instead. stabbed. Bue. We know. one of the largest 1609 cod campaign was ended two months early. Other men took advantage of the climate of suspi­ cion surrounding women to free themselves from un\vanted wives and lovers. husbands. The fishermen 2001: 102) witches. clubs in hands. scattered and fragmented all the latent energies of pnda and terror sowed among men the seeds of a deep psychological alienation from dominant social groups. that broke class solidarity and undermined their own coUective power. who had stored dozens in a tree.. despite individual attempts by sons. and liberated a convoy of witches being taken the trials . � proletariat. or fathers to save their female relaD the persecution. relatives was a unique event. and making their claims witllin the redistribution of wealth and the leveling of social status (Harris 1974: 239-240). and [when the men] of the St.� from the stake. � bed to travel to the Sabbat. and has furthennore given them a local out­ any other social group. Undoubtedly. �zed to blame their personal misfortunes on the castrating witch.WIt fdaOy must have been terr ified upon hearing that �t night some women left �e mar­ . fooling their sleeplllg husbands by putting a stick next them.act that." travelling from village to village threatening to expose women unless they paid up.-Jean-de-Luz cod fleet. Mark Kurlansky reports that the g of urnin the b been been absent. and to view ... as the majority of the men tried for tllis crime were telatives of suspected or convicted witches. and many already executed. from confronting ecclesiastical authority and let for their frustrations.

111 affair to daUll ar a f amily wanting to terminate a son' s relation with a wo they had been bewitched. . the venereal act and the conception of the womb: First. by inclining the minds of also al the orgies that p"'­ accused of generating an exce ssive � (rno�St : d COUld "I t into mt"dug n poet witl. DE LAMI.Wrote the Malleus: there are ."if seduces n woman (1489) 190 . I. N only were women accused of making men impocent. pract1ces. . But witches were was an . centenng on copulanon WIth the devil and parnclpaaon erotic passion in men. All the deep-seated f ears that men harbored with regard CO women the power thac women had won against the authorities as a power women would enslave them and chain them to her will (Kors and Peters . even their sexuality was tu r n orce. as men were taught that a witch into an ob ject of f ear. to accuse the latter of being a witch. . demonic f aga inst them.!. . seven methods by which {witches] infect . so that it sumably took place at the Sabbat.im. . a dangerous. I TIlt Dt. A recurre�t charge in th� witc trials was that witch� en�ge in degenerate seXU easy step f or men caught in an illicit � 1972: 130-32).because of the Church's misogynous propaganda) were mobilized in this COntext. From UlriciJ Molitor. aft f rnan of whom they did not approve.

nor the CIOafessi on. (1971: 47). In an almost ritual manner. the impure thoughts they had harbored.female sexuality had For women.or more important. Far out­ tlripping any village priest. Sixth. man can preserve his decor in everything except in the sexual act (Easlea - if women 1980: lCDtUaIly active woman. they forced tlle alleged .. which were a mixture of aexual exorcism and psychological rape. in every detail.The demo­ aologists looked with suspicion at both states. by destroy ing the generative force in women. what they had felt . . financially .. the inquisitors forced the witches to reveal their sexual adven­ ::a lIiItbes to explain how in their youth they were first taken by the devil. by obstructing their generative force. by procuring abortion.Witll Michel Foucault in mind. ." That witches were accused simultaneously of rendering men impotent and arouspassion in them is only apparently a contradiction. iDI 'archal code that was developing in concom. was a public danger. If women meticulous interrogations to which witches were subjected. that Foucault detected in this time. causing him to lose wrted a man's sense of responsibility.ive explosion" on was in no place more powerfully exhibited tllan in lilation that Foucault ilnagines flowing between the woman and her confessor.men to inordinate passion. physical tence was the coumerparc of moral impocence. Fourth.. But it had nothing in common with the mutual 1978: 116). by removing the member accomodated to that act. to women driven mad by pain.. Second. clearly convinced that it would be impos­ Iible to realize the type of family the contemporary bourgeois wisdom demanded modeled on the state. by changing men into beasts by their magic art.e torture chambers of the witch-hunt. teIflessly devoted to the management of the household (Schochet 1975) - _ of their desires. was flof the Catholic pastoral. Third. Seventh. . and his capacity for work and self-control. A it also undermined a man's capacity for self-governmem. But the stage upon which this discourse on sex unfolded \V3S the torture chamber. ecp/OItS dated back many decades. with the husband as the king. since "functionally" there would be no dif­ ::. the 16th and 17[h centuries did inaugurate an age of sexual repres­ aon. that best demonstrate how "Power. In [he 191 . deatll by fire. undeterred by the fact tllat they were often old women and their sex- � � P<netration. made it II. and the wife subordinate to his will." at the dawn of the modern era.Censorship and prohibition did come to define their relationship with sexUality. their desire. In the new an excessive sexual {erence between a man who was castrated and one who was helplessly in 10ve. then. a threat to the social order as she sub­ 1IeIe not that precious head wherein Cartesian philosophy was to locate the source of Reason. we must also insist that it �ry for people to speak of sex (Foucault . This was accomplished by means of torture. and by no stretch of On can we presume that the orgy of words the women tlms tortured were forced utter incited their pleasure or re-oriented.as Montaigne lunented. by linguistic sublllnation.The "discun. 243) with theirglamour and love filters could exercise so much power as to make men the suc­ Sexual passion underm.. and the questions were asked applic ation s of the strappado. it was the physical manifestation of cbe erosion of male authority over women. then. Fifth. as well as the to ruin men morally .32 CD be exorcised.. by offering children to the devil .itance with the witch-hunt.ined not only male authority over women .

. gender-neutral sub ject. which also demonstrates the limits of a general _ erentiated. like the animals she also rode upon (goats. Whilst she is an old crone. . I at is. mares. Central to this process was women. they are f orever smearing their f aces with make up and taking tweezers to their pubic hair. 1978) . . This was a f ar cry from the world of Chaucer. This imagery betrays a new sexual cliscipline that denied the "old and was the pro jection of an extended penis. . to. a mere car­ cass. an unbridled lust. no longer f ertile. as anti-social and virtually demonic.� I T h e Wit c h . a beldam. the right to a sexual life. looking f or a mate . where the Wife of Bath. as illustrated b y the words of two illustrious contemporaries of the witch-hunt: T o see an old lecher. They still go around saying "life is good. I don't mean to bU� 192 . . dance among girls and scribble their love letters (Erasmus 1941: 42) . which treats sexuality f rom the per as ­ an activity presumably car_ . af ter ing five husbands. willie they drink. In the creation of this stereo­ type the demonologists conf ormed to the moral sensibility of their time. and spective of an undiff rying the same consequences f or men and women. . Yet it is even more f un to see the old women who can scarcely carry their weight of years and look like corpses that seem to have risen f rom the dead. Certainly we can say that the Iall_ guage 0f d lC wire . which. she can neither see nor hear. a service to men. Worse it is in women than in men .which Foucault surprisingly ignores in his History o f Sexuali ty (V ol. censorship. h-hunt " produced" the m woman as a diffi erent species. a being su. The repulsion that non-procreative sexuality was beginning to inspire is well captured by the myth of the old witch flying on her broom. could still openly declare: "W elcome the sixth . 1 . what more odious? What can be more absurd? And yet so common .H u nt a n d t h e C a p i t a l i s t R a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f S e x u a l i ty The witch-hullt did not result in new sexual capacities or sublimated pleasures f or sheets" and the transf ormation of f emale sexual activity into work. denial.." still in heat. non-procreative f orms of f emale sexuality. but In the service of repression. and procreation. exposing their sagging.·s ge "eris' more carnal and perverted by nature.the "internunable discourse on sex" was not deployed as an aJter nati Ve . it was the first step in the long march towards "clean sex between clean the banning. she caterwauls and must have a stallion (Burton 1977: 56). . . Instead. dogs). We can also say that the production of the "ferna!e pervert" was a step in the transf ormation of the f emale vis erotica into vis /rworatilJo I. symbol of ugly" woman. aflrst step in tile transjormafiofl of female sexuality into lvork. . . .tory of sexuality" of the type Foucault case of the witch-hunt . has proposed. of all non-productive. But we should appreciate th destructive character of this process. withered breasts and trying to rouse f ailing desire with their quavery wh ining voices.

A dispUle between a wittlt and lIlI 1514).' are told .e deslmaioll o j (olllllllllwi relariollS mused by the spread o j mpiwli st reilltiollS. 811t old wol/le/l IIlfre (llso tl. 71. slle becallle (/ symbol o jsterility (/tid hostility to life. HmlS 8urklllair (bef ore Mawy Il-'OlIICll aG'used mid triedfor Utitchcrtift Utere old lIIld poor. O ften tltey tie petUied OIl public dlllrityf or their survi/l(/I.ose ill tlte cOllllllullity mOSI likely to resist II. Inquisitor. Ti. 193 . Wilcllcrlift - IV(.e lIIitdl·/uHlI tumed the ill/age o j lile old IVOl/1lI1I upside dOllm: tfll diliolwlly cot/sidered a wise IVOI/I(It/.is tile we(lpDn o j the pOllleriess.ey were tlte Olles who embodied tIle cOlllmullity's knowledge lmd //Ielll· ory.

witches were often accused of shifting their shape and morphing into animals. and indulged 194 . would inspire more horror than to animals. This was suggested by copulation with the between f ��t_ god (one of the representltions of the devil). These Were or. coitus f rom behind (reputedly leading to steri relations). turns sexual aCtiv precludes in women the possibility of a sexual life."imps" or "f i their crimes and with whom they entertained a particularly intimate relation. another Christian man shall 1977: 277). bestiality. men. but f emininity as such.34 sex bet\ve�n k people of diff erent classes. cats. in Allatomy oJAbuse (1583). In an era that was beginning a capital off worship reason and to dissociate the human from the corporeal. and the charg into a too) of death rather than a means of regeneration. whi� at these gatherings. and dances. nudity. In the world of Chaucer. while the most conmlOn1y cited familiar a symbol of the vagina synthesized sexuality.reduced to mere brutes. and (night)mares flew her w the Sabbat. Also proscribed was the public. conf orm i ng with the new capitalist work-discipline. the transmission of property within the f amily. criminalized any sexual activity th. f emininity. amiliars" .peren­ copulation with a beast. in the 16"'­ d century. presumably suckling them from special teats.Regardless ofage (but not class) in the witch trials. described the celebrotion of May Day til Englan ed with the standard accounts of the Sabbat which charged that the witches always dane in much collective sex and merrymaking. But the surplus of animal pres­ men and animals. the sexual vitality of the old wo take U:t ty ��n e as instruments of the de Other animals. hares. the infamous kiss sub cauda. played a role i n the witch's lif vil: goats. collective sexuality that ha prevailed in the Middle Ages. and that not onJy f emale sexuality. too. there is a constant identificati emale sexuality and bestiality. The witch trials provide an instructive list of the f orms of sexuality that wert The witch-hunt condemned f emale sexuality as the source of every evil. Compare.1t threatened procreation. were sub­ increasingly identified with its most inunaterial aspects. Stubbes. was nial symbol ofme worst human instincts. in this context. the w�y in P.jumping up and down at the sound of pipes and flutes. dogs. was akin to the wad. toads provided her with poison f or her concoctions. and evil.that helped them that the witches kept a variety of animals . Such was the presence of animals in the witches' world that one must pre­ sume that they too were being put on trial)3 The marriage between the witch and her "f amiliars" was perhaps a ref erence to the "bestial" practices that characterized the sexual lif e of peasants in Europe. the ultimate "Other" . frogs. affirmation of lif e against death. sex between young and old. but it was banned as "non-productive" : homosexuality. that the witch cared f � jected to a drastic devaluation . which 2S also the main vehicle for a broad restructuring ofsexual lif e that. contam i � was an on" (Chaucer chaste at all cost. as in the Spring f estivals of pagan origins that. No crime. T o seal this equation. When a spouse of mine is gone. anal coitus. which remained ense long after the end of the witch-hunt. a true attack on the ontological f oundations of a human nature ences in the witches'lives also suggests that women were at a (slippery) crossroad between animality. too. or took time and energies away from work. were still celebrated all over Europe. in the iconography of the witch-hunt. old a It i nates it.

old and young. and in the morning they return bringing home birch dae An analogous comparison can be made between the descriptions ofthe Sabbat and . descnptions which Scottish Presbyterian authorities made of pilgrimages (to holy 1ItI1s and other holy localities). then they fall to banquet and f east. hills and mountains. where they spend all the night in pleas­ bows and branches oftrees . . as heathen people did at the dedication of their idols . . . . which they bring home with great veneracion . . women and children. . i s show" ". . .s. but which 195 . ant pastimes.II I.JOtltl Prenlia. to leap and dance about it. they run to the bushes and woods.i. . both men. .tIle viai". (partridge: III). which the Catholic Church had encouraged. (T)he chief est jewel they bring home is their maypole. every parish. oue o j T owards May . town and village gees together.er folllilinrs TIlt exmlliotl oj tht Clleims jord lviulla ill 1589.

and. "once we remove [fl S U the SabbatJ the myths and the f antastic trappings. in some areas of Northern Italy. f estivals. surely a f antasy at a time when hunger was a experience in Europe. how_ lucinations of poor women. As Ginzburg points ollt. Hill 1 964: 183fl) . we discover a gathering of peop. to whom they serve as a recompense f or a squalid existence. and dances .35 a general tendency. that dreams of roasted mutton and ale could be frowned upon by a ever.bb(/t . as a virtual Sabbat." ants' gatherings. accompanied by dances and sexual promiscuity" (Ginzburg 1966: 189)..pe or lewd affairs . rebel camps. going to the Sabbat was (al zogo). any potentially transgressive meeting . beef -eating bourgeoisie as signs of a diabolical connivance!) Ginzburg. we called "going to the dance" or "going to the game" add. (How revealing concerning the nature of class relations at the ti me of the witch-hunt.As the Presbyterians opposed as congregations of the devil and occasions f COIn.was described by the authorities as.mlY reprcsellwtions o f the &. labels the orgies associated with the Sabbat as "hal­ well-f ed. : in jU�U DE L'INCONSTANCE re (/ {ommOI! experic'lct! in E'4rope.mon IllUS.(/jllltllSY a lftl ri pjttfI (1612) plll/tfIJf 194 . DetailfromJan Ziamko1 IIf XJrtmlf theme ill ".It is also significant that. much eating and drinking. f ollowing a well-trodden path. particularly when O ne cO n_ siders the campaign that Church and state were conducting against such pastim e (Muraro 1977: 109ff. throughout this period.

apparently. "Faggot" reminds us that homosexuals were at times the kindling for the stakes upon wluch witches were burned. Or better. the roles �f su[(ubl and IfIcubl. Tlus is the case with homosexuality. although they wove a web that condenmed hundreds of thou­ yf or are simpl en sands of wom to death. the very personification oCnon-procreative sexuality. tion of witchcraft. which in several parts of of our os . "a prostitute when young. ) . Thus. he also ignores that it was (ibid. Furthennore. the role that the witch-hum has played in the development of the bour­ :se in the development of the capitalist discipline of sexuality. the prostitute would be allowed co survive (she would even become UIefuI. the witch could be impregnated by the Devil. As the saying went.: 1 90). for inteUectuais in the 1 8th century (Couliano 1 987: 1 48-51 ) . geois world. the one who (in the eyes of the mquuitors) was less controllable. it was she who could give pain or pleasure. she could even cause damage solely by Ioer look.at the women ac��sed ofbeing witches. A similar Was attributed to the witch. the witch (who sold her soul to the Devil) tlletllselves being the magnified image of the prostitute (who sold her body to men). and specifically f rom our memory. cussing such hallucinations. but EU n:>pe's ehte who devoted reaJ�1S of�ape�s or their d�mjse. Themes derived from learned magical tradition were introduced by the demonologists into the defini­ .. T interest still of Civilization. f or dac witch was the more socially dangerous sub ject. both the (old) witch and the prostitute were symbols of sterility. who was largely immune from the cution. Thus." debating. And both sold in order to obtain money and an illicit power. physically by death and socially by crirninalization. of Neoplatonic origin. � the magician to manipulate and inutate nature in his experiments. High Magic and witchcraft shared many elements. he blames the victim s f or Ulstance. while in the Middle Ages the prostitute and the witch were considered positive figures who performed a social service f or the conuTIunity. binding the universe through relations of "sympathy" and attraction kill .eI) ref ers to the practice of scattering these aromatic vegetables on the stakes in order to mask the stench of burning flesh. or whether oday. In this way. For the pros­ titute died as a legal sub ject only af ter having died a thousand times on the stake as a witch. Y et. who reputedly could raise storms by numerically 197 . reflecting the process of devaluation which prostitution under­ went in the capitalist reorganization of sexual work. &king a love that was only mercenary (Stief ehneir 1977: 48ff.-in tabo Europe was still fully accepted during the Renaissance." "Western of histories the from screened are disquisitions ue grotesq orgotten. ." for both used sex only to deceive and corrupt men. with Ibe witch-hunt both acquired the most negative connotations and were re jected as pos­ sible f emale identities. but was weeded out in the course ofrhe witch-hunt. a question that.aloechio ("evil eye") that presumably could It was the sexual nature of her crimes and her lower-class status that distin­ lUished the witch from the Renaissance magician. while the ltalianfi"occhio (fen­ n.. heal or harm. So fierce was the persecution of homosexuals that its memory is still sedimented in our language. air up the elements and chain the will of men. a ". we can trace back to this process some of the erased baS been time. a witch when old. Among them was the belief. f to dis . although in a clandestine f ashion) only as long as the witch would be killed. that Eros is a Counic f otce. Of particular significance is the relation the witch-hum established between the prostitute and the witch.

considered demons by the Europeans. . though alchemy was increasin n : Y frowned upon. [in] the'prinutive vices of the indians' . The ideology of witchc n a150 reflected the biblical tenet. 176-79). of In turn. and auto-deft figured plOnunendy" (Behar 1987: 51). that stiPUJat connection between powers by copulating with the devil echoed the alchemic beBef that WOmen h ad appropriated the secrets of chemistry by copuJating with rebel demons (Seligrn 1948: 76). The f riar Diego or. and instigated tllem to apply in Europe the same techniques of mass externunation oped in America (Parinetto 1998). Couliano 1 987). Witch-hunting and charges of devil-worshipping were brought to the Americas to break the resistance the local populations. as It appeared an IdJe pursUlt and. being it was women who were more vulnerable to being accused of being witches. a number of whom ended their Bves at the stake. High Magic. but the colonized native Americans and the enslaved M ing f or capital the seemingly limjtless supply of labor necessary f or accumulation. by including High Magic (particularly astrology and astro nom Y in the range of the sciences.justifying colonization and the slave trade in the eyes of the world.e devil: in the f oods. according to Luciano Pari netto. a waste of time and resource The magicians were an elite. to destroy the cult of the local gods. � � them and the witches. provid­ The counterparts of the typical European witch. ." shared a destiny similar to that of women in Europe. f e the held in special contempt by the Europeans as weak-minded f emales. mainJy drawn from the poBtical and religious leaders of cenm1 de Landa led idolatry trials in the Yucatan during the 1 560s. in which torture. and the demonologists carefully distinguished betwee sexuality and knoll/led ge.too. they soon becam e The conunon f ate of Europe's witches and Europe's colonial subjects is fu e e th demonstrated by the growing exchange.h u n t a n d t h e New W o r l d ricans who. as such. in the planta_ cians. whippi ngs. between �(witchcraft and the racist ideology that developed on the soil of the Conquest " The Devil was portrayed as a black man and black people were increasU1 Y that "devil worship and diabolical interventions [became] the pect of the non-European societies the slave traders encounte staunchest def enders of their conununities (Silverblatt 1 980: 1 73. (Yates 1964: 1 45ff. however was not persecuted. .d . . in the course ofthe 17th century . it was the American experience that persuaded the European authorities to believe in the existence of entire populations ofwitches. or could exercise an "attraction" sinuJar to the bonding of metals ' I the alchemic tradition. In the colonies. devel­ In Mexico.stirring a puddle. Mexican conUllunities. cOlnmon to both magic and aJchemy.36 � I T h e w i t c h .3 eir :r. were l10t the Renaissance magi_ So connected were the destinies of WOBlen in Europe and those of Amerindians and Africans in the colonies that their influences were reciprocal. who often serviced princes and other highly POSitione people (Couliano 1987: 1 56f1). tions of the "New W orld . then. "[ijlOm 1536 to 1543 the Bishop Zumarrnga conducted 1 9 trials involv­ ing 75 Indian heretics. �d I�� �r 19 . Witch-hunts were conducted also in Peru. "Everywhere d. The thesis that witches acquired thS. in their barbaric languages" (de Leon 1985 I: 33-34).e Spaniards saw the face ofd.

.. VOY DIUM OF AtffUE/vnc .16fh. .Oll oJ Cnribbeall Illdimu as devilsfrom Smol/cft /compiler/.1. . "A SIIIOI/". .VmR"I�INING CO. DlGllSnJI) IN A CHRONOLOGICAL SERiES.\f1>EN Tobilu Geotge Tobh.'\'1) I:. 1766.s George (From 199 .amury reprfiellflll..) AGI1S.

and the witch-hunt. sexual potency betrays the aruuety that white men of property felt cowards their Own sexual_ ity. 11'll this type of witch was the Celestina. while tales of brutish sexual practices and inordinate fondness f or music ang dancing became staples in the reports of missionaries and travelers to the "New WOrld. For the definition ofblackness and femaleness as marks ofbestiality and irra_ tionality conformed with the exclusion of women in Europe and women and men in the colonies from the social contract implicit in the wage. presumably.Anthony Barker writes . was amorous intrigue (Burckhardt 1927: 319-20)." From Lapps to Samoyed." who cursed and allegedJy lamed ruined crops.As we have seen. medic.at� 200 . 1499). the slave trade.Alan Macf arlane and Keith Thomas have shown that in chis period there was a marked deterioration in the condition of old women."which was not labeled by some Enghshma . Hjstorically. or joined the Poor Rolls (at the very time when the new Protestant ethic was beginning to finger alms-giving as a waste and an encouragement to sloth).�d According CO hist�rian Brian �aslea.37 The Devil was often portrayed as pos sessirn two penises.(Barker 1 978: 91). was also punished. Some poor women presumably used the fear that their reputation as witches inspired CO obtai n w'hat I The W i t c h . soothsayer or sorce�' an ( whose privileged area of competence (as Burckhardt wrote concerning the Irali o witches). under diabolical influence" (1978: 91 }. this systematic exaggeration of black. Of her it was said that: Other motives operated behind the persecution o f witches. The go witch. the trademark ofdiabolis" acavely was an abnormal lust and sexual potency. t h e H e a l e r a n d t h e B i rth o f Modern Science . white upper-class males feared the competition of the people they enslaved. But it was not JUSt the "bad witch.. whom they saw as closer to nature.38These elder. f ollowing the increasing privatization of land and agri­ culture. to the Hottentots and Indonesians . were now forced to rely on their friends or neighbors for their survival. .Ju" as in Europe. f ollowing the loss of the commons and the reorganization of family life. there no society" . and as the institutions that in the past had catered to the poor were breaking down.. because they felt sexually inadequate due to excessive doses of self -control and prudential reasoning (Easlea 1980: 249-50)." who made sorcery her career.the witches and the devils also be rooted in the position which they occupied in the international division oflabor that was emerging on the basis of the colonization of America. and the consequem natural_ ization of their exploitation. poor women who begged f or or stole milk or wine f rom the houses of their neighbors. . or caused her employer's children to die. the oversexualization of women and black men . which gave priority to child­ raising at the expense of the care previously provided to the elderly (Macfarlane 1970:20S). which increased dramatically in the 16th and 17th cemuries. primarily thefts. in England. Charges o f witchcraft often served to punish the attack on property. were likely to be sus­ pected of practicing evil arcs. that was condemned. :as - Bu mUStt they needed. or were on public assistance. An urban embodimeIlt. the witch was the village midwif e. in the play by Fernando de Rojas (71/e 01. of ten more severely.

the Counter-Ref ormation took ture of their conununties. . which cred­ 201 . even if they caused no visible harm. very popular. regarding herbs and healing remedies. also a widow. Starhawk 1997). However.gave her the spices for her drugs. come something of a witch . everyone would go to her to be cured. She lived with her niece and two other women. she picked up flax in one house and brought it to another.1 62).a small town ofT prof essional healer. unaff ordable and alien.39 in 1604 when a statute passed by James I established the death penalty f or anyone who With the persecution of the f olk healer. procuress. but she also traveled wherever she was needed.A next-door neighbor. as her way of making a liv­ as well. She received her clients in her home." I t was not in her inter­ was mal. She was a baby this as an excuse to get in everywhere. a woman tried as a witch in San oscana in 1594. help people carry out a revenge or free themselves from the effects . as practicing her arts well as devices apt to cure and protect by"sympathy" or"contact. the f ate of the "good witches" was sealed a her f ortune told. to wit: launderess. In England as well. a master hand at mak­ ing cosmetics and replacing damaged maidenheads. all here!" Or "Here comes the mistress!" Everyone knew her. wh ich erected in f ront of mulated and transmitted from generation to generation. ClItion. were put- �e advent of scientific rationalism as the key factor in the termination of tile perse­ On one side we have the theory descending from the Enlightenment. Her first trade was a cover for the rest and doctor. She was. in fact. perfumer. and powders. f earing their power and deep roots in tile cul­ used spirits and magic.You can't imagine the traffic she carried on. Klaits adnlits that ti.She had six. . generating a new skepticism as "it revealed the universe as a ldf reg ulating mechan. . . . . trades. Her tools were natural oil. was Gostanza. tllis theory argues that the new science transr ormed intellectual life. A more typical healer.After the Council ofTrento (1 545-1563). and with tllis excuse many servant girls went to her house to do their washing. . II . widows penecution. medical charms (Cardini 1989: 51-58). to find missing ob jects or to buy love potions. to have his or est to inspire f ear in her cOJ1Ununity. But she did not escape iDg. This was the rise of professional medicine. women were expropriated f rom a patri­ mony ofempirical knowledge. that they had accu­ the"lower classes" a wall of unchallengeable scientific knowledge. . One would say:"Mother. to "mark" an ani­ strong position against popular healers.e same judges who by the 1650. despite its curative pretenses (Ehrenreich and English 1973.ism in which direct and constant divine intervention was unnec­ tIoary" (p. As f ormulated by Joseph Klaits (1985). soon becoming well-known in the region for her thera­ a as up d peutic remedies and exorcisms. its loss paving the way f or a new The displacement of the folk-healer/witch by the doctor raises the question of the role that the development of modern science and the scientific worldview played in the rise and fall of the witch-hunt On this question we have twO opposite viewpoints. however.After becoming a widow Gostanza had set her­ MUUato. And yet in spite ofher many duties she f ound time to go to Mass orV esper" (Rojas 1959:17-18). bm of enclosure. visit a sick person.

mgnwittg by Harts WriJilz (1532). This view has been argued most fo io uc fully by Carolyn Merchant in TIle Death oj Nature (1980) which roots the persec n.abs 1I. As ll.: 163). Descartes declared himself an agnos­ tic on this matter.s(I of the witches in the paracligm shift the scientific revolution.. and particularly the of Cartesian mechanistic philosophy. other mechanicaJ philosophers Ojke Joseph Glanvil and Thomas Hobbes) strongly supported the witch-hunt.THE Wn"CH'S HERBARY. the witch-hum came to an end. n ot spoke in defense of the women accused as witches. this because a more enJjghtcned view of the world had emerged. Ihe "virtue" ojtile I. provoked.e starry gloM su�ests.us stralgthened by tile proper astral (Onjmldiot. The (Ibid. According to Merchant . ad The question that remains is whether the rise of the modern scientific rneth e­ rC can be considered the cause of the witch-hunt. In ing class by this time enjoyed Easlea has convincingly shown) was the annihilation of the world of the witches and other words. there is no evidence that the new science had a liberating efe f ct. : slu ( 202 . What ended the witch-hunt (as Brian mechanjstic view of Nature that came imo existence with the rise of modern science "clisenchamed the world. by the late 17th century. because the rul­ a growing sense of security concerning its power. ting a break: on witch triaJs never questioned the reality of witchcraft. judges continued to accept supernatural magic as theoretically plausible" nor anywhere else did the sevemeenth-century judges who put an end to witch-hum­ the imposition of the social discipline that the victorious capitalist system required. "Neither in France ing profess that there were no witches. Like Newton and other scientists of the time." But there is no evidence that those who promoted it ever Indeed.

the appropriation of women's creative powers has acconunodated diff erent cosmo­ Dves. new philo­ IOphical trends emerged tha.. it was a transitional phenomenon . Merchant. elements taken from the f antas­ tic world of medieval Christianity." and "passion. emptying it from competing influences. W e also know that the aspiration to the technological domination of nature logical frarneworks. or Cod's secret agent. He so weU consolidated Cod's conmund over hunlan affairs 203 . portraying nature was . of all chat in nature seemed �lsorderly. overlooks the fact that the "organ ic worldview" which the elites embraced in pre-scientific Europe. showing ation of the witches under torture. e rces. This point is suggested by Parineno who observes that the witch-hunt was a clas­ IicaI instance (unf ortunately. he was the operator that mOSt to paving the way to the new science. Merchant argues. from the viewpoint of establishing the conditions for � accumulation. "going back" � a means of stepping forward." _ yet were easily integrated in the project ofthe new science (Barnes and Shapin 1 979). Ia(:eu � modeled ocuses our attention on the prof ound Ii6c rationalism was a vehicle of progress. rationalistic arguments. and e oC th "wil to the project ullderca�en by the new sCience..The woman-as-witch. however. wi �h a mechanical one that degraded th�111 to th� fa llk of "scandillg a . Thus. and raped (Merchant 1980: 1 68-72). left room f or slavery and the extermination of . and the earch as nur­ . ction between the persecution of the witches and the nse of modern SCIconne e h oCt of Francis Bacon. The Renaissance magicians were no less imerested in these ob jec­ !Opbical mechanism had run its course. aaechanisric but to a magical view of nature. and f alienation that modern science has instituted between human beings and nature. uing mothers. Within it. a SOrt ofideological bricolage that evolved under the pressure of the task it had to accomplish. Merchant's account has the great merit of challenging the assumption that scien­ thac Ius concept of the scientific investigation of nature :mod. conq uered. the inquisitOrs disposed of popular ani­ :n � and pantheism.an organic worldview that had looked at nature. redefining in a more centralized fashion the location and distribuof power in tile cosmos and society. in tile history of capitalism. myth­ COUrt procedures combined. and modern bureaucratic eoce and technology combined with a scenario pretending to restOre an archaic.""sensibility. the brought order into the world. not the last) ofhow. uncontrollable. Furthermore. in the hu nt the devil functioned as the true servant of Cod.40 while Newtonian physics owed its discovery of gravitational attraction not to a cbe heretics. by the beginning of the 18th century. when the vogue f or philo­ tion of the witches was not directly taken from the pages of philosophical rationalism. women. and connects the capitalist exploitation of the natural world with the exploitation of women. Ilatber. and reassert­ as the exclusive ruler. Like a bailiff. in the same way as in the f orging of Nazism the cult of sci­ W e shouJd also consider that the intellecrual scaff old that supported the persecu­ jQl world of blood bonds and pre-monetary allegiances." removing any ethical constraints to their explonatlon (Mer� hanc r sou 127fl) . It also Iiab the witch-hunt to the destruction of the environment. one of the reputed f athers of the new scientific ce in the work as a woman to be on the interrog unveiled. paradoxically (parineno writes).. was p� rsecuted as the embodiment 1 980: d side" of nature.. stressed the value of" sympathy. Mer�hant finds a pro�f gonistic anta thus . For in conjuring the devil.

and soon put out of memory. then. by the late elites.e eradicate an entire mode of existence which. immediate cause More importaJlt.s picture oj Hcnnes Trismc. were nO[ the was retire of the persecutions. to ateIll�g thre Middle Ages.ug "tllc illsemilUltillg role of IIIe /tIa/e. thout co .R.stus (alcllcmy's myl/liml fOllllder) !loWu. This process began throughout Europe towatd the end ofd.witdl ie came to an end.although they contributed to create a world conunitted to the exploitation ofnaCUre.When this task was accomplished . Rationalism and mechanism.when social cipline was restored and the ruling class saw its hegemony consolidated . A factor contributing 204 17th centur y. content to guard its clock-like operations from afar. " that. with the advent of Newtonian physics. in instigating the witch-hunt. the need of the European their political and economic power.R {.jellls illitis womb (md suggest. within a century. God would be able to from the world.de Gf as a superstition. was t�� e �s­ witch trials continued in Scotland for three more decades.The beliefin witchcraft could even become an object of ridicule.TIle ("(hemist's "desire to appropri(ltc thefimctiorl oj malcmity" is well­ rtjlCftcd ill 111.

while new crimes entered the statute books. the judges lost confidence in the confessions and the panic ceased . as the witch-hunt died down. In 1 8th-century France. Under circumstances. the King decided to intervene.: 31-32}.being excluded from economic production and sens­ ilia: that their privileges were coming under attack . Mtdelf orc wntes that 111 Germany: inS even . "in many provinces of France. children accused their parents. A new legal code was promul­ gated in which witchcraft was not even mentioned (Mandrou 1968: 443).end of the witch-hunt was the fact that the ruling class was beginning t� I�se control . the final wave of trials brought widespread social disorder: servants c:used their masters. Once the subversive potential of witchcraft was destroyed. firstly because it is difficult to establish proof of witchcraft.satisfied their desire for power by Itcourse to the magical arts (ibid. so too. Just as the state had started the witch-hunt. there is no or hamlet. many women COntinued to support themselves by foretelling the future. husbands accused their wives.But now the autllOrities were no longer inter- � 20S . the practice of magic COUld even be allowed to continue. with del1llllclatlons target(fIt-r t its own members. selling charms and practic­ IIIg other forms of magic. ' as the £lames licked closer to the names of people who enjoyed high rank and power. in the camon of Berne and many other places of Europe . an interest for witchcraft developed also iInong the urban nobility who . without any recourse to the supernatural. "common crimes" suddenly multiplied (ibid. no matter how small. . . . One has ceased therefore to accuse them of the uncertain in order to accuse them of the cer­ tain (Mandrou 1968: 361). All this suggests that the new social order was by now sufficiently consolidated f or crimes to be identified and pun­ ished as such. .in France. and hay stacks in particular) and assaults rose enormously (Kittredge 1929: 333).M ter the witch-hunt came to an end. 1963: ""'"'"narct 30). in the Ism century. between 1686 and 1712. i t was decreed that after the sixth conviction the blasphemers would have their tongues cut out . In the words of a French par­ liamentarian: :ese Witches and sorcerers are no longer condemned. . In England. their private use was f orbidden. arrests for damage to property (burning ofgranaries. one by one. and secondly because such condemnations have been used to do harm. eff orts were made lIlents took the initiative in ending it. Blasphemy began to be treated as a punishable offense .: 437). From the m CO brake judicial and inquisitorial zeal. One inullediate consequence was that. and Colbert extended Paris' juris­ diction to the whole of France to end the persecution. and the death penalty was extended to poisoners. . (Midelforc 1972: 206). toO. ' t. houses. various govern­ id-17th century on. where someone is not considered a witch" . in Savoy. New limits were also put on the sale of poisons. their sale was made conditional upon the acquisition of a license. As Pierre Bayle reported in 1704. coming under the fire of its own repressive maciune. In France.and so was sacrilege (the prof anation ofrelics and the theft of hosts).

recalling that witches were the first practitioners of birth control and abortion Sisterhood is Powerful (1970). with pOts full of kerosene and stickers with the notation "B. revolutionary. Hundreds of women were 'hus hair.ested in prosecuting these practices. WITCH women's liberation movement in the United States. curious..41 I 1. savage look and uncombed In her hands was the container for the liquid she used to perpetrate her crimes. In the areas occupied by the Versailles army it was enough that a woman be poor and ill-dressed. By the 18 � century the European intelligentsia even began [0 take pride in its acquired enligh til te memo and confidently proceeded to rewrite the history of the witch-hunt.. the study surveys of witchcraft exist for Europe. sexually liberated. a network autonomous feminist groups that played an important role in the initiaJ phase of the was born on Halloween 1968 in New York. instead. 1966: 166-67). in fact.B. It is indeed striking how few decent of all the witch tri­ of 2. the petroleuse was depicted as an older woman with a wild.. 206 . Like the witch. or milk-boetle" to be suspected"(Thomas sUl1unarily execuced.. the Parisian bourgeoisie instinctively returned to it to demonize female Communards. intelligent. aggressive. accusing them of wanting to set Paris a£)ame. diSmis . while the press vilified them in the papers. An expression of tllis identification was the creation of WITCH.joyous and immortal.""good for torch� ing"). box.P. as part of a great conspiracy to reduce Paris to ashes in front of the troops advancing from Versailles. _ (Morgan 197 0: 605-6).Thomas writes that "petroleuses were to be found everywhere." ("bon pour bruler. presumably following instructions given to them. dell Among North American feminist writers. In 1871. day and night.. surveys that attempt to list aJs in a given town or region" (Midelfort 1972: 7). to view witchcraft as a P rod uct of ignorance or a disorder of the imagination (Mandreu 1968: 519). witch-hunts has remained impressionistic. independent. There can be Iitt !e e doubt.n� s g n it as a product of medieval superstition. in stated: Witches have always been women who dared to be courageous. angry. being inclined. As described by Edith Thomas. Endnotes As Erik Midelfort has pointed out "With a few notable exceptions.What the figure of the witch meant to these activists is shown in a flyer written by the New York coven which. untamed. the enemies of the ConmlUne claimed that tho u_ {�g sands of proletarian women roamed (like witches) the city. those who have most consciously I arY M ti6ed the history of the witches with the struggle for women's liberatio n are .You are a Witch by being female. As Robin Morgan reports. and that she be carrying a basket. that the models for the lurid tales and images used by the bour e0" g press to create the myth of the perroleuses were drawn from rhe repertoire of the witch� hunt.. after . She is the free part of each of us.. Yet the specter of the witches continued to haunt the imagination of the ruli class. W1TCH lives and laughs in every woman. but "covens" soon were formed in several cities. non-conformists.

UX.e W omen tif AJris. 207 ." color lilhogmp/.'-j I I . " W ood tr'gralJing "produccd ill THE GRA/lHIC. Right: "TI. "' I ' I . Above: "Pelro/CUSt'S. by Bcrlalf reprot/uccd itl fl. 1871. /lpril 29. us COMMUNI1-1. 20.'..

but she too agrees that the number may be much higher. who had a free hand not with arresting "witches" but with record keeping. W Monter noted fj was not speci fied. [but] Her fears.Starhawk and Maria Mies . since the prerogative of conduc t­ ing witch-hunts was granted also to local notables. a period when "they no longer burnt one or two witches. reaching conclusions very simila r [0 those presented in this volume. myself included. w ho Witches. live on. however. accounts still widely differ.. If they were..000 women were accused of witchcraft over a space ofume centuries and a lesser that of the Jews killed in Nazi Germany. and the forces she struggled against in her lifetime. Others driven to despair by torture killed themselves themselves in prison . In the nected the witch-hunt with the dispossession of the European peasantry from Dreaming the Dark (1982) Starhawk has con­ o of the American gold and silver.. "suspicion and ill will followed them to their graves" (ibid. Two feminist writers .200 witches were burned just between only 4. burned twenties and hundreds" (Lea 1922: 549). Many accused witches were murdered in prison .Thir ty ye a" later.000 women were killed. Barstow. We can open our newspapers." for once accused. W hile some feminist scholars argue that the number of witches executed �h:: number of them were killed. E.Daly (1978). since many trials we not recorded or. according co Anne L.500... on the basis equals 100. that it is very difficult to estab­ lish how many women were executed or died due to the tortures inflicted upon them. Christina Lamer (1981) places the that in Southwestern Germany at least 3. but she adds that those who escaped were "ruined for life.. and Barbara Ehrenreich and Deidre English.. She has als noted that: The [witch] is gone now . of the present state of archival work. the number of women executed Se fe Ill_ � addition.) estimates have been provided by Midelfort and Lamer. they number of women executed in Scotland between 1590 and 1650 at 4. Barstow admits. the first introduction to the ruscory of the witch-hunt... many documents in which we may find references to witchcraft trials h n ave not yet been studied or have been destroyed. that it was impossible to calcuJate the nUl11ber of secular witch-tr ials had taken place in Switzerland because these were often mentioned only in fiSCal records and these records had not yet have not been analyzed (1976: 21). Others died Taking into account also those who were lynched.have placed the witch-hunt in the context of primitive accumuJation.. irusts. instance. and the rise of professional medicine. we are justified if we assume that approximately 200. I . regional 1560 and 1670. Midwives mid Nurses:A History oJWometl Healers (1973) was for many 3. How many witches were burned? This has been a comroversial question in th scholarship on t1 e witch-hunt and a difficult one to answer.. Starhawk (1982). Midelfort (1972) has found W hile the controvery concerning the size of the witch-hunt continues. [or] do not include those who died in prison . Barstow concludes that at least in prison from the tortures inflicted on them (Barstow: 22-3). In the 1970s. and read the same charges commons. the social effects of the price inflation caused by the arrival in Europe 208 . Many records [she writes] do no list the verdicts of the trials .

and nature (Mies 1986: 69-7 0.78-88) . to the effect that fam.. who take advantage of men's superstititions to lead them into crime. She argues that the witch­ which natu re hunt was part of the attempt by the emerging capitalist class to establish its control over the productive capacity of women. who himself quoted Cato. and later in this kingdom in the time of Charlemagne and of Louis the Piteous. Maria Mies' Patriarchy and Accumulation on a W it to the colonization process and the increasing domination connects of (1986) have characterized the capitalist ascendency. the colonies... in the context of a new sexual and international division oflabor built upon the exploitation of women.iliarity with astrologers. He shall receive neither soothsayers nor magicians. because it had a dangerous influence on the slaves. 209 . While Starhawk examines the witch-hunt mostly in the context ofthe rise ofa mar­ orld Scale ket economy in Europe. Columella reconmlended that the villicus "shall make no sacrifices without orders from his master. . first i n Spain in 78 1 . having taken up arms . . was f orced to assemble all h is f orces to rout them. as part of the ideology of the slaves and an instrument of insubordination. For as soon as captain Homar.ight flights. excepting only certain {orvees. where slaves. plundering the resources of land and people. . Little by little this forced the Christians to relax servitude and to f ree the slaves. shook the estates ofprinces and cities. That is. Pierre Dockes quotes De re rustica by ColUJnella. in his study of the Witch-hu nt in Southwestern Germany. But the "roggle also lives on (Starhawk 1997: 218-9). However. He has been particularly critical of the use that has been made of the CallOtl cpiscopi.against the idle poor. Dockes quotes the f (1 576) : "[T]he might of the Arabs grew only in this way [by giving or promising free­ dom to the slaves].. The expropriators move into the Third World. 7. . . soothsayers and sorcerers was to be kept in check..a Roman agronomist of the Late Republic. If we turn on the radio. one ofMehemet's lieutenants. whereupon they took up arms. .. destroying cultures. All at once this blaze broke out in Germany. The most important text documenting the tolerance of the Church toward mag­ ical beliefS is considered to be the CattOtl Episcopi (tenth century). and even Louis..he attracted so many ofthem that within a few years they made themselves lords of all the East." (quoted in Dockes 1982: 237). prom­ ised freedom to the slaves who f ollowed him. and first and foremost over their generative powers. magic had been held in suspicion by the ruling classes 5. king of the Gennans. arguing that it states the opposite of what it has been made to say. Since the late Roman Empire. which labelled as "infidels" those who believed in demons and n. . we can hear the crackle of flames . He shall shun famil­ iarity with haruspices and sorcerers. Rumors of freedom and the conquests made by the slaves inflamed the hearts ofslaves in Europe. Erik Midelf ort has disputed the idea that the Church in the Middle Ages was skeptical and tolerant with regard to witch­ craft. arguing that such "illu­ sions" were products ofthe devil (Russell 1972: 76-7).. ollowing excerpt from Jean Bodin's Les Six Uvres de la Republique 6. as may be seen in the edicts issued at the time against sworn conspiracies among the slaves . two sorts of people who infect ignorant souls with the poison of baseless superstititions" (Quoted by Dockes 1982: 213). .

the judge. as they could continue for months and they became a source of employment for many people (Robbins 1959: 111).including their meals and wine. The witch trials were expensive. the clergy insisted 0 n the need not to believe in the powers of rhe devil.' although his account was sketchy. are shamelesssly included in the records of the trials. the guards . . tlon f the eallOIl was the s� me that the. because it COnsi d ered it a Manicheian heresy to attribute divine powers co witches and devils' Vie t.' author of the Callo" attacked the belief in magic. century the sabbat was an established part of witchcraft (1959: 415). but the anonymous French tract Errores Cazariarum (1459) has a detailed account of the ·synagogue.8. we should not conclude that the Church condoned magical practices because th . in addition to the cost of the executions and the cost of keeping the witches in prison. to burn them 3 five marks or For a tar barrel For hurden (hemp fabric) to be jumps (short coats) 3 for them For making of them For one to go to Firunouth for the laird to sit upon their assize as judge For the executioner 8 for his pains For his expenses here Shilling Pence 6 14 8 10 8 6 14 16 4 4) (Robbins 1959: 1 1 210 .' NicholasJaquier about 1458 used the actual word 'sabbat.. 9._ o. the final analy� . Church held l1n� the 18th century. the surgeon. The: Church condemned the belief that magical deeds are possible. by the 16d. SIS many clergymen reconmlended that the wItches should be purushed with deat h. for in . because th harbored an evil will and allied themselves wid. (b) among the clergy as well. Payments for the "ser­ vices" and the people involved .r. the scribe. the p Os. According [0 Midelfort. Rossell Hope Robbins writes that: To the early demonologistJohannes Nieder (1435) the Sabbat was unknown. � Pounds For ten loads of coal.The Sabbat first appeared in Medieval literature toward the middle of the 15th century. it maintained that those who practiced magic were rightly punished.. the torturer. 18. 'sabbat' also appeared in a report of the witch persecution at Lyons in 1460. Monter (1976). the distinction �etween "evil will" and "evil doing" had little Pf3ctical effect.The foUowing is tlle bill for a trial in the Scottish town ofKirkca1dy in 1636: - . But he points Out that (a) Inos of the trials were instigated and managed by secular authorities who were not con cerned with theological disquisitions. the devil (Midelfort 1975: 16--1 Mldelfort stresses that even In 16th-century Germany.

. Larner orwarded by the cultivated H. (Trevor-Roper 1967: 122B). accounting f or the fact that it reached there proportions ulilllatched in any other country. relying on mass gatherings and organiza­ tion. Ref Protestant great the by Renaissance. and Christina (Robbin . a n evil career in which isolated witches specialized .). Trevor-Roper writes: " [The witch-hunt] was f by the Saints of the ormers. i n Germany t h e confiscation of property was a major reason behind t h e persecu­ tio n. . and witch-hunting. Mideif oTt adds that in Germany to o "it is beyond question that most of the people executed were poor" (Midelfort 1972: 1964-16 9). There is also evidence of significant shifts in the weight attributed to specific accu­ sations. Long prison sentences were also rare. they were often commuted after a com­ to transfer to house arrest on grounds of ill-health were also treated with sympa­ a sentence and galley service was rare.10. but "where the vic­ The coses f penniless" they were born by the citizens of the town or dle landlord . Germany is an exception to this pattern. we have to admit that in one respect at least the dark ages were more civilized. while by the 17th century it was seen as a crime of an individual nature. Prosperi 1989: 217ff. . tlus sub s. the of popes .. s i that in an early phase of the persecution (during the 1 5th-century trials) witchcraft was seen predominantly as a collective crime. 5) 1 1 among (1983: other. But the relation between the two phenomena is unquestionable. 1989: 13-{i.. As Ruth Martin writes I I Cardini burWs has led him to conclude that ' Italian Inquisitions exercised great restraint compared to civil tribunals. 13. the by ormation. is still missing. land privatiza211 . Alan Macfarlane. If these two cen­ churchmen and lawyers schoJars. Pleas from those in prison that they may be allowed thy" (Mantin 1 989: 32-33). no more than one third of the properry \vas taken. see Robert Mandrou (1968: 1 1 2). As far as the V enetian trials were concerned. the nature of the crimes commonly associated with witchcraft.. . and the social composition of the accusers and accused.' a conclusion more recently con­ . rather than severity. ject.A5 we have seen (in Chapter 2). .this being a sign of the breakdown of communal bonds brought about by the increasing privitization of land tenure and the expansion of commercial relations in this period. . . and even in the case of rich families..tS Onl W On ibid. R. The most significant shift. later recanted (Macfarlane 1978).' and that 'light punishment and conunutation. neither execution nor mutilation was given as where these or banishments were issued. or a witch-trial were paid by the victim's relatives. including town councillors.W Monter in his study oCthe Mediterranean Inquisition . since the witch-hullt here aff ected many members of the bourgeoisie. Martin 1 989: 32. except f or Scotland. 14.. who first sug­ �ted a significant connection between the Essex enclosures and the witch-hunt In the same area. according to Midelf ort the legal­ ity of confiscation was controversial. above all land privatization. perhaps. Arguably. However. A serious analysis of the relation between changes in land tenure. and paratively short space oftime. turi es were an age of light. 12. . ef nter-R cou .E] Grend1er concern. . ing the work of the Inquisition in Venice:"A comparison by [P. of deadl semences a\varded by the Inquisition and by civilian tri­ number the of firmed by E. marked dle Venetian Inquisition.

W rites Le Roy Ladurie:"Between these frenzied uprisings (sic) [the witch-huntsl and authentic popular revolts which also reached their climax in the same moun­ tains about 1580-1600. In Southwestern Gennany after 1620.These conditions of themselves drove prices beyond what many laborers could afo f rd (1972: 123-24). see also Carlo Ginzburg's Ecstasies (1991).. 19. did not need monetary policy to rise. chronological. and sometimes family coincidences" (Le Roy Ladurie 1987: 208). by the reports coming from the New World. plotted to rise against church and castle. Of them Friedrick Engels wrote that they were wont to hold their meetings at night on the lonesome Hunher Hill (Engels 1977: 66). moreover. there existed a series of geographical. In support of this thesis Parinetto cites FrancescO Ma { Guazzo's Com pendill'" Malificarum (1608) which. demonstr ates th� 11� !11 demol1ologists in Europe were influenced. Money became so depreciated that prices soared out of sight. The reference here is to the conspirators of the "Bundschuh" . 17. "Time and again the jews were described [in the miracle plays as well as in sketches] as 'devils from Hell. he writes: The years 1622-23 saw the total disruption of coinage. sees a connection between the Price Revolution and the persecu _ tion of the witches. In the obsession with the Sabbat or Synagogue. 20.which in the 14905. Commenting upon the escalation of witch-trials .cion was a significant factor . : �Y � 15. in Alsace. 16. the distinctions between the profeSSion witch and those who turned to her for help or engaged in magical practices With out any special claim to expertise were blurred. whose symbol was the clog . poisoners and devil worshippers.jews were regarded as sorcerers. in their portrayal of witches as ca bals. Food prices. in his view. The year 1625 had a cold spring and bad harvesrs from Wurzburg across Wuttemberg to the whole Rhine valley. however.in the pauperization th at women sufe f red in the period in which the witch-hunt assumed mass proportio As soon as land was privatized and a land market developed. as cannibalism and devil-wor5hi� r merged in the reports about the "Indians" made by the conquistadors and the� rta \�rt Zl� tion of the Americas.the German peas­ ant union.directly and indirectly .As heretics and propagators of Arabic wisdom. nerable to a double process of expropriation: by well-co-do land-buyers and � their own male relations. we find a proof of the continuity between the persecution of the witches and the persecution of the Jews.. 18. T o the portrait of jews as devilish beings contributed the tales surrounding the practice of circumcision. which claimed that jews ritually murdered children. too. witches in Europe accused of sacrificing children to the devil long before the conquest and COIOIlJ ism may be an import from the New World. enemies of the human race'" (Trachtenberg 1944: 23). On the connection between the per­ secution of the Jews and the witch-hunt. However. women beca me vn . The next year found famine along the Rhine val­ ley . as the mythical witches' gathering was called. As the witch-hum expanded. 212 . Midelfort.. The Italian historian Luciano Parinetto has suggested that the dleme of cannib�­ clerical accomplices. Chapters 1 and 2.

She admits that the prevailing concerns behind the reasons beh these limitations were of"moral" origin.l1long eco-feminists f 22· emale-cen­ enders ofan ancient f Among those who have read the witches as the def Condren. e. the I nquisition accllsed women. such that men were excluded f rom 141h and 15th cen­ turies. Celis writes that "the state and church traditionally distrusted dus woman whose practice often remained secret. while the increasing limitations placed on women's practice can be documented." (" Cetat et l't gUse se me}ietlt 'raditiollellemeflf de cette femme dotll fa pratique reste SQuve"t Stcrete. perf orming supernatural abortions 1989: 8 0-8 6). By the middle of the 16th century most European countries began to gather regu­ larly demographic statistics. One of the most interesting claims of the witches and the attempt by the Christian priests to appropriate women's 1989: 84-85). barber-surgeons. Condren shows how the priests engaged in a true competi­ tion with the "wise women. true or imagined. of the sages f emmes i n such crimes as abortion. not just as l1udwives but as physicians. voire de soreel/erie et qui dispose au sei" de la commulUlwe rurale d'utlf audience . ("witchcraft") was fint used (RusseU 19 72: 203). first by asserting that they used their powers f or evil purposes and later by denying they had such powen(Condren Condren makes in this context concerns the connection between the persecution reproductive powers. and that we can trace a connection between the witch-hunt and the expulsion of women from dle medical profession starting i n the raking place were also promoting population growth 1958: 1-2). In France the first edict regulating the activity of the sagesfemmes was 213 . Condren argues that the witch-hunt was part of a long process whereby Christianity displaced the priestesses of the older religion. Mary In is powers reproductive women's worshipped that religion tered TIle Serpent alld tIle Goddess (1989).. throughout the medical community. existed a rigid sexual division of meclical labor. She claims that the restrictions placed on practicing resulted from Illany social tensions (in Spain.: 4 6). infanticide. changing the sex of infants." perf orming reproductive miracles. 25. emprcitlte de magie. f rom the conflict between Christians and Muslims) and. making barren women pregnane. wit word the Hexere. She also argues that women were present. in the midst of a renewed interest ocal societies. f ostering abandoned children (Condren 24. however. although in smaller number. Monica Green. In 14th and 15 th centuries. 23. last but not least.erlaine. and who could de6nitely count on the support of the rural conunu nity. Green questions the COllunon claim that lnidwives were especially targeted by the authorities. I n 1560 the Italian historian Francesco Guicciardini expressed surprise upon learning that in Antwerp and generally in the Netherlands the authorities did not gather demographic data except in case of"urgent neces­ sity" (HeUeneir was and. ind them cannot. and Jews of It was in the course of trials held in 1419-'1420 in Lucerne and Interlaken chcraft. By the 17th century all the states where the witch-hunt (ibid. child abandomnent (Gelis 19 77: 9 27£1). apothecaries.g. that is. j. ) tI He adds that it was above all necessary to break the complicity. t tha Murray's thesis has been revived in recent years. they related to considerations about rhe woman's character (Green 1989: 435£1). and steeped in magic if not witchcraft. heretics.the I . or the woman-nature relation in early matrif a. has challenged the idea that in the Middle Ages there the care of women and particularly from gynecology and obstettics.

" and they were whipped and shaved like add the crinunalization of prostitution. Couliano was assumed that sexuaJ transgression was presumably recognized by her "evil eye. and the introduction of new laws sanctioning the subordination of the wife to the husband within the family. Until the 18th century in Europe infanticide was punished with in fact. A similar law was passed in 1563. This tale appears in several demonologies. and We used by the state as a reactionary force in its campaign of moral reform (Gelis 197 sagesfemmes :--hy 111 Ages. whi�h had beel� widely used in the . In England. To the attack on women's reproductive rights. It always ends with the man discove ring the injury inflicted on him and forcing the witch to reruTll his penis to hinl. 28. The "sheath" begins to appear in England in the 18th century." lage priests often forbade women who were suspected of being experts in the "tying of knots" (an alleged device for causing maJe impotence) from attending weddings 214 . By the end of the 17th were completely under the control of the state. T he sabotage of the conjugal act was a major theme also in contemporary judicial proceedings regarding matrimony and separation. At times her ers. the prostitute could be drowned. The debate on the nature of the sexes began in the late Middle Ages and then reopened in the 17th century. who had 30. the death penalty was intro­ duced for adultery. that one belongs to the Bishop. the only contraceptive offered by bourgeois medicine was to be the con dom. verse 123). 391fT. used to punish "crimes of honor" and inflicted also on women charged with adultery. (Mandrou 1968: 81-82. during the ProtectOrate. and when they reappeared on the scene they were placed in male hands. Henry II in France passed a Jaw punishing as murderous any WOman who hid her pregnancy and whose child Scocland in was born dead." It diabolicaJ and gave women magicaJ pow­ (1987). that vil­ tile Devil in Dante's l. "Tu non pensavi ch'io loico fossi!" ("You didn't tlunk I was a logician!") chuckles cunningly thought of escaping the eternal fire by repenting in the very act of per­ petrating his crimes (Divine Comedy. she was shaved . starting in the seen (in Chapter witches. For a long ti e contraceptives. we mUSt nud-16th century. 29.!ferno. In Gennany. canto XXVII.promulgated in Strasbourg at the end of the century the 26.hair was viewed as a favorite seat of the devil. the 17th century. She' accompanies him to the top of a tree where she has many hidden in a nest. clley were branded on the forehead with hot irons in a manner reminiscent of the "devil's mark. lIifemo. prostitutes were subjected to atrocious punishments such as that of the acabussade. burned or buried alive. � the death penalty. As Robert Mandrou observes. the prostitute was too. one of the firs t mentions of it is in James Boswell's Diary (quoted by Helleiner 1958: 94). disappeared 27. In England. while snatching the soul of Boniface the VIII. especially in France. Leclry 1886: 100)· 31. Tlus m�y explain 16th century. surv1V1I1g only 111 the milieu of prosti tutio n Middl� ' m . Le Roy Ladurie 1974: 204-205. nose was cut of. As we have 2).. men were so afraid of being made impotent by women. On the relation between eros and magic in the Renaissance. Like the witch. f a practice of Arab origin.see loan P. th e nla1i chooses one but the witch objects:" No. Here. so tha t women were not allowed to use them except with maJe permission. In 1556.

Baco n: Much of the imagery [Bacon] used i n delineating his scientific ro m the counraoms. Cohn 1 975 . For a true-to-lif e Sabbat. Bacon stated that the method by which the secrets of witchcraf t by inquisition. 3. attack against animals. deer. nature's secrets might be discovered consisted i n investigating 1980: 1 68). and jectives and methods derives f ob emale to be tortured through because it treats nature as a f mechanical inventions. who f ormally instituted more egalitarian relations bctween employers and their subordinates (f or instance. . Men whose ordinary diet was too often sparse reckless waste. it is plausible that the climate of f ear cre­ ated by the witch-hum over the years was responsible f or the large presence of chil­ dren among the accusers. by levelling clothing styles) . III a relevant passage. in which sexual elements and themes evoking class revolt combine. and in particular against parental audlority (N. which was beginning to appear as a source of indiscipline. Coh n has interpreted this phenomenon as a revolt of the young against the elderly. But other f actors need to be considered. First. The familiarity that had existed between masters and servants in the Middle Ages vanished with the rise of the bour­ geoisie. in the was 1 6th and 17th cen­ turies. to say noth swans and thousands of bushels of corn.Writes Cornwall: [T]he conduct of the rebels was misrepresented in every way. that witches were of ten accused by children.000 sheep. pp. nor would he sleep in the same room with them. . and monotonous revelled i n the abundance of flesh. On the in this context. while the children who accused them were often the children of t11eir employers. is It 34. . It casted all the sweeter f or coming from the beasts which were the root of so much resentment (Cornwall 1 977: 1 47). but in reality increased the physical and psychological distance between them. The camp caused much scandal among the during the Nort gentry. We must also consider that. as defined by Francis vided the model f torture witches. see Julian Cornwall's description of the rebel camp that peasants set up olk uprising of 1549.000 bullocks and 20. . as it was undoubtedly the case in the Salem witch-trials. It was alleged that the camp became the Mecca for cvery dissolute per­ SOn in the county. Bands of rebels f oraged f or supplies and money. 60 and 70n. f owl. were driven in and consumed. Norman significant. Thus. :· (Merchant . 35. it Was said.Trevor Roper 2000). who apparently looked at it as a veritable Sabbat. we can presume that children were manipulated by their parents to make charges which they dlemselves were reluctant to pursue. there a growing preoccupation among the well-co-do with the physical intimacy between their children and their servants. In the bourgeois household. which began to materialize in the 17th cemu ry. strongly suggests the interrogations of the witch-trials and the mechanical devices used [0 Carolyn Mercha nc argues that the incerrogacions and tonures of the witches pro­ or the methodology of the New Science. It is also important to notice that dlOse charged as witches were mostly proletarian women. ing of pigs. 33. and there was ZIS . above all t11eir nurses. see Chapter 2. in a f ew days. the master would no longer undress in front of his servants.

. James I maintained that it was legitimate.or Adam being delivered of Eve from his chest.. Thorndike 1923-58v: 69.36. above all when confined to the study of seasons and weather forecasts. and told stories of Negroes having intercourse with apes (pp.who promised to change metals into gold. The statute which James I passed in 1604. Ben Jonson's satirical portrait of the alchemist reflects this new attitude.. surrounded by strange vases and instruments.. 38. the feminine hegemony over the process of biological creation . L. a male magician could continue to carry on his work. 121-23).: 115). Astrology. Anthony Barker writes that no aspect of the unfa­ vorable image of the Negro built by the slave owners had wider or deeper roots than the allegation of insatiable sexual appetite. 39. With reference to the West Indies. irrational nature (ibid. alchemy became an object of ridkul e.imposed the death penalty for all who "used spirits and magic" regardless of whether they had done any harm. Holmes 1974: 85-86. althOUgh with some difficulty and taJcing some risks at times.. which were indeed. This statute later became the basis upon which the persecution of witches was carried � on in the American colonies. In his Demollology (1597). or perhaps even arresting.slhe would aut<>­ matically assume the care of the aging parents. as proof of their instinctual. In "Outrunning Atlanta: Feminine Destiny in Alchemic Transmutations. Here we learn that in the same period when the witch_ hunt was peaking. while in the 16th cennlry the parents began to be abandoned and priority was given to invesonent into one's children (Macfarlane 1970: 205). as arable lands and conlIno n fields were being enclosed and turned to pasture in order to raise them. but failed in his performance (Seligman 1948: 12611).. He was often repre sente d at work in his study. The alchemist was depicted as a smoke-seUer. Missionaries reported that the Negros refused to be monogamous. was practiced into the 17th century. In the Middle Ages when a child took over the family property . Monter 1969: 5 7-58.. The fondness of Mricans for music was also held against them. A detailed description of the life of an English astrologer at the end of the 16th century is found in A. Thus the great alchemist Paracelsus gives an affirmative answer to the ques216 . 37. as Thomas Moore put it in his Utopia. The alchemist who exemplifies the primordial striving for control over the natural world seeks nothing less than the magic of maternity . Rowse's Sex and Society in Shakespeare's Age (1974). were excessively libidinous.This desired mastery is also depicted in such imageries as that of Zeus giving birth to Athena from his head . The "beasts" were the much prized wool-producing sheep.. too. oblivious to every_ thing around him. Kur t Seligman writes that from the middle of the 14th century to the 16th Ccntu alchemy was universally accepted.'eating humans'." Allen and Hubbs write that: The recurrent sy mbolism in alchemical works suggests an obses­ sion with reversing. but with the rise of capitalism the attitude of t e monarchs changed. I n Protestant countries.while across the street his wife and children would be knOCking at the poor house. 40.

TIle Story o f the Pari. 41. Babyloll. 213).ides a g<Hlt t". ra/uillg a mill oj fire.A wire" . COllllllulle (1 994: 352-53).1 1 .oug/. 196-99). On the image ofthe petroleuse see Albert Boime's Art and tlte Fretlch Commutle (1995: 109-. rion 'Whether it was possible for an and nature that a man should be born outside a woman's body and a natural mother's' (Allen and Hubbs 1980. Woodcutfrom Fmllcesco-Maria CUlIZZOI COAtl>l1NDIUM MAUiFlCARUM (1610). tlte sky. and Rupert Christiansen's Pari. 217 .

t.-tm a Iwlt/mock.nd I. Before /Jim. .Amerigo Vespucd Imuling seductively lying 011 011 tIle Sout/! Amer.alll coast ill 1497. Desigll byJail 7Modore Galle (1589).. is "America.cr some catmibals are der Slmet. mId tmgrtll1ed by roasting I." Bel.UIIUIII remains.

II ever at rest. In both :-v then fe-imported into Europe. 'Now it.ae obliged to cOIifess that they did adore huacas . f'ever satisfied. large-scale �rishment. perhaps 111ell the priest is 10 blame ifwe lvomen adore ri. sitlce II/ere is I/Ojusticefor us here. ifweJ1ee to tile hills alld puna. ! The assump­ tion is the continuity between the subjugation of the populations of the New World and Ibat of people in Europe. "ever say the truth. TIley say that the lVi"ds min the houses.Colonization and Christianization Caliban and Witches in the New World and so they say that we have come to this earth to destroy the loofld. His/oria del Mondo NUDvo. kill each other. I/• • • overtOme by torture and paitl. 1565). . we redirect the rivers. Nueva Chrotlica y Buell Cobiemo.� raim. but always fUn here and there. afld thell IV! gamble with it. but t"nl lve devour everytlijug. we consume the earth.. this life we WOnleu .e mou. women in particular. . We also have a constant cross-f ertilization whereby forms repr ssi e on that had been developed in the Old World were transported to the New erence to "Caliban and the Witch." (Girolamo Benzoni. 1615) (I• • • I I ntroduction � history ofthe body and the witch-hunt that I have presented is based on an assump­ CIIes We have the f orcible removal of entire communities from their land. are Christja1l. make Ivm. Andfinally they curse the sea which has put 011 the earth such evil alld harsh childreu. in the transition to capitalism. rob. {the oomell/ u. .hem. alld have deprived them oJtheir meatlS oflivelihood.nggold and sillier. a"d thefire hums . seek.ey lamented. . the launching or'Christianizing"campaigns destroying people's aucon­ and COl1ununal relations. TI. we afe never quiet. mId cut tile trees. " (Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. 219 . swear. .." the characters of tion that is sununed up by the ref �T empest symbolizing the American Indians' resistance to colonization.

and what enabled the lat­ ter to subvert tlus plan and. which (to my knowledge) is the first in English to reconstruct the history of the Andean women persecuted other is Luciano Parinetto's witches. (HId Witches (1987). More than that. The Streghe e Porere (1998). and turn their members against each other. religions and nature survived beyond the persecution providing. due to th flow of gold. Due primarily the struggle of women. It is now recognized. an inter national division of labor had taken shape that divided the new global proletariat b � example is the extension of the witch-hunt to the American colonies. But the similarities in the treatments t which the populations of Europe and the Americas were subjected are sufficient to demonstrate the existence of one single logic governing the development of capitalism means of different class relations and systems of discipline. which remain the focus of the scholarship on witch-hunting in the New World. serving to justify enslavement and genocide. couM be enclosure of land. was largely considered by historians to be limited to Europe. two texts. the use of devil-worship as a weapon to strike at political was mies and vilify entire populations (like Muslims and Jews) already conunon alllo�g ene­ the elite. as Seymour Phillips writes.The differences should not be underestimated. The only exception admitted to this rule were the Salem witch trials. a "persecuting society" had deve - 220 . destroy enclosure collective resistance.This is extremely impor­ tant for us. silver and other resources coming from the Americas into Europe. By the 18th century. It was also a strategy of and as [0 relations. for we need to rethink: how the conquistadors strove to subdue those whom they colonized. and the structural character of the atrocities perpetrated in this process. against the destruction of their social and physical universe. a sttldy of witch hunting and the redefinition as of gender relations in Inca society and colonial Peru. depending on the context. as in Europe. Above all. how� ever. in particular. witch-hunting was a means of dehumanization which. bodies or social such the paradigmatic form of repression. The first is Irene Silverblatt's MOOII. the local dred years. marred. Nevertheless. An Outstandin g conflicting histories within the working class. Both these works demonstrate that also in the New World witch-hunting was Q deliberate strategy used by the authorities to instill terror. at a time when a renewed assault is being made on the resources and mode of existence of indigenous populations across the planet. On this subject. must be mentioned that form the basis for my discussion in this chapter. a source of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist resistance. by the author's insistence that the persecution of the witches gender-neutral. silence entire conU11Uniries. in the past. that the charge of devil-worshjpping played a key function also in the coloniz ation of the American aboriginal population. create a new historical reality. the connection of the American Indians with the land. marking the beginning of ofteY : The persecution of women and men through the charge of witchcraft is a phe � nomenon that. for morc than five hun­ I The Birth of the Cannibals W hen ColUlnbus sailed co "Indies" the witch-hunt in Europe was not yet a mass phe­ nomenon. however. SUII. a series of essays that document the was impact of witch-hunring in America on the witch trials in Europe. W itch-hunting did not destroy the resistance of the colonized.

picturing the " Indians" as innocent. It llips (Phi as ITIaJl Y an ob U aggression "Other of ject e th t ipper were the � if" cannibal. no space was left for any acconm1odations. "The whip. however. Defining the aboriginal American populations as cannibals. and sexuaJ customs of the peoples they encountered. 62). in 1 508. : ing one's power over other people is not possible without denigrating them to the Point Where the possibility of identification is precluded. men in loincloths had to put on abandon their gods and sexual customs. h tI E wh " cthnographi the and conquistadors interpreted providing filter through which missionaries id. helped the Spanish Crown but silver and gain Americas ." even though many political and religious leaders from central Mexico were put on trial and burned at the stake by the Franciscan f ather Juan de Zumarraga.e struggle against tile devil consisted lDainly ofbonfires oflocal "idols. Most stigmatizing and per­ marks ra1 cting t�e Spania�' la��r n�eds we� "nakedness" and "sodomy. devil-worshippers. as bemgs liv1I1g 10 an arumal state (thus capable of bemg turned Amerindians 6ed the burden). and occasional (Cockroft for it the blessing of the Pope and complete authority over the Church in the killing became standard weapons f or enforcing labor discipline" in the New World 1990: 19).Ut the gentle Tainos. rape. the image of the colonized as devil-worshippers could coexist with a more positive." Ibus functiolung as a license to kill regardless of what the intended victims might do. as a sign of of their bestiality. though some reports also stressed. complementing . that look d edie � Europe. a s Roberto Retamar.""infidel. and stock. (B]are­ !louse. In a first phase. But at this time.3 when much zeal 1 520 to IS40s) in which the Spaniards still believed that the aboriginal populations would be easily converted and subjugated (Cervantes 1 994). (Cockcroft: 1983: 21). imprisonment. gibbet.2 Other culthe cult contributed to the invention of the "Indians". And. a claim that." expressing the Europeans' inability to see the people they met as real human beings. IS not surpns­ ." that qualips proje . ures. religions. It also removed.ristian intoleran e." recalling the myth ical "Golden Age" or an earthly paradise (Brandon 1986: 6-8. military one. that portrayed the colOluzed as "filthy" and demonic beings practicing 221 �. has suggested. even idyllic one. especially polygamy and homosexuality. This \vas the time of mass baptisms. and or gold sodonutes supported the fiction that the Conquest was not an unabashed quest f was a converting mission. Thus. This characterization may have been a literary stereotype or. their beasts into � (ib : propensity to share and "give everything they have in return for things of little value" (Hulme 1994: 198). in the years between 1536 (when the Inquisition was introduced in South Aanerica) and 1 543." and devil worsh IIlg 0f expansion age d h · " new e " t entere l C ie uropeans 1 WI e d mo 1s" tI c · . torture. and generous beings.. the rhetorical counterpart of the image of the "savage. however. ti. Sale 199 1 : 1 00-101).' ' ''monstrous races." f ed by militarism and h oped within J � � !� . despite the earlier homi­ � As the Conquest proceeded. any sanction against the atrocities which they would commit against the " Indians.''''barbarian. living a lif e "free of toil and tyranny. among ochers. 1994). But this optinustic view also corresponded to a period in the conquest (from was deployed in convincing the "Indians" to change their names and _ted women were f orced to cover themselves. an ideological machine was set in motion. in the eyes of the world and possibly ofthe colonizers them­ selves. Thus. indeed.

"involving human flesh. would have been unthink without an ideological campaign representing the latter 222 as How successful was this strategy can be seen from the ease with which the Spa ni ards e rationalized the high mortality rates caused by dle epidemics that swept the re� on in � n �r an. in 1521. cannibalism.such as De Gomara's (1556) and Acosta's (1590) . a conunon cure for epilepsy and other illnesses in many European coulluies.6 Also the debate [hat took place in 1550. By the middle of the six­ teenth century. at Valladolid. bone marrow. must not have been too different from the med­ ical practices that were popular in Europe at the time.17dt and even 18th cen­ turies. according CO Cortez. cannot be iC easily attributed to a cultural shock. which they interpreted as God's punishment for the Indians beas Y conduct. among the Spaniards. which figure promi­ slaughtered 100.5 T hus. and its influence subject (1994: 8). by the mass sacrifices carried out. was Furdlermore. when we read Bartoleme De Las Casas' account of the destruction of the Indies or any other account of the Conquest. particularly by th� Aztecs. blood. in 1590. whose repressive machinery included the practice of human sacrifices (Martinez �t alI976). the drinking of human blood (especially the blood of those who had died of a was violent death) and mununy \vater.000 people.imals and demons'? . on whether ab e not the "Indians" were to be considered as human beings. the neW horror that the Spaniards felt for the aboriginal populations. incest. but mUSt be seen as a response inherent to the log of colonization that inevitably must dehumanize and fear those it wants to ensla ve. afrer the 1550s. we wonder why should the Spaniards have been shocked by this practice when they themselves had no qualms conunitting unspeak­ able atrocities for the sake of God and gold and. the cannibalistic rituals they discovered in America. published in Sevilla.ln the HiSloria NaturalY Moral de lAs Illdias. while the same crimes that previously had been anributed t were 11 0 _ signs that the "Indians" were under the dominion of the devil and they co be justifiably deprived of their lands and their lives (Williams 1986: 136-137). there are descriptions that give us a vivid sense of the repulsion generated. cross dressing treated as all kinds of abominations. this type of cannibalism. prac­ wake of the Conquest. nently in the records of the Conquest.e New World (1994 : before 1530 it would have been difficult to predict which one of these views would emerge as the dominant one. seen to descend like a thick fog on every statement officially and unofficially made on the It could be surmised. by the Jesuit Joseph de Acosta. [a] negative demonic view of Amerindian culrures had triumphed. on the basis of the contemporary histories of the "Indies" .4Yet. heart. however.sodomy. they had Similarly. Fernando Cervantes writes in TI. In the 16th. betwee Bartolome de Las Casas and the Spanish jurist Juan Gines de Sepulveda. skull.that rills change of perspective was prompted by the Europeans' encounter with imperialistic states like the Aztec and Inca. and other body parts was not limited to fringe groups of society but ticed in the most respectable circles" (Gordon-Grube 1988: 406-407). obtained by soaking human flesh in various spirits.lack of religious education . which involved thousands of youths (war captives or purchased children and slaves). was : . In ref e_ ence to this image-shift. in Spain. just to conquerTenochtitlan (Cockroft 1983: 19).e Devil i" TI.

in which the author describes IUs captivity among the carUli­ . already centered on the of the human quartering. rel1liniscem of witches' Sabbats. featuring human heads and limbs as the main course. lvitll hutlultl rem"itl.. and Hans Staden's W ahrhaiftjge IorI Q (Marburg 1557).i" (Brazil).. which displays a �er of horrific images: women and children stuffing themselves with human entrails. Prior contributions to the cultural production a( the A merindians as bestial beings are the illustrations in us Sillgularitez tie III Fratlce �ique (Paris 1557) by the French Franciscan Andre Thevet. compiled by Johann Ludwig Gottfried. Tr al'd logs iffustmted lvirll lJOrrific images ofcatmibals sm ffiug tllemselves The spread of illustrations portraying life in the New World. IIldio s of Brazil ( parinetto 1998: 4 28). that began to circu­ late in Europe after the 1550s.s 223 . �e.. tl((Ordi"g to tlJe descriptio" of lhe Gem".}. f easting on legs and arms while "-ching the roasting of human remains. Or the cannibal conununity gathered around a grill .A cllPUlibaf tu"UJuet i" &. completed this work ofdegradation. and banquet. A late example of this genre of literature is Lt livre des AlIIipodes ( 1630). A Idcllburg. with their multitudes of naked bodies and cannibalistic banquets. cooking.. J. G.S prolffomted ill Europe ill tile tiftenmlth ofthe cO'UJJu!St.

the Amerindiall (OlWllutJity rOflSting lltld feeding 011 JlUmml rmll/ins completed the degradation Of the aborigitwl AmericmJ populations begull by the work of rf. lfIustrations displaying 224 . Cmmiba/s ill &Jllia feasting Oil human ret/wills.e missiOllllries.

in the anti-Indian propaganda and anti-idolatry campaign thac accompa­ oed the colonization process.!! a native millenarian move- 22S . bue it was still not sufficient to satisfy their �. by the initiative of the Provincial Diego de Landa. the Spaniards had not completely clisrupted the (caciquez in Mexico. which bought f ood and goods no longer produced in Spain. for the wealth they accumulated. ound in the areas they colonized. By the 1 550s. This was so dependent 15SOs. The decision was �ce in theby the crisis of the "plunder economy" that had been introduced after the ated otiv whereby the accumulation of wealth continued to depend on the expropriation uest �onq ns'" surplus goods more than on the direct exploitation Qated with the system of the of their labor (Spalding ofthe "India Until the 1550s. the persecution that was the foundation of a new colonial economy. In Peru. in the COUrse DOUs cultures paving the way to a draconian intensification of colonial rule. on the tribute systems put into place by the Aztecs and Incas. nUlling point. an anti-idolatry campaign was launched in the Yucatan peninsula. as well. kuracas in Peru) delivered them quotaS of goods and labor supposedly compatible with the survival of the local econom ies. so that work ClIne to an end and the regional economy mounted �da was disrupted. a war was declared on indige­ In Mexico. both in Mexico and Peru. Steve . despite the massacres and the exploitation asso­ Stern 1982) J.8 The need to squeeze more work from the aboriginal populations largely derived iom the situation at home where the Spanish Crown was literally floating on the American bullion. Stern 1982) . like the leg­ endary one at Potosi. was the decision by the Spanish Crown. . 1984. The rribute which the Spaniards exacted was much higher than that the Aztecs and Incas bad ever demanded of those they conquered. since it signaled to the "'as Over Population that the Spaniards were there to stay and that the rule of the old gods (ibid. hlStead. However.I E x p l oitation. 1 0 It was in response to th is challenge that. Coi nCid ing with the rise of the Taki Onqoy movement. whereby designated ch iefS fluomienda. they had subsistence economies which they had f adied. by the priate the bulk ofthe Indians' labor f or the extraction of silver to be shipped to Spain. the plun­ CD dered wealth financed the Crown's European territorial expansion. years of enslavement in the mines) that many people died or trated public punishment which finished destroying their bodies and their morale (C1endinnen 1987: 7 1-92). Resistance . they were finding it difficult to obtain enough labor for the both the obtwjts (manuf acturing workshops where goods were produced f or the international mar­ ket) and the exploitation of the newly discovered silver and mercury mines. the first large-scale attack on diabolism occurred in the 1 560s. the charge of practicing human sacrifices. others fled their homes or cOlrunitted suicide. to intro­ American colonies a far more severe system of exploitation. and Dernonization It. in the lS50s. the Crown was ready to undermine the power ofthe encomenderos in order to appro­ the continuous arrival of masses of silver and gold from the New W orld that. So cruel were the penalties inflicted (floggings so severe that lemained unfit for work. In addition.500 people were rounded up and brutally torrured under they made the blood flow.9 But mistance to colonization was mounting (Spalding 1984: 1 34--1 35.: 1 90). They were then subjected to a weU-orches­ of which more than 4. this turn occurred in 1562 when.

they were collectively cared for. sculpture. it �. These recommendations was denounced that "[t]here are famous witch were repeated au the ancestor. As such. ceremonies and diabolical rites of the Indians. the Takionqo encouraged people to reject the Christian religion.Women talked to them. and animals embodying the spirits synod in Quito. its historical recognized them as the main link with the land.e refamI demanded by the Spanish Cra'" T o ne cofer f s.they prontised . In Stern's words. in the 1550s. w � asures were introduced for tllis purpose. the movement spread widely. and above with the worship of the local gods 59) and. Attributing the def ea sufe f red and the rising mortality to the abandonment of the local gods. and to "stop wearing shirts." tral to economic reproduction. This practiced sacrifices were punished by death.clothing recei v ed from the Spaniards. stones. embarked in a systematic destruc­ tion of anytlting resembling an object of worship.were forbidden and th()!l who took part in them mercilessly humed down" (Baudez and Picasso 1992: 21). and worshipped for everyon( of regions of South America.and the names. the quota of labor that the local chiefS had to provide for the ntines and "" .songs.4). and that increased the exploitation of indigenous labor to ensure a better flow of bullion intO itS � was vasdy In�and the enforcement of the new rule was placed under th. SlIP" 226 This Process went hand in hand with ti. springs.The response came with the ecclesiastical Council held in Lima in 1567. fed.. both facilitated by the anti-idolat11 campaign. temples burned. as weD as artistic and intellectual activities (painting.hierO­ glyphic WTi ting) .I Colonization ana cnnsnanlzwuvu clothes from Spain" (Stern 1982: 53).suspected of being inspired by the devil. guard the Imacas and converse with the devil" (Hemming 1970: 397). "Idols were destroyed. and those who celebrated native rites w as understood by the Spaniards who. in fact.food. it marked the first time that the peo. If this was done . sandals or any othe r � ayullus (family unit). arrest witch-doctors. people's relation to the land. The Iwacas were mountains. and dances. and their intensely spiritual relation to nature.the reviv ed Imacas would turn the world around and destroy the Spaniards by sending sickness and £loods to their cities. the movement marked the beginning of a new sel� of identity capable of overcoming the divisions connected with the traditional orga ni_ ple of the Andes began to think of themselves as one people. in 1570.in som( Destroying them or forbidding their worship was to attack the cotrunuruty. hats.. to ensure a healthy crop (Descola 1994: 191-214). as far ea t s as Cuzco.the ocean rising to erase any memory of their existence (Stern 1982: The threat posed by the Taquionqos was a serious one since.as they apparently still do. They also urge them to refuse the tribute payments and labor dra fts the Spaniards imposed on them. and with the agricultural practices cen­ Picasso write about the anti-idolatry drive conducted by the Franciscans against t� Mayas in the Yucatan also applies to the rest of Mexico and Peru. as "[neliaru" (Stern 1982: zation of the 52-{. and over the high puna of the South to La Paz in contemporary Bolivia all discover and destroy shrines and talismans" connected doctors who .un(as). festivities such as banquecs.observation of stars. which established that the priests should "extirpate the innumerable superstitions. ment that preached against collaboration with the Europeans and for a pan-Ande a" alliance of the local gods (huacas) pucting an end to colonization. They were also to stamp out drunkenness. reaching "as far north as Lima. where. again.­ (Spalding') 984: 246). FIrst. What Claude Baudez and Sydney roots.. by calling for a pan_ Andean unification of the Iwacas.

this time targeting women in particular."dles IO/lg aroulJd tlleir /leeks. It began with the reading of the edict against idolatry and the preach­ anonymOus inf ormants. and various other f orms of humiliation: reports. . instead of diminishing. by the priest-inquisitor Don Juan Sarmiento.Thus. Seelfcs Uy Felipe A"dellli wo/tltmJorad to lvork ill vision ofa local representative ofthe Crown gram ister other f orms of punishment in case (eorregidore) with the power to aTrest and admin­ of f ailure to comply. people con­ pIU (6elds) af ter being removed from their homes. TI. that. . exile.CUll/mill Poml' de Aytdtl. Further. Tills f ollowed by secret denunciations supplied by TI. . the attack tinued to worship their gods. in tllis case consisting of Public whipping. so as to place it under a more direct control. TIley /Vere ordered to wear these marks of humiliation f rom 'hnt 227 . As she �unts in Europe. however.e people semel/red were brought into tIle public sqlwre.l to both. in the same way as they continued to return to their on the local gods intensified with time. under the cover of Christianization. Karen Spalding has described one of these witch-hunts conducted in the rtpaTtimiento ofHuarochiri'. /VitI! lVoodell crosses about six . soon dear. climmng between mil­ 1619 and 1660 when the destruction ofthe idols was accompanied by true witch-hunts. tlllmu j llwring lvork­ shops produo"J!Jor the j"lema­ liomd /tf(lrket. since persecution of the ancestor religion associated with them It was the rtduaiofles gained strength from the demoruzation of the local worsh ipping sites.ey were placed UPOll mules and dOl/keys. then came the questioning of the suspects. the investigation \vas conducted according to the same pattern of the witch­ was IDg of a sermon against this sin. a resettlement pro­ viIbges. and then the sentencing and punishment.The destruction of the luuuas and the was (reduaiollts) was introduced removing much of the rural population inco designated instrumenca. in 1 660. the use of torture to extract conf essions. Ihe obrajes.

(From 51(1. Saue 4: A member ofthe Yak. 5"".) tllrallgh dream. 1982.k st!ized by if Imam rrprtsttlled as the devil.. Scttle 1: Public humiliatiotl dl4ritlg ntl tUlti-idolmry campaign. Onqoy mom'lfflt U1ith Il is as tIle devil. Seetle 2: l#mrtl "as spoils of conquest. spet.1( 228 . Scetle 3:T1le Iwacas.Scenesfram Felipe GUfltmltl Pomn de Aytt/n represetltirtg lhe ordenl ofA'ldtdtl . npresenled Il It dnmketl Inditltl WilD J.wmen (wd rhe followers of the ancestors' religiOtI.

in the eyes of dIe cOllununities. Ropes were put around their flecks. 1 660. "dle ancestors and I Women and Witches in America aki Onqoy movement. most negatively affected by it. in the same way as � is not a coincidence that "[m]ost of dle people convicted in dle investigation of 1660 was women who blost strongly def ended the old mode of existence and opposed the new power structure. by the 1 650s the crimes of which they were accused revolved around "witchcraft. . dealt with curing. crimes uncovered by the authorities . as it had been in pre-conquest America.ese hoods the hair lVas cuI o f 'mll/iliation. as reflected by the existence of many important f emale deities in their religions. some Ivith their crimes.onvard.cy lVere paraded slowly f them reading out their through the streets oj the toum lVith a cricr ahead o fter this spectacle the people IPere brought back. .ood made o fpaslcbollrd. Ihat .h the cot-o'·" i"e-tails lvielded by tlte village executio"er (Spaldi"g 1984: 256). the Span iards were in part successf ul. Spalding concludes that : 71. people's faith in the ividual prac­ eff ectiveness of their gods weakened.f. In this.eads. and they increasingly resembled the accusations made against witches in Europe." Yet. A backs bleediugfrom the 2 0. f or instance. didactic theatre pieces directed to the audie"ce as much as to the participants. 40 or 100 lashes !Vi. "dle funns of what might be generally called village 'witchcraft'. 17Jose !Vito were condemned to receive lashes had their mark o backs bared. Faced with torture. and worship turned into a secret ind How deeply the social f abric was aff ected by these terror campaigns can be deduced.vos the EI4ropeall Catholic mark ff. a COlIC shaped I. to create a "space of death"13 ear dlat they would accept anything where potential rebels would be so paralyzed with f ather dIan having to f ace the same ordeal of those publicly beaten and humiliated.e idolatry campaiglls were exemplary rituals.en had been dle main presence in the T Jllausibly because they were also the ones who were III Iiuarochiri' were women (28 out of 32)" (Spalding 1984 : 258). TI." a practice now presuming a secretive behavior. Women had held a powerful position in pre-Colwnbian societies. finding lost goods. many alliances and friendships broke down. in the Huaroch iri area. lite reli dayf gious authorities PUI a met/ieval coroza. Reaching an island ofT 229 . . 0" Ilteir f.: 265) Their ob jective was to intimidate the population. much like a public IWIIging in medieval Europe (ibid. . f rom the changes that over time took place in the nature of the charges. It '-'Orn. Be"cath . according to Spalding. WIllie in the 1 550s people could openly acknowledge theirs and their CODUllUlUty'S attaclmlent to the traditional religion.au Aut/eat' cifitif amy ami disgrace. In the campaign launched in tice rather than a collective one. anonymous denunciations and public humiliations. the same campaign IIVaks (lluneas) continued to be essential to their survival" (Spalding 1984: 261). and other teveaIed that despite the persecution.

for the mistreatment inflicted upon them by their male relatives (Silverblatt 1987). in charge of producin e and during the ceremonies. it was the " Indian" men themselves who delivered their female kin to the priests or etlcomellderos in exchange f or some econom ic reward or a public post. some conunitted su. Another source of degradation f or women was the new Spanish legislation which declared polygamy illegal. within the colon ial economy. advisi� them as to what it should be safe to tell them and what they should not reveal. men had to either separate from their w ives or reclassify them as maids (Mayer 1981). women were reduced to the condition of servants worlcing as maids (for the ellc omellderos. in order to maintain their power. to baptize their children or to cooperate in any way with the colonial POttcflg UIUOns authorities and priests. using For all these reasons. their sOcia ll recogruzed spheres of activity and. Women suffered also at the hands of the traditional chief s who. And ".f or. Pre-conquest American women had their orgallizations.. so that. healers (curanderas). the authorities established that spouses could not be separated.the coast aftheYucatan peninsula.a fate that people recognized to be worse than death . presumably to prevent them from going to the mines and also out ofdisgust. in front of the def ection of many local chie6 who were co-opted by the cololual structure. appar­ ently. while the children issued from these unions were labeled according to five different types of illegitimacy (Nash 1980: 143). rn the European f antasy. with the arrival of the Spaluards. In Southern Mexico. At times. a sacred substance believed to have been invented by the gods and associated with Mayahuel..sas) at the service of household gods. house-workers and weavers. t. the priests.This explains why women were the backbone of the Taki Onqoy movement. Women were also f orced to follow their husband when they wouJd have to do mita work in the mines . and priestesses (sacerd ot. they also held col1f essions to prepare people for when they would meet with the catholic priests. ref to go to Mass.1lcing on f unctions which they had never previously exercised. women became the main enenues of colonial rule. an earth-mother goddess thac was "the f ocal point of peasant religion" (Taylor 1970: 31-32).leaders. Y n. while polygamous were dissolved.icide and killed their male chil­ dren. In the Andes. In addition to being f armers. instead of marrying. America itself\vas a reclining naked woman seductively inviting the approaching white stranger. Thus. began to turn to public prostinltes (Hcnuning 1970). overnight.hi1 � 230 . the corre�id ores) or as weavers in the obrajes. while not equal to mcn. so that many men. Hernandez de Cordoba named it Isla Mujer es "because the temples they visited there contained numerous f emale idols" (Baudez an d Picasso 1992: 17). from then on. could be compelled to do mine labor in addition to preparing food f or the male workers.14 they were considered co. no aborigin21 woman \vas saf e from rape or appropriation. Ironically. they were the colorful cloths worn in everyday lif herbalists. Others organized their conmlUiuties and. and guardians ofme: huncos. began to rake over the corrununal lands and expropriate the f emale members of the cOl1ununity from land use and water rights. so that women and children. In Peru. in the region of Oaxaca. in 1528. duction of puJque-maguey. became priests. plementary to them in their contribution to the f amily and society. in 1 51 7. But with the Spaniards' arrival everything changed. as they brought their baggage of misogynous beliefs and restructured the economy and political power in ways Chat f avored men. they were connected with the Pro.

They also con­ orce the accused to deliver As it W2S in Europe. Changes occurred in the meaning of the practices associated with it. On the cbey confessed to bewitch ing the authorities or otller men of power and causing them to die (ibid. More participate in Catholic conf ject Catholicism. and conscious political resistance became increasingly inter­ biined" (ibid. As Silverblatt points out. to the quality of social relations which their religion expressed (1987: 1 97). to the best that they could. 1 87-88) .They also vigorously re nial ideology. which reinforced their oppression." being f mel they were also diviners.bef ore the Conquest women had been in charge exclusively of the ceremonies dedicated emale deities. disobeying Spanish administrators. and springs. using oint­ orst of all. prescribing herbal remedies. the Spaniards targeted both the practi­ tioners of the old religion and the instigators of anti-colonial revolt. they became assistants or principal officiants in cults dedi­ CO f had been f or­ ted to the male-ancestors. the isolation of the w lhuniry. afterwards. it was largely due to women's resistance that the old religion W2S or as comadres and their presence was required in were actively sought f ized. They also f ought the colonial power by withdrnwing to the higher :dden (Stern where Irene Silverblatt WrItes: they practice the old religIOn. they returned to important. as well as their native religion and. "they tenance of ancient traditions. But the Christian notion of the devil was unknown to them. mountains. women fled to the punas. and f ments. By persecuting women as witches. W -. inac­ cessible and very distant from the reducdolles of their native conulluni­ ute by abandoning their conullunities and going to work as While indigenous men often fled the oppression of the orces and symbols of their jected the f ties. �trary. planes (punas) could As mila and trib­ yacOfJa5 (quasi-sem) in the merging haciendas. and orced acculturation" the Andean women arrested.W fessed to worshipping stones. eeding the huacas. The Andean witches were not turned into outcasts. then.). mostly old and poor. witchcraft. women did not just re oppression. Once in the PUfJas women re jected the colo­ their own conullunity officials. "specialists in medical knowledge. was not achieved. In Peru as well.something that before the Conquest 1 982). But the ties with the mountains and the other sites of the huacas were nO[ destroyed. intense persecution. torture and terror were used to f other names so that the circles of the persecution became wider and wider. the main­ or in the consciousness of the colon. refusing to go to Mass. were accusing "f themselves of the same crimes with which women were being charged in the European witch trials : pacts and copulation Witll the devil. f ip orsh Pltserved . Indeed. many women were amiliar with the properties of herbs and plants. essions.driven underground at the expense ofits collective nature in pre-conquest times.huacas . under the impact of torture. as in every pre-industrial society. the clergy. the concept of witchcraft was alien to Andean society. But one of i tches from tile rest of the com­ the objectives of the witch-hunt. Nevenheless. IIIf'orrnaJ village reunions. while attempting to redefine "the spheres of activity in which indigenous women could participate" (Silverblatt 1987: 160). making wax images (Silverblatt 1987: 1 74). or learn catholic dogma. by the 17th century. 231 . flying through the air.

Caliban's imagination: � Be not ar eard. played an important role in the def ense of their conmlUnities and cuk cures. the women being in charge of sending rain and giving wealch to those who asked f or it" (de Leon 1985. Act V. it was a priestess who led the troops against them." He couJd also be deceived into believing that Ius liberation could come through a rape and through the initiative of some opportunistic white proletarians transplanted in the New World whom he worshipped as gods. For Caliban could only fight his master by cursing him in the lan­ guage he had learned from him. chat when wak'd I cried to dream again (171e Tempest. should be taken by Latin An1erican revolutionaries as a symbol of the resist­ ance to colonization. In this region. make flows and ebbs" (TIle Tempest. and sweet airs. as a promise. It is ironic. In Chiapas too. Act III). "nature's treasuries" . instead. over centuries of suffering. and that already haunted. in one out offour cases. sub Women also participated in the underground networks of idol-worshippers and resisters that periodically were discovered by the clergy. they led the attack against the authori_ ties "and were visibly more aggressive. the Spaniards launched a war campaign to jugate the rebellious Chiapanecos. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears. according to Antonio Garcia de Leon's Resiste"cia y Utopia. I 232 The European Wit c hes and the "Indios" . Sycorax. thus being dependent in his rebellion on his "master's tools. when. the isle is full of noises. they were the key actors in the preservation ofthe old religion and the anti_ colonization struggle. and that they were being counseled by women. and show riches Ready to drop upon me.the land. insulting. the witch. 1 : 31). such as (sabbat-like) ceremonies during which they mixed together and turned into gods and goddesses. the trees. the presence ofwomen in popular rebellions continued into the 18th century when. have continued to nourish the liberation struggle to this day. women "directed or counseled all the great anti-colonial revolts" (de leo 1985. in view of this record. Thus. 111 Oaxaca.We find a simjlar situation in Central and Southern Mexico where women. from th Conquest on. priest.Vol. upon vi siting Chiapas. a witch "so strong that she could control the moon. Sounds. esses above all. with whom they entertained filthy practices. that give delight and hurt not. That if then had wak'd after long sleep. The clouds methought would open. and sometimes voices.and those cOl1Ununal ties that. in 1524.I: 7 6). and rebellious" (Taylor 1979: 116). the waters. the bishop Pedro de Feria was told that several among the local Indian chiefS were still practicing the old cults. that Caliban and not Ius mother Sycorax. Will make me sleep again and then dreaming. then. for instance. Scene 1) nught have taught her son to appreciate the local powers .VoJ. In 1 584.

inent in dle repertoire of witchcraft in Europe: cannibalism. by the 16th century. during a several mondtS' persecution in the bst." another import &om the New W as a political srratl1!Y which. in the second half of dle 16th cenmry. • SUfficient proof that the Europeans did not have to cross the oceans to find the will to . had their manix What to make of chis theory and where to draw the 1jne between what is account­ able and what is speculative? This is a question that f uture scholarslup wiU have to set­ tk. denounced its entire population as witches.in the f letariat. we can observe that the history ofEurope bef ore the Conquest the witch-hunt i n Europe without resorting to the New World impact hypothesis.practically.ich the European ruling class had f orged since the Middle Ages with the perse­ tics wh cution of the heretics? I ask these questions having in nund the thesis adv. Parinetto Evidence of a crucial connection between dle two persecutions is.e 16th century (parineno 1998: 417-35). who argues that witch-hunting in the New W of the witchcraft ideology in Europe. Parinetto's thesis is that it under the impact of the American expe­ witches. For in America. the authorities and the clergy f ably. in Parinetto's ple ofthe " boomerang effect" produced by the transplanting of the "vitch-hunt in America. Not the case of dle inquisitor Pierre Lancre who. the reference CO oinonents and drugs. Here I lirnit myself to a f ew observations. region of the Labourd (Basque Country). coming to believe in the existence of entire populations of orld. exterminate those standing in their way. Parineno's thesis is important since it hdps us dispel the Eurocentrism that has characterized the study of the witch-hunt and can potentially answer some of the ques­ tions raised by the persecution of the European witches. a set of themes clut. as an exam­ view. but he also mentions Francesco Maria Guano and citcs. But its main contribution is that it broadens our awareness of the global character of capitaljst development and makes us �e that. a ruling class had formed in Europe that was at all points ormation of a world pro­ IDvolved . the use nude by the demonologists in Europe of the reports from the Indies.Thus.mced by the Italian historian orld had a ma jor impact Luciano Parinetto. As for its claims.15 of the Huguenots and the massification of the witch-hunt start­ focuses onJean Bodin. and ideologically . and the identifica­ - tion ofhomosexualicy (sodomy) wieh diabolism in <he New W orld. Parinetto cites. described by missionaries as "the land of the devil. he argues. a conviction which they then applied in their Christianization drive at home. Briefly put. became prom. lance the decades between the I 560s and 1 620s saw a widespread impoverislunent and IociaJ dislocations throughout most of western Europe. was the adoption by the European state of extermillnrioll their views about devil-worship. as weU as the chronology of the daboration the on was pid the witch-hunts in the New W orld have an impact on events in Europe? Or were persecutions simply tWO drawing from the same pool of repressive strategies and tac­ the European witch-hunt. and therefore was continually operating with knowledge gathered on an imer­ DatiOnal level in the elaboration of its models of dom ination. presW11massacre rience that the witch-hunt in Europe became a mass phenomenon in the second part of ound the confimution for the 16th cenrury. It is also possible to account f or the chronology � 233 . as evidence of his thesis. irupired the ing in the lase decades of cl. all of which. politically. the olf ering of children [0 the devil.

ilxrl bmulllel. 1 608). 71.NDIUM 'UIS o"e oJ. GUIU'.ht demollologisls most infllletlad by . /-/(ms SfaJcn's 234 W AHRHAI'71GE HISlORlA (Marbu'll 1557).UI'I3.MAUF ICARUM (Mililtl. .er. &I1om: Cm/llibals preplIrillg their mcnl.ms.IIe �rtsfrom tht A".d or wkerl f rom Illegallo14!S is rcmiuiS(ctlt of the mm.s portrait a fwitches surrouPldillg the rem/littS oJ bodies ex(m�lIIedfrom tile grow..zO Top: FrmlaSCo Maria GunzzoJ CO.

e Sabblll. Genlltl1l eugralljll gJrom 16t11 (rr/Jury. 239 . tltt Bouam: Prepan'''g '' ((lImibal meld. Hmls Stadel/'s W AHRHAFHG£ Hls"IORJA (MariJU'R 1557 ).Top: PrrptmuionJ o r lI.

and it can account f or many other"coincidences. .sala­ courage . . 262-63) . In the place of the persecution e th as paternalistic perspective emerged that looked at idolatry and magical practices f oibles of ignorant people not worthy of being taken into consideration by "Ia gente Witch-hunting in America continued in waves through the end of the 1 7th century. as ref erences to women making ointtnents f rom the blood of toads or children's bones are f ound already in the 1 5th-century trials and demonologies. But it cannot be assumed that this theme was The same poisonous brew was presumably spread by the European witches on their generated in the New World. tlle preoccupation with devil-worshipping \\I'OlJ1 d� 236 . . . razon" (Behar 1987). because from antiquity it was by always an off ering to their gods and f or tills much worshipped. which reads the witches f American practice as a perversion of the Christian habit of consecrating priests anointing them: The idol-priests in Mexico oint themselves in the f ollowing way. . 16What is plausible. bodies (according to their accusers) in oroer to gain the power to fly to the Sabbat. .) and speak with the devil (Acosta.Tlus grease was made ofpoisonous substances . when the persistence ofdemographic decline and increased political and economic seCU­ the 16th and 17th cenruries. by the 18th." such as the f act that both in Europe and America witches were accused of sacrificing children to the devil (see figures pp. . The same consideration may serve to explain the iconographic correspondence between the pictures of the Sabbat and the various representations of the c3mubal f am­ ily and clan that began to appear in Europe in the later 16th century. .They greased themselves f rom the f eet to the head. in provoking a rethinking of the European witch-hunt from the viewpoint of witch-hunting in America. . except when they went to sacrifice . . adding new details and giving more authority to them. apparently estimating th . pp. From then on.H untinq and Globalization rity on the side of the colonial power-structure combined to put an end to the perse­ of cution. Consider the f ollowing passage f ound in Acosta. are the thematic and the iconographic corre� spondences between the two. . f this greasing they could rurn into magicians (bru ) o. with rogs. . instead. Thus. vipers . as the descriptions of the behavior of the Aztec or Incan priests on the occasion of human ound in some demonologies describing the preparations of the sacrifices evoke those f or the Sabbat. the substance with which they stained themselves was ordinary tea. The theme of self -ointing is one of the most revealing. . in the same region that had witnessed the great anti-idolatry campaigns a they could no longer pose a danger to colonial rule. is that the reports from America did revitalize these charges. including the hair . . the Inquisition had renounced any attempts (0 at influence the moral and religious beliefS of the population. this was their ordinary greasing . or went to the caves where they kept their idols when they used a diff erent greasing to give themselves manders.More suggestive. . 234--5). I W i t ch .

a wave of witch-burnings occurred in Western India. The Salem trials were also explained by the local authorities on this ground. . 1 39-40) . f or instance.h century. years later. the English setclers justified their massacres of as servants of the devil (Williams and the native American Indians by labeling them Williams Ade�nan 1978: 143). On the contrary. scores ofWomen .have been hunted down in clle 1990s in Northern Transvaal. .e. 145). Witch-hunts have also been reported in Kenya. where it survives today as a key instrument (ibid. and that the last execution of a witch. too. Cameroon.These killings occurred in the context of the social crisis caused both by the colonial authorities' attack on the conununities living in the f orests (among whom WOmen had a far lugher degree of power than in the caste societies that dwelled in the plains) and the colonial devaluation of female power. with the argument that the New Englanders had setcled in the land of the devil.A5 a consequence of clle lif e-and-death competition f or vanishing resources. Here. in this context.Tituba . recalling the events in Salem: I have met with some strange things . Witch hunting did not disappear f rom the repertoire of the bourgeoisie with the abolition of slavery. the global expansion of capitalism through colo­ nization and Christianization ensured that this persecution would be planted in the body of colonized societies. In the 1 840s.migrate to the developing slave plantations of Brazil.who was among the first to be arrested. By the 1 8. It is significant. conconutant with the imposition by the International Monetary Fund and the W orld Bank of the policy of strucrural ad justment which has led to a new round of enclo 1994). the war made by the spirits ofthe invis­ ible world against the people of Salem] might have its origins among the Indians whose chief sagamores are well known unto some of our captive to have been horrid sorcerers and hellish conjurers and such as conversed with the demons (ibid. resuJting in the decline of the wor­ ship off emale goddesses Witch-hunting also took hold in Africa. was that of a black slave. and North America where (starting with King Philip 's Wars) . a ritual that the planters feared and demonized as an incitement to rebellion.17 237 . o f division in many countries especially those once implicated in the slave trade. Nigeria. in recent years. in f act.. and caused an unprecedented impoverishment among the popu1ation.generally old and poor . in an English-speaking territory. witch-hunting has accompanied the decline in the Igenda. A5 Cotton Mather wrote. has been aggravated by the mposition i of the neo-liberal Nigeria and Southern Africa. like status of women brought about by the rise of capitalism and the intensifying struggle f or �urces wluch. would be carried out by the sub jugated conununi­ ties in their own names and against their own members. and. where seventy were burned just in the first f our months of 1994 (Diario de Aftxuo: 1980s and 1990s. in time. the witch was becoming an African practitioner of obeah. Sarah Bassett. killed in Bermuda in 1730 (Daly 1978: 179). in the sures. the Caribbean. More women in tlus period were burned as witches than in the practice of sati (Skaria 1997: 1 l 0) . which have made me think that this inexplicable war [i. that the Salem trials were sparked by the divina­ tions of a West Indian slave .

/lI1utltitlg the ima gitlation of the Fretlch bour­ example ofpolitical s(Jl-Ylgcry. "7-� �.vild"A frican geoisie liS 1111 UJOl1IetI TIle A fricall.1 eimin gs. a "petroleuse.Cc: � . 238 .. tures su�esti"g a kills/lip betWfi'1I thef emale rommutumls lJlld tile " . � .J\:� .e slaves the cour d ge to rfllOlt. � __ �_�. .zatioll ofthe witch is refleaed ill this caricature of wilD instilled ill ti. (tip. and A friCiIllJea." Note lIef wlusl".

whereby poor people suspect the 110U­ vtaU riches ofhaving gained their wealth through illicit."our children will eat each other. mass impoverislunent. . while in other M begging them to persecute more strongly the witches. and accuse them of wanting to transform their victims into zombies in order to put them to work (Geschiere and Nyamnjoh 1998: 73-74 ). WlIat else Catl CaUbatl do but use the same language . to appropriate diminishing resources.the witch . enslaved Calibati and taught him the /atlgua selfunderstood. but mtlter Calibatl. . This is somethi"g tltat we. . a new kind of witch-beliefs is presently developing. . Jose Marti . innocent girls were conf essing to having killed dozens rican countries petitions were addressed to governments of people.In Nigeria. 1 4). lvhat is our culture. whether it is conducted &om above. in the same way as the struggle of women against colonization has been f or a long time. we realize that the reap­ pearance of witch-hunting in so many parts of the world in the '80s and '90s is a clear sign of a process of"primitive accumulation. and the sowing of divi­ sions in once-cohesive conUllunities are again on the world agenda. in the same way as the witch-hunts of or a long time. what he has come to stand f or has been well expressed in an influential essay by the Cuban writer Roberto Fernandez Retalnar (1989: 5-21). see tvith particular clarity. or is conducted &om below. Simone Bolivar. ifllo/ the history alld culture o f ealiball ?" ( p. . killed our ancestors. and devils. by the 1 980s. ? From T upac Amaru . were oflittle interest to historians. as seems to be the case in some parts ofAf I n some countries. Sycorax .today he has 110 other . Fralltz Falla" . so widespread is the belief that ar-gone era and have nothing to do with "us.10 curse him . as a rica today. f they are reported their significance is generally missed. . supernatural means. ." which means that the privatization ofland and other communal resources. . Toussaint-Louverture. Even when the 16th and 17th centuries." such phenomena belong to a f But if we apply to the present the lessons of the past. The witch hunts that are presently talcing place in Africa or Latin America are rarely reported in Europe and the United States. . as soon as we strip the per­ secution of witches from its metaphysical [rappings. as a means I 1. . means to crirninalize resistance to expropriation. expressing their f this way" . in South M rica and Brazil older women were murdered by neighbors and kin under the charge of witch­ craf t. "If things continue ears for the f uture . we recognize in i[ phenomena that are very close to home. Meanwhile. Fidel Castro . . . As f or Caliban.At the same time. 239 . But we should not delude ourselves that this is not our concern. E n dnotes Actually. Cite Guevara . resembling that documented by Michael Taussig in Bolivia.what is our history."And indeed gist. spirits.the elders in a Senegalese village commented to an American anthropolo­ this is what is accomplished by a witch-hunt. .has not entered the Latin American revolution­ ary imagination in the way Caliban has. the mestizo i"'/(�bilatlts o fthese same isles where Calibatl lived. plunder. "Our symbol is tlol Ariel. she is still invisible. Prospera jt/vaded ge to make lzim­ the islauds. . this process still requires the mobilization of witches. As Anhur Miller already saw in his interpretation of the Salem trials.

He describes how." Each image corresponds to a colonial inter­ vention . . Gordon-Gruber writes that"j[ was the prerogative of executioners to sell the blood of decapitated criminals. in ea/ibm. The T aino will be transf ormed into the paradisiacal inhabitant of a utopic world . that these killings were the work of the devil (p. . is the fact that both the gende T ainos and the f erocious Caribs were exeerminated (ibid. .e Indians were wasting away from disease but took it as an indication that it was part of Gad's plan to wipe out the infidels. Francisco Lopez De Gomara could declare with utter certainty that "the main god which they have in this island is the devil." Retanlar writes.even three of f our hundred children. of the Incas and Azeecs.ourT aino primarily . . among others. He also describes. and even timorous. will become a cannibal . meek. universally recommended as a panacea for every problem. medical practitioners adm i nistered remedies "made from hu man corpses. to epileptics or other customers waiting in crowds at the spot of . during some f estivities in Peru. . execution 'cup in hand· . The Carib. in his Hisloria Generaf de Las Iudias (1551). It waS 6. with utter cerrainry. Exile (1992) . the sacrifice of seventy Spanish soldiers captured in battle in Mexico and. But there is less contradiction than might appear at first glance between the two visions.As f or the consumption ofhuman blood. In Latin America tim of history � or Catiban seems to represen the name has been adopted in a more positive manner. 25Off. W alter L. Proof of the kin­ ship between these two images.an anthropophagus. and cowardly. Reporting about the island of Hispanola. in or accepting homosexual a letter to the king condenming the Maya f 240 . ' "Prospero and Catiban thereby provide us with a powerfuJ mecaphor f or colonialism An offshoot of this interpretation is the abstract condition of being Catiban. . Recam. I n New England. srates. BookV of Acosta's H. 3. on the other hand. 6-7). like de Gomara. "contrasts with another one."duro e Human sacrifices occupy a large place in Acosta's account of the religious customs inhumano spectaculo. Both visions of the American aborigene will circulate ver_ tiginously through Europe . � 2." and that the devil lived among WOtnen (de Gomara: 49). he S. writes.assuming its right to control the lives of the aborigene population of the Caribbean . Similarly. is dedicated to the many f orms they have of devil-worshipping. it.On this topic see also Margaret Paul Joseph who. ." He further reasoned." in his words." a remedy prepared with the remains of a corpse dried or given still warm. in which Acosta dis­ cusses the religion and customs of the inhabitants of Mexico and Peru.a (1590). from two to f our-years-old. 4.S/or.whom he describes as peacefuJ. the vic .which Retanlar sees as continuing into the present. f the masses who are striving to rise against the oppression of the elite" (1992: 2). "The carib/cannibal image. (1988: 407). embalmed. And I have no doubts that f or their sins God's going to do away with them very soon. "It is not without cause that God permits them to be destroyed. was "MunmlY. a bestial man situated at the margin of civilization who must be opposed to the very death. of the American man present in the writing of Columbus: that of Aruaco of the Greater Antilles . including human sacrifices.f rustrated by the knowledge of utter powerlessness.ar points out." Among the most popular.). Oviedo concluded. Williams writes: [T]he Spanish did not realize why d. were sacrificed .

So intimate is the relation between a woman and the spirit pro­ tecting her garden that when she dies "her garden f ollows suit.atns 1986: 138). upon which many youths fled the village. 10. hours bef ore its arrival. which describes the famous visitas which the encomeuderos used the Crown. that the space ifdeath is also a "space of transf ormation" since "through the experience of coming close to death there well may be a more 241 "Whatever the conclusions we draw about how the hegemony was so speed­ ily eff ected.that it was its survival . was 8. sister or daughter) to cultivate his garden and prepare us to think-through-terror. And by this t mean par excellence of colonial splUe of death where the Indian. they are "theref ore toully 1 3. African. When a man no longer tionship that she had not herselfiniriated. The name Taki Onqoy decribes the dancing trance that possessed the participants 12. f or. In the mountain villages of the Andes. "the necessary condition f or effective gardening depends on dens" (p. . however. and resources were hidden. with the excep­ tion of her unmarried daughter. By the 1 5505. to pay to the villages to fix the tribute that each conulluniry owed to them and to 1 1 . f or a number of years. the Spanish Crown so dependent on the American bullion f or ought its wars . no other woman would dare step into such re. 5) (italics nune). he has no cho." As f or the men. and constant conunerce with Nunkui. which as well as being a physiological state is also a social One whose special f eatures allow it to serve as a mecliator hegemony: the New World" (p. wife. 9. a population living in the upper in the movemenc.ce but to kill iumself" (Descola 1994: 175). A powerful description of this resistance is contained in Enrique Mayer's Tribute to tile Ho usehold (1982). Philippe Descola writes that among the Achuar. five years before the debate between Las Casas and was Sepulveda took place. Colonialism and the Wild Mati (1991) to stress the function of terror in the establislunent of colonial hege­ his f ood. T aussig adds. discovered in 1545. part of Amazonia. . has any woman (mOther. to grow direct. 198). The theoretical f avor of the enslavement of oundation of Sepulveda's argument in f Aristode's doctrine of"natural slavery" (Hanke 1 970: 16ft). This is the expression used by Michael T aussig in mony in the Americas: Shamallislfl. Th is is what every woman does by singing secret songs "from the heart" and magical incantations to the plants and herbs in her garden. Thus. harmonious.needing it to pay the mercenaries that f impounding the loads of bullion that arrived with private ships. These usually car­ ried back the money that was set aside by those who had participated in the Conquest and now were preparing to retire in Spain. the Indians The mine was (Will.behavior: "I wish to mention it in order to declare more strongly the or which God pun ishes the Indian and the reason why they have guilt f not been granted his me rcy " 7. . and white gave birth to a . the pro­ cession of horsemen was spotted. urging them (ibid. we would be unwise to overlook the role of terror. a conflict exploded between the expatriates and the Crown which resulted in new legislation limiting the f ormers' power to accumwate. the tutelary spirit of gar­ 192).la­ incapable of replacing their wives should the need arise . children were rearranged in different homes.

Vi% lle alld Democracy ill Soutlt A. vivid sense of lif discusses Uta the decline of women's power under the Aztecs in correspondence to their transfOfDU. and to the work of Ule Swabian Dom. as the Aztecs had evolved into a war-driven empire. I am ref erring in particular to the trials that were conducted by the Inquisition in the Dauphine in the 1440s. 358). as carried our by priest and crown administrators." She points OUt by dle 15th cenrury. in 1565. doctors. .. AJso Gesehier'" directed by Allison Berg (Calif ornia Newsreel. a rigid se� division oflabor emerged. of ical weapon" in the struggle against Spanish dominance (Parinetto 1998: 429-30). Still. 2005) and the video documentary "Witches in Exile" produced and "ContainingWitchcraft: Conflicting Scenarios in Postcolonial Africa" (ibid. i n which we read that witches "cook their children. Quoting French sources. Russell points out thac "this salve or oinonent is one ofthe most important elements (1435). women (of def eated enemies) became "the booty to be they continued to be wo"hipped by the common people." (ibid.inican Joseph Naider. boil them. and as priestesses. 242 . f shared by the vieto. Spanish development policy [instead].2005). 1980). ness but al�� f ragmencatio l. of Chicago Press.omling to authority" (ibid. the procurement of which is the third reason f or child murder" (ibid.] conceptualized explicidy in rela­ tion to modern changes. Irene Silverblatt (1 987) . . On dle po51t1on ofwomen In pre-conquest Mexico and Peru.).although craft shops and mills" (ibid.vay . In particular. . indirecdy influencing this association (between the savage and the massacres petrated by the Spaniards in America (including the slaughter in Aorida. at the same time. through f ear there can come noc only growth of self-conSCious. cliverted home production into male-operated multaneously. 1 5 . see Diane Ciekawy and Peter A fiiam Studies Revillli see Adam Ashfotth.fricn (Chicago: Univ." (Nash 1978: 356.) 17. On uthe renewed attention to witchcraft [in Africa.jean Bodin's ass0ciation of the European w itches with the cannibalistic and sodomitic indios.. and merchants. ?annetto argues that French Protestants after the Night of San Bartholome. ." see the December 1998 issue of the which is dedicated to this topic. eat their flesh and 1972: 217-18). Si emale deities were displaced by male gods ." [w Jomen in Aztec soci­ ety had many specializations as independent craft producers of pottery and textiles. Fonllimrius (Russell of witchcraft in the fifteenth century and later. to a class-structured empire.especially the bloodthi"'Y HuilZilopochdi . Nash e.see respectivelyJune Nash (1978. and Maria Rostworowski (2001). From the solid matter they make a magical sa1ve or oinonent.and then loss of self conf � 14. . Huguenot) climaxed in the last decades of the 16th centuries when the per­ thousands of French colonists accused of being Lutherans) became "a widely used polit­ 1 6 .:240). during which a number ofpoor people (peasants or shepherrls) were accused of cooking children to make magic powders with their bodies drink dle soup that is left in dle pot . : 7) . Wite/ranft.: 1-14). in a completely diff erent \. tion from a "kinship based society . Parineno writes that the connection between the extermination oftheAmerindian "sav_ ages" and that of the Huguenots was very clear in the consciouness and literature ofthe Montaigne's essays on the cannibals and.

IX de Tierra 243 .

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