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Caliban and the Witch

Caliban and the Witch

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silvia federici
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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

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

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

They also opened the way for a reinterpretation of the history of capi­ talism and class struggle from a feminist viewpoint. on a continuously renewed basis. ing. which contributes to hide and naturalize the sphere of reproduction. as we argued. are always at the service of a project of domination that can sustain itself only by divid­ this process. It was in tills spirit that Leopoldina Fortunati and I began to study what can only be euphemistically described as the "transition to capitalism. 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.an irrelevance belied by the strict rules that have governed women's lives . and the secret of ies productivity (1972:31) ." has been built. we must analyze the changes . the power differential between women and men in capitalist societry cannot be attributed to the irrelevance of housework for capitalist accumulation . and the devaluation of women's social position with the advent of capitalism. As Dalla Costa put it. 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.nor CO the survival of timeless cul­ tural schemes. was an attempt to rethink Marx's analysis of prim­ itive accumulation from a feminist viewpoint. willie profiting from the wageless conclition of the labor involved. the specifically capitalist use of tile wage to command the labor of the unwaged. those it intends to rule. and a source of capital accumulation. 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. Dalla Costa andJames showed the possibilicy of tran­ scending the dichotomy between patriarchy and class.Among the casualties was the Marxian identification of cap­ italism with the advent of \vage labor and the "free" Jaborer. 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. "wage slavery. Dalla Costa and James argued that the exploitation of women has played a central function in the process of capitalist accumulation. but mystifies it instead as a natural resource or a personal serv ice. but proved to be decisive for our educa­ tion. Sexual hierarchies. the received Marxian categories proved inadequate.I Preface Against the Marxist orthodoxy. n Grande Cnlibnno: storin del corpo socia/e ribelle lIella primafase del capitale (1984). has collapsed female and male histories into an unclife f rentiated whole. n Grande Caliballo was also critical of Michel Foucault's theory of the body. By rooting the exploitation of women in capitalist society in the sexual division of labor and women's unpaid work. women's unpaid labor in the home has been the pillar upon which the exploitation of the waged work­ ers.Thus. 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. Foucault's analysis of tile power techniques and disciplines to which the body has been subjected has ignored the process of repro­ duction." and began to search for a history that we had not been taught in school. and gave patriarchy a specific his­ torical content. insofar as women have been the producers and reproducers of the most essential capitalist conullodicy: labor-power. The book that resulted from this research. But in we found. which explained women's "oppression" and sub­ ordination to men as a residuum of feudal relations. Rather.

in many respects. as for most African coulltries. and how many people still see their lives in \vays radically antagonistic to the requirements of capitalist production. 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. worldwide. Thus. 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. in tllis case. male-female relations. Along with these policies. But the circumstances of my stay in Nigeria did not allow me to forget this work. the scope of the present volume differs from that of n Grande CalibatJo. 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. and the development of a heated debate similar. to the 17th century querelles \ intense forms of labor exploitation. 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.The strength I gained Was also due to my encounter with Women in Nigeria (W lN). sexuality." I also witnessed the fuel­ ing of a misogynous campaign denouncing women's vanity and excessive demands. I saw unfolding under my eyes processes very were the attack on communal lands. touching on every aspect of the reproduction of labor-power: the family (Polygamous vs. child-raising. and. male and female identity and relations. I had buried my papers in a cellar. the multinational agencies and . tlus was and remains the problem with places like Nigeria. These were the years when. This analysis is reproduced in CalibtJlI and the Witch. It Was a source of great strength. extended). tOok a reachjng posicion in Nigeria. however. aptly named the "War Against Indiscipline. But for me this planet. and the relation between pro­ duction and reproduction in 16th and 17th-century Europe. and thereby impose more similar to those that I had studied in preparation for n Grande Caliballo. But it was Bank. as it responds to a different social context and to our growing know­ ledge of women's history. and a decisive intervention by the State (instigated des femmes. the chat capit af labar-power. child-raising. the book examined the reorganization of housework. as it proved that.Preface alism has introduced in the process of social reproduction and. my work on the transition took on a new meaning. the country's first fenu­ niSt orgaluzation. Shortly after the publication of n Grande Caliballo. Among them by World Bank) in the reproduction of the work-force: to regulate procreation rates. where I remained for nearly three years. 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. fornudable forces still con­ trast the imposition of a way of life conceived only in capitalist terms. international market. For the developers. 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 left the United States and rime. especially. not expecting that I should need them for some The years between 1984 and 1986 were a turning point for Nigeria. and a rationalization of social reproduction aimed at destroying the last vestiges of cOl1ununal property and cOllunullity relations. Before leav­ ing. monogamous. which eventually resulted in the adoption of a Structural Adjusmlent Program. nuclear vs. women's work.Thus. in response to the debt crisis. production re I fanUly life.

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

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

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

The most conUTIon designation feminist historians have used to describe the tran­ sition period has been "early modern Europe. and the degradation of women are necessary conditions for the existence cap italism in all times. and Hilary BeckJes' Natural Rebels. A Social History Working Women . now a classic work.'.e h. I want to remember in particular Irene Silverblan's TI. a number of works appeared that took a more critical approach. For a while. "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. Thus. Carolyn Merchant's TI. "Women . connecting the destiny of women in Europe to that of Europe's coiotual subjects. is one of d. Merry W iesner's A(cumulation Oil a World Scale (1986). tlte SUII. that re-exanuncs capitalist accumulation from a non­ Eurocentric viewpoint. depending on the author. Among the latter. but a particular form of exploitation and. 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. I should add that Marx could never have presumed that capitalism paves the way his looked at its hiscory from the viewpoint of women. What ination and exploitation.orJd scale. therefore.istory of enslaved women in the Caribbean plantations. could designate the 13th or the 17th century. Renaissance Germany (1986). the first account on the witch-hunt in colonial Peru. the main framework that shaped women's history was a chronological one.e Deatll if' Nature (1980). a unique hav e revisited the "transition to capitalism" even though they have not always recog'luzed it. war and plunder on a stracing that the continuous expulsion of w. and providing for a new underscanding of women's place in capitalism an d the globalization process.e MooII.e major texts on d. however.even when I11CI1 achieved a certain degree of formal freedom. signifies notJ" usc a hidden history that ery. Leopoldina Fortunati's L'Arcano della Riproduziolle (1981) (now available in English. From the begilllung of the Fenutust Movement women the comcxt of this volume. Carolyn Merchant's n. 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." then ." which. Kelly's essay. This project is not new. and the Witdles (1987). Among them were Joan Kelly's essays on the Renaissance and the Q"erelles des femmes .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. 13 . together with Barbara Bush's SIQlle Women ill Caribbean Socifly:1650-1838 (1990). 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.e Dealh of Nature (1980) challenged the belief in the socially progressive character of the scientific revolu­ tion. in needs [0 be made visible. Especially important has been Maria Mies' Patriarchy mId Awmtulatiotl 0" a World &ale (1986). and Maria Mjes' Patriarchy and cif Barbados (1995) which. Forcunati 1995). I n the 1980s.of farmers from the land.

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

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

proving that it can be defended only at the price of outstanding historical omissions. he would have recogtuzed that torture and death can be placed at the serv­ ice of "life" or." stripping it of the mystery by which Foucault surrounds the emergence of this regime. in different ways. We can also see that the promotion of population growth by the state can go hand in hand with a massive destruction of life. In conclusion. but he otTers no clues as to its motivations. the accumu­ lation of labor-power can only be aclueved with the maximum of violence so that. it explains how the body so problematic to valorize it. With regard to the feminist approach. such as population growth.!IUI VIA. 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."""'UV" to go beyond these alternatives? I believe it can. if we place this shift in the context of the rise of capitalism the puzzle vanishes. unleashed against women. Further. abstract. Undoubtedly. at the service of the production of labor-power. 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.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. its original historical exemplar has sed­ imented strategies that. violence itself becomes the most productive force. have been re-Iaunched in the face of every 16 . rather than focusing on the pastoral confession. and why it is so important for fenunists and. speaks of"body poli­ tics. in this vein. 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. is that such history cannot be written from the viewpoint of a universal. in a system where life is subordinated to the production of profit. better.presumably in 18th-century Europe . all its aspects . Indeed. the history of primitive accumulation otTers many coumer-examples to it. childbirth. in Maria Mies' words.one is a condition for the other. 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.mater_ nity. what Foucault would have learned had he studied the witch-hunt. sexuality .witness the history of the slave trade . 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. at the same time. they would have inspired different conclusions had they been included. Foucault registers the shift .A1ong these lines.from a type of power built on the right to kill. Thus. As for Foucault's theory. the importance which the body in been misplaced. asexual sub­ ject. for in many historical cir­ cumstances . 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. in his History oj Sexllalily (1978). to a different one exercised through the adnulustration and promotion of life-forces." Further." From tlus viewpoint. primitive accumuJation has been a universal process in every phase of capitalist development. Not accidentally.I . 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. A study of the witch-hunt also challenges Foucault's theory concerning the devel­ opment of"bio-power. since the goal of capitalist society is to transform life into the capacity to work and "dead labor. Yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. from the Mexican and Russian revolutions to the contempo­ rary struggles against land privatization .meadows.� . 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.I . forests. In Northern Italy. there were many social differences within the peasantry that separated free peasants and those of servile status... grazing grounds for animals) and fostered com­ munity cohesion and cooperation (Birrell 1987:23). Shaha! 24 . H'" . the sern received a plot of land (mansus or '. as they could now dedicate more time to their reproduction and negotiate the extent of their obligations... � land (the demesne). and pass down to their children "like a real inheritance....on the feudal manor..6 Women were also excluded from the offices to which the better-off male peasants were appointed... With the use of land also came the use of the "conIDlOos" .As Pierre Dockes points out in Medieval Slavery and Liberation (1982). So important were the "conunoos" in the political econ­ omy and struggles of the medieval rural population that tlleir memory stiU excites our .is a battle cry which the medieval serfS would have certainly recognized as their own.. J . d..y and improved tlleir living conditions. But the strength of the "villeins" stemmed from the fact chat access to land was a reality for them. T rue... but this \Va< r:lrely done. fishponds..• The medieval servile community fell short of these goals.ltion.. "Land to the tilIe. instead of being treated like chattel subject to an unconditional rule.. control over these resources even provided the basis for the development of communal self-adnlin­ istrations (Hilton 1973: 76).. and...the demand that has echoed through the 20th century. though there: were many cases of women who inherited it and managed it in their name. timber for building. Most important.vage on tile lord's demesne. This was nOt the case with the serfS on the feudal manors.e seru began to look at the land they occupied as their own. peasants with secure land tenure and land­ less laborers working for a ... lakes.. . In time.ide) which they could use to support themselves. the lord could throw recalcitr:lnt seru off the land. even at tile peak of their confrontations with the lords. and women and men." ..) The experience of self-reliance wllich the peasants gained from having access to land also had a political and ideological potential.. projecting the vision of a world where goods can be shared and solidarity rather than desire for self-aggrandizement. tllis arrangement increased the serfS' 3utonom.S Land was usually given to men and tr:lnsmitted dlrough the male lineage. wild pastures .as Marx noted . can be the substance of social relations.. given the difficulty of recruiting new laborers in a fairly closed economy and the collective nature of peasant struggles. they could not easily be forced co bend because of the fear of st:lrv.l n fact.. they had a second-class status (Bennett 1988: 18-29.that provided crucial resources for the peasant economy (wood for fuel... having the effective use and possession of a plot of land meant that the serfS could always support themselves and. the medieval village was not a community of equals. rich and poor peasants. the exploitation of labor always depended on the direct use of force. This is why . imagination. Despite the prevalence of col­ lective forms of work and collective "contracts" with the landlords... and despite the local character of the peasant economy. and should not be ide­ alized as an example of conununalism. to all effects. As established by a vast documentation coming from every country orwestern Europe. by simply paying a succession due" (Boissonnade 1927: 134). and to view as intolerable the restrictions that the aris­ tOCr:lCY imposed on their freedom.

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

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

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

the right to alienate land. harrow it with his own horse and sack .. 280 charters were conceded (ibid."and the variety of bamefields available to a combative tenant or village.: 83). at times. the bailiff must accept her. for true forms of local self-government. In some areas ofCermany." that is to sell goods at the local market and. The "invention of traditions" was was an object a common practice in the con­ fromation between landlords and peasants. money taXes) that placed However. if frightened she has the strength to fly or scramble over. as both would try to redefine them or for­ get them. again. and established rules for juridical proceedings. the most important resolution of the master-serf conlliCt was the the feudal relation on a more contracrual basis.They also lightened the sem' duty to enlist as soldiers and abolished or fixed the tallage."but their interpretation too of much dispute.. thus eliminating or reducing the possibility of arbitrary arrests and other abuses (Hilton 1973: 75). Servile duties and rights were regulated by"customs. tests of fitness were devised. when the lords put I Liberty and Social Division Politically. 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). Services (too) were remembered in minute detail. These charters stipu­ lated the fines that were to be meted out by me manorial courts. A gosling. rthe manorial records] often do nOt say simply that a man must plow. co".. sow and harrow one acre of the lord's land. must be accepted if it is mature enough to pluck grass without loosing its balance and sitting down ignomin­ iously (Coulton 1955: 74-75). Between 1177 and 1350. With tllis momentous development. towards the middle of the them down in writing. often they granted the "liberty" to "hold stallage. until a time came. 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. Such minute regulations testify [0 the difficulty of enforcing the medieval"social contract. 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. more rarely. serf- 28 . 131h cenrury.For instance. where the dues included yearly donations of eggs and poultry. '" 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. They say he must plow it with so many oxen as he has in his plow. she is fit.� mutation of labor services with money payments (money rents.

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

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

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

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

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

By the 1 1 th century . is best expressed in the words ofJohn Ball. In 1 234. whose invention had been f or the clergy a source oflucre through paid masses and the sales of indulgences. were common ity. But heretics were persecuted also by the secular authorities. I n this context. In 1377. As Gioacchino V olpe points out. it gave them confidence in their views and insti­ gated their resistance to c1erical exploitation. to punish his peasant tenants who ref used to pay the tithes. baptize or grant absolution &om sin unless it received some compensation.Th i ngs degenerated to the point that clergy became proverbial throughout Christian the clergy wouJd not bury the dead. \. Even the communion became an occasion f or a bargain. Heresy it was was as much a critique of social hierarchies and economic exploitation as a denunciation of clerical corruption.cutions mOSt responsible f or the daily exploitation of the peasantry..21 Ofthe Waldenses toO an Inquisitor reported that Hthey avoid all f orms of commerce to avoid lies. that the exterior f orms of worship . dad in woolen garments. the Church used the charge of heresy to attack every f orm of social and political insubordination. f or whom the establishment of equaliry ments among the sects. They also taught that the sacraments were not valid when administered by sinful priests.. They also exhorted people not to pay the tithes. from the Emperor to the urban patricians." and he described them as walking baref oot. Cohn 1 970: 105). Selling absol u. images. Others supported themselves by manual labor. the Church had become a despotic power that used its alleged divine investiture to gov. who realized that the heretic appeal to the "true religion" had sub­ versive implications and questioned the f oundations of their power. and that if the Church wanted to regain its spiritual power it should divest itself f rom all its possessions. the heretics taught that Christ had no property. tions. and denied the existence of Purgatory. like apostles. however. 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.vas practices from the pope to the village priest. like the Poor of Lyon and the Brethren of the Free Spirit. symbols .buildings. and then had to pay f or reconciliation i n addition to the original sum" (Lea 1 96 1 : 1 1 ) . frauds and nothing and. when the cloth workers inYpres (Flanders) took amu against their employers. so much so that the corruption of the and "[i]f an un just demand resisted the recalcitrant was exconunul1. and maki ng of all sacraments a market.20 Still others experimented with "com­ munism. holding all things in conmlon (Lambert 1 992: 64). they were nO[ only hanged as rebels but were burned by the Inquisition as heretics (N. Many heretics shared the ideal of apostolic povertyl9 and the and conununal ownership were as important as religious ref orm. In turn. 1971: 31). the propagation o fthe heretical doctrines not only channeled the contempt that people f elt f or the clergy. indulgences and religious offices." like the early T aborites in Bohemia. calling the faithful to church only co preach to them the sanctity of the tithes. 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 . the intellectual oaths.should be discarded because only inner belief mattered. Some. owning 34 . the Bishop of Bremen called a crusade against them "as though they were heretics" (Lambert 1992: 98).icated. Taking the lead from the New T estament. ern with an iron fist and fill its coffers by endless means of extortion. The social content of heresy. lived on donated alms.

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

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

and making sexu­ ality an ob ject of shame . [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. 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. avoidance of holmess with women and sex. word.These works demonstrate that the Church attempted to impose a f'lJ(lI otller. "sexuality was or conf ession. and actual deeds of sex to f 1989: 86-87). trying [0 usurp Condren has pointed Ollt in Tilt SerpctJt (HId tlte Goddess ( 1 989). intention. . where the invested with a new significance .all these were the means by which a patriarchal caste tried to break the power of women and erotic attraction.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).ity" (Condren invol untary urges. . and persistentlY moment of the liturgy and from the administration of the sacraments. From a very early period (after 41h tried to exorcise it by : pOwer that sex� � . A privileged site for the reconstruction of [he Church's sexual canons are the Pellitentials. From a 1296 mmlUSl'riptfrom Toulous�.. . In this process. starting from the practical guides f or [he confessors. TI. were issued as (1 978). a study of As Mary etration of Christianity into Celtic Ireland.[ volume of his History ofSexuality 7th century. the Church's attempt to regulate rhe pen cxu a1 behavior had a long history in Europe. Fmn«. But 111 the PenitenriaJs were already instrumental to the production of a new sexual discourse the Middle Ages. the handbooks that. magical powers by adopting a feminine dress. ExpeUlIlg women from any ying ide ntif wOInen's lif e-giving. In [he 6.e lovers arr guided tllrollgll t/le street /jed to 37 . Pu".S""'�1IIf or adultrry. orm a science of sexual.

minutely prescribing the positions permitted during intercourse (actually only one was allowed) . preached that God is in all of us and. 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. .... already in the l(}1h cen- 38 . they had the same rights as men. even if they were not married. the days on which sex could be practiced. the Lady ofThought. then..inister the sacraments... supporting themselves with their Jabor. A typical case was that of the Begu. consequently.. and it is said of the Cathan that they worshipped a f emale figure. Heretical women and men often li f reely together. .At this time. since they did not f also allowed women and men to this would necessarily lead to promiscuous behavior. In the heretical sects... that it is impossible f or us to sin. .." .. As Gioacchino V olpe put it.. as in the agapic conununioes ofthe early Church. (Spencer 1995a: 1 1 4)..I " " HIe. preaching) that nowhere else was available to them in the Middle Ages (Volpe 1 97 1 : 20. and could enjoy a social lif e and mobility (wandering.26 Then. an attempt the heretics made to wrench their bodies from the grip of the clergy. But already by the 1 2th century we see the Church not only peeping into the bedroom of its flock... with the HI Lateran Council 0( ual act were aJso reiterated.27 Not surprisingly. and with whom forbidden. women are present in the history of heresy as in no other aspect of medievai lif e (V olpe 1 97 1 : 20). We do not have yet the morbid obsession with which the Catholic Church later approached sexual matters. preach. laywomen f rom the urban middle class who lived together (especially in Germany and Flanders).ines. It is reported that W aJdes split from the onho-­ doxy because his bishop refused to allow women to preach. above all among the Cathars and WaJdenses. . . With the adoption of this repressive legislation sexuality was completely politicized. ." targeting at once gay people and sexuality ("the incontinence which is against nature'. The heretics ear that share the same dwellings. "" J . like the Amalricians and the Brethren of the Free Spirit who. W omen also f ormed their own conmluluoes. but making of sexuality a state matter. and f or the first time it condemned hom(). According to Gottfried Koch. the Church intensified its attack on "sodomy. against the Church's effort to control sexual behavior. like brothers and sisters... . . in the Church women were nothing. The unorthodox sexual choices of the heretics must aJso be seen. I Woznen and Heresy One of the most significant aspects of the heretic movement is the high status it assigned to women. outside of male control and without submitting to monastic rule (McDonnell 1954. in the 1 3th centu ry.25 and declared marriage a earth could dissolve. of new pantheist sects. [he lim. women had the right to adm. Neel 1 989). __ SQuame"" whose vows no powe r on __ orty years later. A clear example of this anti-clerical rebellion was the rise..itations imposed by the Penitentials on the se... with whom it was permissible. true sexuaJ catechism. Koch 1983: 247). f 1 1 79.. � . that influenced Dante's con­ ception of Beatrice (Taylor 1954: 1(0). non-procreative sex (Boswell 1981 : 277-86) . but here they were considered equal. baptize and even acquire sacerdotal orders. as an anti-authoritarian stand..

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

This crushed with a blood bath. and doth workers "to whom it preached equality. But popular heresy was primarily a lower­ class phenomenon. the fig­ ure of the heretic increasingly became that of a woman. as soon as womens' control over reproduc. however. "There is not one conunune. tion seemed to pose a threat to economic and social stability. or. torture. "in which heresy does not have its supporters. neither the fierce persecution nor the demonization of heresy could prevent the dissemination of heretic belief s. Until then.. grotesquely distoned in ways that anticipate the later representations of the witches' Sabbat. Its final consummation was came in 1533." wrote James de Vitry at the beginning of the 1 3th century. by the beginning of me 1 5 lh century. the confiscation of property.: 776). contrive that they do not conceive? (Noonan 1 965: 1 60) . Now heretics were accused of animal worship. As Antonino di Stefano writes. af ter the spread of the plague. and of indulging in orgiastic rit­ uals. or whether she acted to conceal a crime of fornication" (ibid. in the Trento region (Northern ItalY) ' 40 . between 1347 and 1352. heresy (together with Islam) remained the main enemy and threat the Church had to f ace. which marked the transition from the persecution of heresy to witch-hunting. its def enders and believers. This was not the end of the heretic movem.). By the mid-1 4th century the Inquisitors' reports were no longer content with accusing the heretics the infamous of sodomy and sexual license. so that. and even the lesser nobility.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). death at the stake. cobblers. The Inquisitors also reported the existence of a sect of devil-worshippers called Lucif erans." the apocalyptic plague that. with the attempt by the Anabaptists to set up a City of God in the German town of Munster. Its recruits came from all walks of life: the peasantry. the sex. the unleashing of cru­ sades against heretics . 'he lower ranks of the clergy (who identified with the poor and brought to their struggles the language of the Gospel).it was stipulated that the guilty ones should do penance f or ten years. f ollowed by a wave of merciless reprisals that aff ected prolerarian struggles all over Europe (po-chia Hsia 1 988a: 51-{j9). excommu­ nication. as it did in the afternuth of the demographic catastrophe produced by the "Black Death. f omenting their spirit of revolt with prophetic and apocalyptic predictions" (ibid. We will see later what role this demographic disaster played in the "labor crisis" of the late Middle Ages. night flights and child sactifices (Russell 1 972). The envirorunent in which it flourished was the rural and urban pro­ letariat: peasants. the main target of the persecution against heretics became the witch.their herbs so that they kill or cut the embryo. including bacium sub cauda (the kiss under the tail).." Even after the 1 2 1 5 crusade against the Albigensialls. Here we can notice that. the town burghers.ent. Corresponding to this process. however. ual aspeccs of heresy became more prominent in ics persecution. if they have not yet conceived. 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. Things changed drastically. We get a glimpse of the popularity of the heretics from the trials which the Inquisition was still conducting in the 1 330s. destroyed more than one third of the European popula_ tion (Ziegler 1969: 230). that destroyed the eathars' strongholds.

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

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

was "to raise journeymen against masters. partic­ . rune i:iom. in Aorence. Here . arrested them. arms or even the tools of their � . hanged them orms ofsocial protest and i among these workers that we find the most extreme f Ie s (ibid. or any reason. wh ich Pirel1l1e describes as "a g enuine attem pt at a social revolution" (ibid.ey protected them from the "conmlOn people" (ibid. in addition allds of the tortured and them. they ne 1956: 132). with the exception of children cases .Throughout the 1 4"' century. in 1 335. 'ere not part of any craft town ran their the controlling govermnem. roducing f we p ound fullers." as they were cailed). most despotic class rule. except those living by manual labor (Boissonnade 1 927: 3 1 (}. the "good people" i mplored o the king not to allow the cown's inner bastions. f orcing the local bour­ geoisie to live in a constam state off ear.e rich ("the great. By the turn ofthe t 4th century. w age earners templated the extermination of the whole bourgeois class. the merch. capinilated. and even the major crafts. a at Ule least sign of trouble (Rodolico 1971).em loSt their lives (ibid. the nobility and d. in mar­ ltune Flanders. Ie was said that they had con­ ofsix and the same f or the nobles" (ibid. At Bruges.The workers at Liege. In Florence.: 5f>-(59).but or export. In 1384. uley had no civil rights. Ull cr orm any assOC13wage-workers could not Co Urban .They were def eated only by a battle in the open field. with impunity. incapable of continuing a resistance which had lasted f or more than a century. who tried to U1C journeymen. lif rhe textile industry. the workers seized power in 1379. haps) has been called the first "dictltorship of the proletariat" known in h istory. ":z:' �res 43 . 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. to mcrchallcs who. IDes and the .: 196). the clergy.: 3 1 1 ) . . the weavers tried ag:ilin in 1378. '0 demolished because d. ule day-laborers in the Florentine textile industry.pi.000 ofsuch day-laborers (weavers.he greatest accepClnce of heretic ideas ularly in the flanders. d the rwe afthe cloth merchancs.: 202-{)3). "the crafts COlnpletely icipal goverrunent dominated the cown. but it lasted only a rew months before being completely def eated by 1382 (Rodolico 1971). Their goal. employed by rich merclunes in indus­ market . Thus. Def eated by an impressive coalition offorces (including the prince.according to a flemish con­ (p temporary whose class allegiance is apparent . w i dun which they lived. cloth workers were engaged in cons�nt rebellions against the bishop.:Zn � prtva crafts the nobility. At GhelU. in the Low Countries. who . from 1 320 to 1332. n exercised dlC strictest control over their activ.: 1 95).The crafismen had also given support to d. spied on establish a "workers' democracy" based on the suppression of all authorities.1nts. them. when the mai n power in gained 1348. wool workers continued to rebel against them. where 26. Siena." becoming the arbiter of the mun uenne 1937: 201). From then on.000 of d.e peasantS in revolt. at Roosebecque in 1382. co een · this n 1.28 They too esCiblished a workers' govenmlent. revolt by the local bourgeoisie was overtaken by a rebellion of weavers. the bourgeoisie). per­ according to Peter BoissolUlade. led by the Cio". te tribunal and.1 1) . were more successful .). peasants against lords and clergy. in a struggle uut lasted from 1 323 to 1 328. In florence. unlike cruelest abuses at the the to exposed were they and or guild."the plague of insurrection was such that became disgusted with lif e" (ibid. against great entrepreneurs. and Aanders.mostly by waged day-laborers. The even[3 a t Bruges and Ghent were not isolated In Germany and Italy as wcll. sen of cype new a just was e in me city For them. dyers) could be f tntions of up to 4. the nobility. the artisans and laborers rebelled at every possible occasion. when they succeeded in establishing what (with some exaggeration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

they spent their energies on attack. "[TJake . (Geremeck 1994: 65).. In French municipal archives.not enough to feed a family _ represemed 46% of 'he peasan"Y laborers lived in the towns: (ibid. And always suffering hunger and <hi". the persecution of heretics dramatically inten­ sified. or for not producing a sufficient nwnber of men.his time me caprure of King Louis IX of France by 'he Moslems. 13%.on the occasion of the fourth Lateran ouncil. owners of small parcels of land. large-scale mack against 'he heretics. in 122. A movemen.In 1215. For our purposes the city is a population center with a royal charrer. so unstable economically that a bad harvest is a threat to their survival. The distinction between "town" and "city" is not always clear. in addition to rendering other occasional services" (Titow 1969: 59). In its wake. peasants with more land but with� ou[ drough.. ing to the harvest. 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. and 'he fim Crusade against Europeans. in Egyp'. In the tOwns.. in 1249 (Hil. 10 .4 kin.).hers> Fronce) was 'he 6". in J 280. in sou.he first few pages of me Abbo" Langley rolls: men were fined for no. . made or'hum­ ble and simple" people was organized to free him. peasants with less than three acres of land . Pope Innocent III launched it in the regions of T oulouse and Montpellier after 1209. The Crusade against me Albigensians (Camall from me 'own of A1bi. women suffered not only poverty but loss of 1985: 18-20.every week..-century Picardy: indi� gents and beggars. Lea 1961: 126-27). 13. animals. co. but it quickly took on an anti­ clerical character.. Sometitnea not one but a whole group failed to appear and so left the lord's crop ungarnered.week. whereat a town is a population center (usually smaller than a city) with a regular market.h prostiru[Cs.hem vulnerable '0 abuse (Hughes 1975: 21. before being wiped ou[ or dispelled by royal olli­ cials" (Barber 1992: 135-36).. Innocent III inser ted in the council's canons a set of measures that condemned heretics to exile. 15. 11. For an analysis of women in the medieval guilds. The Pastoreaux reappeared in Southern France in the spring and summer of 1320. spinners and other female wage workers were associa<ed wi. In England. often with 'he complici<y of local consula<es. Later. they came late and when they did come perfomled the work badly or in an idle fashion. and excluded them from civil life..an episcopal see and a market. Orne" even when mey came made memselves very unpleasam" B ( enne« 1967: 112). which left .. [TheY! had no chance of crusading in the east..see Maryanne Kowaleski andJudith M. to the confiscation of their properties. instead. weal'hy famle" 1 9"A> (Geremek 1994: 57). The following is a statistical picture of rural poverty in 13th. David Herlihy (1995). (Russell 1972: 136. 36%. Also m e movemem of 'he Pas<oureaux was provoked by even" in me Eas. 16. possibly because 'hey lived alone and had no family sttUc­ rore behind them. Hil<on 1985: 212-13). still "direccly influenced by 'he crusading atmosphere . Geremek 1994: 65-66. 12.33%.Benne« (1989). and Williams and Echols (2000) . Otis S2 . ing the Jewish communities of south-west France. Navarre and Aragon. 14.on 1973: 100--02)..

The and house where a heretic was discovered was CO be destroyed. buildings and money. and those of the 1977: 43). the Church exalted poverty as a holy state and engaged in distribu­ tions of alms. 1 7 Andre Vauchez attributes the "success" ofthe Inquisition to ics procedure. Suspects were released. Let us recall here Friedrick Engels' distinction between the heretical beliefS of peas­ pects as town burghers. 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. creating a climate of intolerance and institutional suspicion that continues to corrupt the legal system to this day. Gregorio unction of eradicating heresy: the IX instituted a special tribunal with the specific f Inquisition. Pope Innocent IV. presumably to be used f or distribution among the needy. Later. that help would the rich. when W alden«s and Cathars had already been f orced to go underground. to be punish with death by oulouse established that heretics should be identified fire. authorized the use oftorrure against heretics (V 1 990: 163. I n 1 229. 19. In 1252. and it enabled it to become one of the richest institutions in Europe. The def endants were not told the charges moved against them.ished. Those who reneged their beliefS were to he inullured. the Council ofT pun. with rhe consensus oCthe main theologians auchez of the time. associated with their opposition to f eudal authority. 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). Proven heretics and their protectors were to burned at the stake. trying to convince the rustics to accept their situation and nOt envy Lazarus sitting in heaven at the side ofJesus. su­ speccs were called in f ront ofa tribunal withoU[ being told the reasons f or their con­ vocation. 18. 165). This tactic pro­ Cured the Church substantial donations of land.· maiestatis. this meant.the emperor Frederick I I joined the persecution with the constitution servandum that defined heresy a crime of lesa Cum ad co. if they informed against their accomplices and promised to keep silent about their confessions. that were primarily a protest against the clergy (Engels ams and artisans. the clergy dismissed its hOmilies about poverty and introduced many ·'distinguo. it affi rmed that only voluntary poverty has merit in the eyes of God. At firS[. organized in coUaboration with public authorities. Until the 13'" century . in those who relapsed were to suff 1 23 1 . and the land upon which it was built confiscated.1 233. In Sunday sermons. 1 64. and watching his rich but stingy neigh­ bor burning in flames. The same secrecy characterized the investigative process. while enhe supplice offire. The politicization of poverty.As halo Mereu points out. brought about a decisive change in the attitude of the Church towards the poor. But when the poor grew in numbers and the heretics Started to challenge the Church's greed and corruption. the persecution consisted of raids against heretics' meetings.The arrest • of suspects was prepared with utnlost secrecy. together with the rise of a money-economy. as a sign ofhUmility and contempt f or material goods." Starting in the 13th cen­ tury. priests were prodigal with tales like that of the poor 93 . in practice. Thus. and those who denounced them were allowed to maintain their anonym ity.Then. The legacy of the Inquisition is a culture of sus­ picion that relies on anonymow charges and preventive detention.. the work of the Roman Inquisition left deep scars in the history of European cul­ ture. and treats sus­ if already proven guilty (Mereu 1979).

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

On that day. in the end. and exterminated their brothers at the Batcle of Lipan. 22 . a stern opponent of the English Peasants' R.were actually put into John Ball 's mouth co incriminate him and make him appear like a f ool.r au the Rhine in 1413. Cleverly. 1434. again to no avail.000 Taborires were lef t dead on the battlefield.r. 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). on "hear­ ing the battle hymn of the dreaded Hussite troops"(ibid."the most moving plea for social equality in the history of the English language.Johll Hus bci. the ecclesi­ astic diplomats deepened the split between the Calixtins and the Taborites. Jean Froissart. by a contemporary French chronicler. This rime the crusaders fled the battlefield even before the battle started. matters goeth not well to pass in England. These words .. on May 30.'g m(/rtyred lit Gmfiebt. more than 13. The first sentence of the sermon. nor shall do till everyring 55 . hs i ashes army of 1 00.hrow" inlo 'he rir!f. were . destroyed the Taborites were the negotiations that cook place between the Church and the moderate wing of the H ussires. Women were very active in the Taborite movement as in all heretic movements. wh ich John Ball was said to have given many times. in 1431.000 was once more launched against them. the Calixtins joined the Catholic barons in the pay of the Vatican." according to the historian R. What. Dobson . A fler his dellth.evolc . (in Lord Berners' 16tb-cemury translation) is as f ollows: "Ah. B. when another crusade was launched against the H ussites. ye good people.) . Thus.

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

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

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

by the second half of the 1 5th century. uscany. . population decline. promoted by the mercantile bourgeoisie to block the rise of the lower classes. In T in any other European region. and that the f ourteemh-century.and the decline in the legitimate population which resulted from an insufficient number of marriages (p.ic fusion had occurred between the families ofthe merchants and those of the nobility.decorum . V enice and Siena. 206). 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 . Trexler poims out that the same correJation between the spread of homosexuality. 59 . an organ. achieved by means of marriages and the sharing of prerogatives. early fif growth in the number and social power of prostitutes eventually led co a backlash.32).: 65). ' [a] century later [they] wondered if it could survive when [upper] class women could not be distinguished f rom brothel prostitutes (ibid. 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. By tlus time. there was an inversion of this tendency and a restoration of the power of the nobility. where the democratization of political lif e had proceeded f urther than 33. and the sponsorship of public prostitution can be f ound in late teenth-century Lucca.

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

I A hundred thousand rebels were massacred in retaliation. . -Barbara Omolade. . . New Lal.isll1 had off ered the promise of a new egalitarian society built on social equality �Ild cooperation. . I demand whether all wars. as Peter BlickJe called it. vast con'WlUnalisric social movements and rebellions against eUdaI."Heart of Darkness.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. the "revolution of the common 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? .. when all [he branches of mankind shall look upon the earth as one conunon treasury to all .. And whether this l11. bloodshed and misery came not gllltoUSlles� 1 649 -Gerrard Winstanley. . Then. Her back and muscle were pressed into field labor . used f ." New 61 . ." was crush ed. which was his place ofcapital invesonent child the accumulated surplus . her hands were demanded to nurse and nurture the gateway to the womb. by 1525 their most powerful expression. the "Peasam W ar" H1 G ermany or. 77. 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. in 1535. . Throughout Europe. [H]er vagina.isery shall not remove." 1983 or his sexual pleasure. . . was the white man .

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

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

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

Bono calculates that 1110re than calated the hostilities against the Muslim .. armed out to private cltlzens or public works. . disease. 146). 134-35). burned castles. which occurred in the same year the conquest of Peru. contractual wage-work was obtained only at the price ofan intense we and by a linuted set ofl. the f :." "murdered. I n \'. a system of public slavery developed whereby thousands of kidnapped fra llce. where population scarcity gave landlords the upper hand.13 In the West its restoration was was no exception." A broad organizational effort spreading over three countries (Germany.: 1 53.){ . where work.boren." Customary rights and even f orms of territorial government were preserved.11 world. and their numbers grew after the Battle of Lepanto (1571) .· ve study ofslavery in Ic:UY there were numerous slaves in the Mediterranean areas . . and which was conunemorated by Albrecht Durer with the "Monument to the V anquished Peasants" (Thea 1 998: 65. Where workers' resistance to re-enserfinent could not be broken.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. -kingdom as a whole (one per Napolitan the 1T1 25. artisans. tor­ tured. 1 4 tills "revolution of the conmlon l11an" \v. In rs .12 But III Europe slavery between slavery and Af connection special ofa assul11ption or it did not exist. Peasant W Austria. in the ditches of a thousand dismantled.l5 a watershed in European history. in the tion of the work-force. IIlciuding the best German and Austrian artists) . martyred" (ibid. it shook the powerful to the core. W orkers attempting to hire themselves out independently Or case of recidivism. impaled. This must b� emphasized to dispel the (Dockes 1982: 2). (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. merging in their consciousness with the Anabaptists akeover of Munster. Europe nca. Like the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Switzerland) and joining workers f rom every field (fanners. to whom we owe the most population) and simiJar figures apply [Q other Italian towns and to southern ceriC ofthe · .000 or it must have been quite strong if it tOok until the 18m century (he employers' desires f was outlawed in England. although f conditions material the as phenomenon.�ere oreigne f . Many were destined f \lh el11ployed 1r8). in the fields.16 This was an exception .:O act that Very and serf dom could not be rescored meant that the labor crisis that had character­ �.000 and Naples in lived s slave • As reported by the Italian historian Salvatore Bono. which confirmed their f ears that an international conspiracy was as underway to overthrow their power.d the late Middle Ages continued in Europe into the 170b century. slavery ore bef except in the East. . . In i ners. the revenge was mer­ ciless. in t11e woods. Nevertheless. A "free" wage labor-market did not develop in Europe until tlle 18m century. But the clock could not be turned back.an importam source them in agriculture. or were f goverrunents f 111 Joyed by ciry or the oars. the response was the expropriation of the peasantry f rom its land and the intro­ duction off orced wage-labor. IS After itS def eat. aggrnvated by the leave their employers were punished with incarceration and even with death.Inous parts o f Germany and the other territories that had been a t the cemer o f the "war. "Thousands of corpses laid on the ground from Thuringia to Abace.The attempt to bring back serf dom f ailed as weU. limited a remained Italy. and even then. 6S . tellS] the t 6th and 17th centuries.wh. 10.the ancestors of today's undocumented imnugrant workers . mostly male and adult.Tlus contradiction .

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

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

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

thelr holdings.24 It mostly ref erred to tile abolition of the open-field system. but when the land was auc­ tioned. which began with a massive land­ grab by the upper class." they were savagely attacked as f omenters of sedition (ibid. who had demanded the expropri­ ation of the Church "with a passion born of bitterness and hope.jtu/ues Callol. land privatization was mostly accomplished �ri�tion of workers from their"col11mon wealth" that. much land changed hands in the name of religious ref orm.orilia IvcreI or". a corrunon hunger f or the Church's land at first united the lower and higher classes in the Protestant movemem. 69 . 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 . Hoskin has describe it as " the greatest trans­ f erence of land in English history since the Norman Conquest" or." a phenomenon that has become so associated with the expro­ In the 1 6th century. in our time. however.e.21 I n England as well. Dismissed soldiers were n mllury Europe. In France. indicting a set of strategies the Eng iish lords and rich f armers used to eliminate conununaJ land property and expand . soldiers lumed robbers.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.declar­ ing that "the Gospel prom ises land freedom and enf ranchisement. more succinctly. who had become Protestant t of ree themselves from the tithes. starting in 1 563. as "The Great Plunder.A1so the peasants. the artisans and day-laborers. When they stood by their rights. ElI gmllitl R'n.23 through the "Enclosures. an arrange­ ent by whic h villagers owned non-contiguous so-ips of land in a non-hedged field."22 I n England." and had mobilized with the promise that they too would receive their share." lulIIged by mjfjl(/ry llull. W.e tIIl. THE HORRORS OF W AR (1633). "enclosure" was a technical term. were betrayed in their expec­ tations (Le Roy Ladurie 1 974: 1 73-76}. G. large pm! ojtlte IIrl. it is used by anti-cap­ Italist activists as a signifier f or every attack on social entitlements.: 192). were deceived.

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

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


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


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

Vol. they had been able to obtaln in fif ce ncury by sixty percent between 1470 and 1 570 (Hackett Fischer 1996: 78). Peter Kriedte writes that at that tiIne. But malnutrition was 77 . wluch were some of the worst in the history of the European proletariat. evetything has truly changed. at the beginning aCme '''11S had to work f art!. in the past they ate difTerencly at the peasant's house. hut by the Bud-1 6th century they were rece ived ha.1 750 1 7 5 1 . next page] . Conde mni ng city dwellers to starvation (Braudel 1966. Today. what a calamitous time. and 1 550. by 1 550 and long after. workers in Europe were ref erred to as simply "the poor. a phenomenon so wide­ spread and general that. In the 1 4th century. there was meat and f ood in profusion every day. [see graph.. aggravated in . \Vl[h widespread unrest and a record number of witch-trials.1f the pay of a man f receiving only one-third of the reduced male wage. Le Roy Ladurie 1 974). a f act undoubtedly or the massive spread of prostitution in this period. In France.. in 1 550. Braudel too speaks ofthe end or'carnivorous Europe. commented that. an incredible quantity even by today's standards. male to deteriorated Thing< Ages. From me 16th to the 1 8th centuries. .. Meat disappeared from their tables.6 The wage colJapse was especially disastrous for women. the "annual meat consumption had reached the figure of 100 kilos per person." summoning as a witness the Swabian Heinrich MuUer who.43 ed dropp wages did beer and wine. anune years of tile 1 540. Middle the lace orty weeks to earn the same income that. the workers' diets consisted essentially of bread. Not only did meat disappear. but f ood shortages became conunon.1550 1 55 1 . . in f act.4 83. Up to the 1 9th century tlus figure declined to less than twenty kilos" (Kriedte 1 983: 52). and Ing 1 590s . .1 500. the main expense in their budget. in England.0 48.1 800 1 22. Then. 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). neither in agriculture nor in manufacturing. except f or a f ew scraps of lard.1 94. . I : 328). and again in the decades of the 1580. when the scanty grain reserves sent the price of grain sky-high.1 700 1 70 1 .3 74.. This is what occurred In the f: . coincid.44 What f ollowed was responsible f the absolute impoverislunent of the European working class. by 1550. and cou ld no longer support them­ selves by wage-work.6 79. " or this dramatic impoverishment is the change that occurred in the Evidence f workers' diets. Tills was a historic setback (whatever we may think of dietary norms) compared to the abundance ofmeat that had typified the late Middle Ages.1 600 1601-1 650 · 1 65 1 . they had or the same cask . For some years. tunes of harv est f ailure. and so to the level they had reached in It took cencuries for wages in Europe to return point the that. teen weeks. salt and olive oil (Braude! 1 973: 1 27ff . tables at village f airs and f easts sank under their load.

TIle Prict Revol".ls. nil.' real UNlgt' did not rrtum 10 tht fevtl it Iwd reached n. 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 . rile rt.rg POUltr." ait cifthe Reid IMI$.ion lri� Price Revolution IIl1d the F II few dfmdes.. With.. thirds of its pl4rclms. 1981).1640. 1480.gered n historic (ol/tlPSt i.'tll Imgt lost two_ the 151h century mlti/ the 19th ctntury (Plltips-Broll'" mId Hopkj. tIlt! rftll Wlige.

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

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

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

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

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

" an international debate also deveJoped on administration ofpublic assiscallce anticipating the contemporary debate on welf are.iveiy­ by means of hunger and terror. with the ing of the Statute of Laborers in England. that s i . was the first recognition of the IltlJusraiuability of a capitalist system rul ing ex. and keep of the deceased. from the public space (the conunon. .lculate the ber of the poor. which the lords were no longer capable of guaranteeing. az'" by direct intervention of the central state. with the institution of a direct relationsh li vid.!. the reproduction of workers shif ti ng from the openfield to the home. ceased to host any social activity other thaa those addressed '0 d. the church) to the �"' e. 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.---- -. assess the amount off ood needed by each child or adult. With this innovation. resuJting in the introduction of demograph ic recording (census-taking. and a talist "division of labor" was instituted within the ruling class. Even the individual's relation with God was priV2tiz"" i p between the ."' in Protestant areas. both by initi. enabHng enlplo. 52 Its precise goals are still debated.. to address the ineyj. religious processions were replacing the dancing and singing that had sociaJ indiscipline prompted the banning of all prolecarian gatherings and m"rryrr.akinoo held in and out of the churches. But it was with the introduction lic assistance that the State began to claim "ownership" of the work-force. --.1 --. rnunity to the family. and the divin. in his 11"Iassive study ofcoerced wuur.. when faced the generalization of the anti-f eudal struggle. with the introduction of ind ividual cO. 84 .--- But the "moral ref ormation" was equally incense in non-Protescant areas where. armed. Exemplary is the work of the administrators of dle Bureau de in Lyon (France). . ! The church itself. f rom the Secondly.-. ity. who by the end of the 16th century had learned to c. 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. in same period.. marriage rates) and the appHcation of accounting social relations. In 1351. A5 a result. the had f ormally taken charge of the regulation and repression of labor. either with the ca. and no confined in its demands to the political economy of the manor. Antecedents f or this function can be f ound in the 14th century.. .. a leap occurred also in the management of social duction. the physical enclosure operated by land zarion and the hedging of the commons was amplified by a process of social encloSIU\!. lll ess.clu.. 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.1ove ofthe local ITI'lIlicif'aliri". crises.53 In any event..e cult. which fixed the maximum wage. in the certainty that state would intervene.. 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.on reHnquish any responsibility f or the reproduction of workers. the state had emerged as the only capable ofconfronting a working class that was regionally unified.•• humanitarian crisis thatjeopardized social control. natality. in the decades between 1 530 and 1 560. a system of public aSSistance introduced in at least sixty European towns.. in the Catholic areas. recording of mortality.rrot or with the stick. 'l1li W3S the attempt to prevent the flight oflabor.. as a conIDlU nity center.

like in the annual processions of the poor.]y cllOse unable to work. 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. 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. Europeans had brought death to America.e distribution of bread. or on theOl."be supported. 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. Sue scholars almost ll �l lll �usly liken irs efe f cts to an "American Holocaust.deseribed as me "deserving poor. 1968: 249). In response. however). the population declined by 75 million across as . in great part caused by the dramatic population decline l that occurred in Spanish America after the Conquest." According to David Stal1l1ard (l 2). cl. in the V2St proletariat either incarcerated in the newly constructed work-houses and correction­ crimi"alizat. In England. this was a deci­ sive failure. But. assistance was administered with such stinginess thac it generated of systems and as appeasemenc. or should "able­ r strenuously opposed the ban on individual donations.always one step away from the whip and the noose. 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. houses. Those assisted resemed the humiliating rituals imposed as much conflict wearing the "mark of infamy" (previously reserved [or lepers and Jews). that had begun with the enclosures and the Price Revolution.55 Consequently. reached. across differences of the cle gy opinions." where they not prompcly given or were inadequate to their needs. and the shrinking of the colo­ m al economies. in some French [Owns. led to the attack on workers. In the century after the Conquest.also for children and me elderly­ became the experimenca1 subjects for a variety of work-schemes. receipt of public aid . that is. so as not co be discouraged public aid was to tie of objective key a as �al from the viewpoint of social discipline. in which they had to parade (in France) participating singing hymns and holding candles. Estimates of the population collapse vary. 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.ofl of the uJOrki"g class. be rarely could consensus a on these matters ':rkers to their jobs. the formation of a . \ 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. the space of a century.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. h. But. part ualized dispensation of charity (not exceeding � .e 16th century progressed. the social crisis that tills general state 161h and l7lb-century political circles indicates that the comemporary statesmen and I Population Decline. Moreover. as was made conditional on the incarceration of the recipients in "work-houses. the oloniz . entrepreneurs were keenly aware of it. Economic Crisis.

the population f eU "from 1 1 1565 to about 2. But we know that by the end of the 1 6th century the age ofmarriage was inc: . ti6ed is difficult to tell. became widespread. since demographic recording. 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. but craftsmen. T o what extent this charge was also blamed on low natality rates ." and brutality of the means by which the state began to punish any behavior obstructing ulation growth."'1 1986: 138). But the population decline the reluctance of the poor to reproduce themselves. Hackett Fischer 1996: 91). and The peak of the demographic and economic crisis were the decades of the In Europe. . and f or a while there was the possibility that the developing talist economy might crash. reaching a peak in Germany where one third of the population With the exception of the Black Death (1 345-1348). It is my contention that it was 1 81h (. this context that the question of tile relation between labor. instigating the population to f or the malefactors. and that. but its economic consequences were nOt ignored. should not deceive us in population crisis of the 1 6th and 1 7th centuries.. They died in such numbers that their bodies paved the streets." and the new disciplinary methods that the adopted in this period to regulate procreation and break women's control over duction. un. tell only a part of the story. Tim is also the mate of Andre Cunder Frank who writes that "within little more than a century.nd (]{.•-. and continued to do so into the century. by the population began to decline also in western Europe.exi Peru.s Foucault has argued) that turned reproduction and population growth into matters. It was a "General as historians have caUed it (Kamen It i s in 1972: 307ff. In addition. J'-.58 t further argue that clle si6cation of the persecution or'witches.a new phenomenon . _ ing in all social classes. and statistics.. in the same period. In Mexico..South America. The evidence f or this argument is circulmOtali 86 .57 The ness of the concepts applied. \vas uneven.I authorities denounced the existence of a conspiracy. . 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. 1 1 1 16305. . Peru and dle Caribbean li�to .. as in the colonies.". who perished when the pb'IUeI or the smallpox swept the tOwns.emplo." lt was nOt the rich. representing 95% of its inhabirnnts (1 992: 268-305). The clergy «u0II:I&. struck at "the poor.started to grow.as well as primary objects ofintellectual discourse. trade stopped.tiorl. markets shrank. and it would soon wipe out many more in Brazil..ll ized this "holocaust" as God's pun.5 nUllion in 1600" (Wallerstein 1 cail (Crosby: 1972:38). .5 nullion in 1580 "disease . not the end of famine in Europe in cllis respect. W e also have the complaints of ministers from the pulpit charged thac the youth did not marry and procreate. this was a was lost.This was the first international economic crisis. had killed off or driven away 1110st (1978: 43). popul. as awful as they are. are also to be traced to tlus crisis.ym. often confusing "populousness" with "population. bef ore the 1 7th century. day-laborers and vagabonds 1972: 32-33)... the number of abandoned cru�dI . f or the most part.. and some other regions" lion in By 1 519 to 6.56 population without precedents. Indian population declined by ninety percent and even ninety-five percent in M. ishment f or the Indial1s"'bestial" behavior \"" liIJiaQ" people of the Antilles and the lowlands of New Spain. in order not to more mouths into the world than they could f eed.. . assisted by SpaJush brutality. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marriage was now seen as a woman's true Cd'"C'. enticing men CO sin with (Vigil 1 986: 1 1 4-5). 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. 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 .whereby tht tims were tied up. in 1 6th-century France.. -. h. . The situation was similar in England and Spain. characterized by the advance of the Ref ormation and witch-hunting. and other cruel f orms of chastisement. sometimes they were f orced into a cage. . and tion to having their heads and eyebrows shaved. and then should be banned from the city f or six years in turies of capitalist discipli lljng of women. 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. in the cities. the situation was re�etII.U In a climate of intense misogyny. -... A proclamation issued by the political authorities Madrid. that when ill women's inability to support themselves was taken so much f gle woman tried to settle in a village. .. she was driven away even if she earned a Combined with land dispossession ..... or granted. complaining that many vagabond women now wandering among the ciey's streets. . As Le Roy Ladurie reports. between 1 530 and 1 560. even when done ouuide the home it was paid less chan men's work. everyday..sisteactl f or a large f emale population than the institutional attitude towards it change. and even the wives of craftsmen. Among them was uthe ducking stool" acabussade . rounded up faJrUly income with this work.n��" in the late Middle Ages it had been officially accepted 2S a necessary evil. prostitution was first subjected to new restrictions then crinunalizcd. . where. . ging. - 84-85).. 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. . till they almost drowned (Roberts 1992: 1 im" . as well." as Nickle R. town brothels were closed prostitutes. alleys. this loss of power with regard to wage em'.. .ua piece of grim theatre. and then were inunersed in rivers or ponds. after f if caught be given a hundred lashes. and never f or women to be able to live by it. and (paid) sexual work are still studied rom each other. especially street-walkers. . women arriving from the countryside.oberts describes it .. and the contemporary cation of the witch-hum? our Looking at these phenomena from the vantage point of the present. were subjected co severe penalties: banishment. But no sooner had prostitution become the main f orm ofsuk.. in the 16m cencury... and taverns.I . in 1 63 1 . Soon all f emale work.....-.. . was defined as . Everywhere.6il I Meanwhile. if done in the home.. [so that] by 1594 the "shameful traffic" was flourishing as never before (Le RoyLadurie 1 974: 1 1 2-13). -.... Incnt led co the massification of prostitution. in streets of red­ light distric . . and pn>Sti'. had benefited f rom the high wage regime. ----. Madrid.-. the raping of a prostitute ceased to be a ".denounced the problem.. housework. and on the bridges . the answers may seem to impose Though womcn's waged work.ousel(e"pin2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

� rIIft w.� " """ o. In Europe."' . ".. . Pompc. ... uwn by ...lll ..-:.te (1 884)..b.... Tolin' in mon:. 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. denigration \vas at the service of a pro ject of expropriation....st : .Ea'.nalkd.. mcm... From every viewpoint .nd ... ""' of p«b1I' ..e of the economically. the equivalent of the hiStoric defe.IWI Jomi· IlllltJ English Ultmlllrt in llrt ptriod of tire Civil lM..... the nization of ule American indigenous people served to justify their enslavement and plunder of their resources. PriM. .. !.. in 11It Origin " downfall of the matri- f.. the Family.. the price of resistance jects would have succeeded.. culturally. lives. None of the tactics aeplc'Ytod "'1 ' 10 <11> ' 1:. .. ... _'1 Parliament of VVomen.. ..ition of women as demonic beings. and the d� dation of their social identity. . had they not be against European women and colonial sub ea sustained by a campaign ofcerror.. � v- Witb tb...the witch-hunt was a turning poim in women. The parallel is nOt casual. the attack waged on women justified the priation of their labor by men and the crim... '.�.".� was extermination. 102 .1 � .-w P ARlJAMl1Vf OF WOME:" (1646)..._ • ..... Always..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...t to which Engel..inalization of their control over tion. 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. nIJ...IId the St.... .."'tt Property . . The defin... As we will see.. it wa. _ (. a_ . . politically . In both cases literary and CUI". as the cau.i-lvomrn satirt ..r . .:..-r .. . a work typical <if th. �HE """ Frotllispim of T.. ucdIII . Pri..

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

. On the other side. economic imegrana.. but beca of the illunense an-lOuO[ of surplus labor that was accumulated f set a model aflabar management... . 85). as a lever f or mobilizing not only the labor of the workers paid by it.the most impGli.. also f or the labor of a multitude of workers hidden by it. cant conmlodities.laved and waged workers in that pre-figured capitalism's present use of Asian.... to the rise of the f actory system. the plantation prefigured not """ the f actory bue also the later use ofimnugration and globalization CO cut the COSt oflabar. In tllis way. tobacco... . 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. did they ob ject to it?This is a question we would like to ask but it is one which I cannot answer... _ . as a means Qike a 104 . as raw materials or means of exchange in the mde. whenever the capitalist system is threatened by a major nmnic crisis. tobacco. the integrlltiiGI wc. because of the umvaged ditions of their work . in the production of labor-power in Europe _ did not take off on a large scale until afier the 1 650. but systematically. while keeping enslaved .11 must be mentioned here.. the metropolitan wage became the vehicle by which me as providers of"cheap""consumer" goods (cheapened by death squads and military W(. however.. USe-: slaves into the reproduction of the European work-f orce. . and division of the work ing class by which \\f3ged-work. What is certain is that the history of tea. _ _. � cally. a global assembly line wee introduced that significantly restructured the reproduction of labor internationally. .. as with f emale domestic work.. waged worke" geographically and socially divided.76.rIo". produced by enslaved workers went to the market... sugar..I ... ist class relations.. and linked eru.. such as the one we nessing at present (Bales 1 999). labor and. oflabor ormation of an international divisiaa I n particular. when it did take off. tea... 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. . that is. and Latin American lence) f or the uadvanced"capita1ist countries.. a process of large-scale colonization and enslavement. The colonial production ofsugar. export-oriented production . African.. rather than providing an rive to slavery. if they did. together with bread. was created that cut the cost of the commodities necel-' sary to produce labor-power in Europe. and international division of labor that have since become paradigmatic f or capital. For what traveled with these "exports" was only the blood of the slaves but the seeds of a new science of exploitation. .rIc··101II urther established. the capitalist class has to launch a process oC"pr-imitive accumulation . because. and the value of the products enslaved-labor was realized. \vas made to depend on it for its existence.and cotton .. af ter slavery had been institu� alized and wages in Europe had begun to (modesdy) rise (Rowling 1 987: 5 1 .. two mechanisms one side. rum.. unable to rely on local support. and cotton is f ar more significant than we can deduce from the co'"tribU'llCI which these conullodities made.. is.. Did worke" in Europe know that they were buying products resuJo ing [re'm .. . With its inullcnse concentration of workers and its captive I3bor f orce uP rooted from its homeland. .

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

starting from the land. and the populations d1e capitalist class has colonized. the persecution of women as witches. the power-difference between women and men and the con­ cealment of women's unpaid-labor under the cover of natural inf eriority. divisions. liS . the mceT-generatlOnal transnUSSlOn 0f knowIedge and cooperation. the sexual division oflabor was above all a power-relation. making of women the servants of the male work-f orce. children. Tills point must be emphasized. while being an inUl1ense boost to capital accumulation . inequalities. 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. erentiation In reality. and d1e "primitive disaccumulation" of their own individual and collective powers. no less than the n to capical relatio r ei th international division oflabor. As this hriefhiscofY of women and primitive aCClilTIuJation has shown. their lives. but their experiences. Thus. in many cases. and r patriarchal order. . which have alienated workers f As we have seen. han .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. male workers have often been complicitolls with this process. as they have tried to maintain their power with respect to apical by devaluing and disci­ plining women. primitive accumula­ tion has been above all an accumulation of diff erences. have enabled capitalism to inunensely expand the "unpaid part of the working day. . ood. Thus. the construction I CapitalisIYl and the Sexual DiviSon of Labor a division within the work-force.itccd . 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. rom each other and even from themselves. h ierarchies.pale when compared to those it derived from As I have argued. the advantages which the capitalist class derived from the diff between agricultural and industrial labor and within industrial labor itself. given the tendency to atuibuce the leap capicaJ­ ism brought about in the productivity oflabor only to the specialization of work-tasks. and the cre­ iltlon of" sav ages" and "cannibals" both in Europe and the New World.� dependence ieey comm. they have also served to deflect elass antagonism into an antagonism between men and women. 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. the production of the ds as of ."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.celebrated dle degradation of women's work and social position. was ofII new aspect of capitalist development.

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

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

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

"they let me yell and give me nothing. and flora . and "terrorist" is coday. "The coun­ tryside had become animated . . including famous ones like Lucas Cranach (Cranach the old) as well as myriad elt partic­ lesser painters and engravers (ibid. The echoes of the Anabaptist revolution were f elt in Elizabethan EngJand and in France. I n Upper Swabia. Village authority and privileges were maintained in the hinterland of some city­ states.� ofgoods."Anabaptist" became a cursed word.: 7). and labor services".79.Also in Switzerland. [it] had acquired in the uprising a personality worth of being represented" (ibid. inspiring uOnost vigilance and severity with regard to any challenge to the constituted auchority. 73. and the Tyrol artists participated in me PeasantWar.dancing peasants.in contemporary 16th-century German art (ibid. through the 1 6 th and 1 7th centuries. (OtlltllUtlislj( sIJaritl. as " communist" was in the United States in the 1 9SOS. interpreted and repressed every f onn of social protest. : 1 2-15. It was 15. 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 .: 155). through the prism of the Peasant War and Anabaptism that the European governments. ref erring to those working on his land (Buckle 1 985: 172).Austria. In a number of territorial states. . some of the main peasant 119 . the peasants "continued to ref use dues. i Enrly 1 71h-amtury Centultl engnwtlg revilin g the Atltl/x'PlislS' belief ill lilt: 16. a sign of opprobrium and criminal intent. taxes. animals. [My translation].80). though serf dom was not abolished." complained the abbot ofSchussenried.

Cunningham and Crell (2000) . range widely. Only later. portraying slaughters of soldiers and civil­ ians. Meal alld MOlley ( 1 98 1 ) . while towards the end of the Thirty Y ears War the leading European staces would have field annies of close to 1 50. even those ostensibly devoted to sacred subjects. how many are still capable owing to the social disruption. Cunningham and Crell write tha. Similarly. the Indian population declined by ninecy percent and even ninecy-five percent in Mexico. we cannOt say that there the lords crowned their military conquest with political victory. 18. not directly involved in capitalist employment. War is possibly the main theme of 1 61b and 171h-century painting. instituted after 1 525 in Upper oundation f or a system of self-goverrunent that remain ed Swabia. viUages in Dames. it would have been twice that. the French anthropologist Claude Meillassoux." BlickJe concludes that "Wherever this cause won out. rows of hanging bodies. .vas abolished. are too numerous to mention. in the first post-ColuJnbian century. 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). f or even if there are still millions of people in the world. 20. On the changes in the nature of war in early modern Europe sec.is leading capitalism to a ma jor crisis. [as] the prince was still bound to the consent of the common man. Albrecht Diirer's engraving was not the only representation of the "Four Horsemen. "On the Upper Rhine. did the prince succeed in freeing himself f consent" (Ibid. Representations of battlefields.1 82). some areas reached settlements that were positive for the peasants" (ibid. serfdom . "ln the 1 490s a large army would have consiSted of20. in Maidnu. during the rom that f ormation of the absolute state."We have also one by Lucas Cranach ( 1 522) and by Mauheus Merian ( 1 630). . the clergy. and some other regions" ( 1 978: 43). Improvements in the 1m of the "corn. f amine and wars it brings about.. Kalmer ( 1 998).OOO men. 95-102. providing the f in place till the 1 91h century. by the 1 550. . 120 . and the towns.grievances relating to inheritance and marriage rights were accepted with the Treacy of Menullingen of 1 526. I n Switzerland. Peru. Estimates of the population decline in South and Central America. . has argued that this contradiction spells a f uture crisis for capitalism: "In the end imperialism . But "the true mon man" were negotiated in T child of the revolution" .as a means of reproducing cheap labor power . 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. leaking into every representation. : 1 72-1 74).: 1 8 1 .. 17. but contemporary scholarly opinion is almost unanimous in likening its eff ects to an American Holocaust. ofproducing their own subsistence and f eeding their children?" (1981 : 1 40).000 men" (2000: 95). Andre Gunder Frank writes that: "Within little more than a century. Noble David Cook argues that: "Perhaps 9 miUion people resided with i n the linurs delineated by Peru's con­ temporary boundaries. 1 9. Ref erring to the growing pauperization brought about across the world by capi­ talist development. in Bern and Zurich. yrol and Salzburg (ibid. The extent of the demographic caeastrophe caused by "the Columbian Exchange" is still debated.vas the territorial assembly. too.: 176-1 79).

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

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

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

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

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

46.e fanune of1630: "The 10adUng and terror engendered by a maddened crowd of ple who imporrune all comers in the streetS. 45. CipoUa 1993: 129). Not surprisingly. As they write. On d. Thenceforth his �ving standard began to fall.h century. as butter. 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. they boarded it and seized the cargo. On women's presence in food riots.:72-4). in piazzas. On the growth of prostitution in the 16th century see. "[a]t Maldon in 1629. "In New Castile. Beree (1990). so that life is incolerable. 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.. Cornwall (1977). (I 985). Soly (1979). . 48. Strauss: 110-111). 43. Kamen (1971). Lis & H. who write that "women played a prominent role in grain riots [in England]. Between 1566 and 1575 and from 1585 to the outbreak of d. while wages rose threefold.the purchasing power of cottars and waged workers feU by forty five percent. Underdown notes: j" Wlhores in �sle"."They were ted by a "Captain Ann Carter. Fletcher (1973). History: Prostitution Manning (1988)." For instance.As David Underdown "The pronunent role played by female [food] riote" has often been noted. 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. Nickie Roberts. 44. fold. With reference to Germany. What the debtor pays is interest (G. Women were thought to be the likely rioters in the inci­ dent in Weymouth in 1622. see also Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford (1998). TIlt IratI Cel/tury 126 . On 16th and 17th-century protest in Europe.e impoverishment of the Europen working class 72-79." (ibid.. too. cheese. 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. later tried and hanged" for her leading role in the protest 47. Society (1992). in the churches. 169-179." In the same period. Lombardini (1983). (ibid. 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. in France. etc. workers and cottars were but 'house beggars' for Francis Bacon. this cannot be believed by anyone who has not experienced it" (quoted by Carlo M. and in addition the foul stench rising from them as well as the constant spectale of the dying . see Henry Kamen. during d.: 385-86). at street doors.Christians do it. wage labour and poverty were considered synonymous..Berce (1990). wheat. 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. . over the seas" (1985: 117).e Thirty Years War was "Recent research has shown that a building worker in Augsburg [in Bavarial ily" (Kriedte 1983: 51-52).

29 1-293. There were rebellions in Naples in 1 595."" 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). but included assaults. and Ukraine. The Sp. 53. and Manning (1 988) . 1 550-1660" (pp. that Norwich. lic charity. shortly af of Poor Relief ref on115. De knowledgeable about the poor one of the main supporters of pub­ Sub". insisting that "tlle dissolute. 1 620. he underplays the degree to which assistance was the result of a struggle .397-403. and the most badly paid. in Inid-1 6th-cenrury France) and other f orms of attack.V ol. 350. Probably never before in European history had 1647 SO was operative throughout Europe. in this context. 738-739. Underdown ( 1 985). rebellions erupted in 1640 in Catalonia. Kamen (1972). For riots and rebellions in 1 6th and 17th. 35. Hu ngary. On revolt in pain and Italy. see Braudel ( 1 976). 92. France.rving rural people (a constant f eature. II. L'tSclava ge au salariat (1 998) .nish human. It is not coincidence. Lis and Soly write that ". 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 . 331-385). On [he instirution of Public Assistance. The main work on the rise ofwork-house and correction houses is Dario Melossi 127 .a struggle that cannOt be reduced to the flight of labor. in order that their example m ight serve as a deterrent to others" (ibid. 361-63). Chapter 4: "The Ref orm of Charity" (pp. see Geremek's On vagrancy in Europe.( 1 972). 54. the invasion of towns by masses of sca. 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.tlhe available evidence suggests that the overall crime rate did indeed rise markedly in Elizabethan and early Stuart England.in Cordova and Seville in 1 652. On the rise ofpropercy crimes in the wake ofme Price Revolution see the Charter on p. In his De was was Poverty A HiS/ory ( 1 994). who relief systems of the Flanders and Spain. Lithuania.cenrury England. also Braudel ( 1976. and Lis and Soly ( 1 984). the center ter its def eat.: 334-35. 336). In Spain. but a measure intended to prevent the flight of workers and thereby create a local labor market ( 1 998}. Finland.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). with many popular rebel­ lions coincided in time"(p. Austria. Lis and Soly ( 1 979). 390-394. 1 42-177). 51. I only partially agree with Moulier Boutang when he claims that Poor Relief was nOt so much Yann Moulier Boutang. Furthermore. the thieving and the idle should be given the hardest work. "The crisis of 1 595-7 repercussions in England.). 1 4 '1 in this volume. 55. see Cornwall (1 977) . See RichardJ. the crooked. see 49.Vol. a response to the misery produced by land expropriation and price inflation. (ibid. Kamen ( 1 972) . the center and the model of the Kett Rebellion became.As already mentioned. 739-743. 52. 50. I n England.. As Kamen writes. in Grenada in 1648. especially between 1 590 and 1620" (p. 11). "Popular Rebellion. Evans (1 996). beside Beier and Geremek. in particular Chapter 10.i" Juan Luis Vives. 218).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" of pantheon ofeconomic thought. As Thomas Mun (the son of a London merchant and spokesman f or the mercantilist position) put it: . But dlat work ("industry"). 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 ." 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. the first economists Many decades were to pass before the concept of the value oflabor entered the rA capitalist society. as 'tis We cannot miss him. curse. crowd. . bought. in the streets or on their travels. We must not f orget that the beggarly and riotous proletariat who forced the rich to travel by carriage to escape its assaults. . � : � _ ded over the administration of the state. came to the f oreground of social policies because it appeared not .but also detennined . bolts.� Nakedness was penalized. wrought into Anchors. whose consolidation was continuously undermined . and other instru­ ments f orTiIlage. . spikes. Carts. sold. but also as the The bOdy. we know that our own natural wares do not yield us so much profit as our industry . Scene 2) container of labor-power. . (Abbott ·1946: 2) � the value oflabor. and yet It was. or to go to bed with ired in the ruling c1ass.by the threat of riots and social disorders. . For Iron in the Mines is of no great worth. then. . Coaches. Ploughs. 10 "'the more the better. Houses. there was more. tried. more than land or any other "'natural wealth. (711e Tempest. nails and the like. which he delivers to Miranda after she manifests her utter disgust With Caliban: But. He does make our fire Fetch in our wood. never tired of repeating (though not without second thoughts) that ten deploring that so many bodies were wasted on the gallows. !he �ovelty was that �he ol t e bod bOdY was attacked as the source of all evils. begging them or preparing to rob them.studied with the same passIOn in the same years. Y et.9 It was the fear felt by the bourgeois or the nobleman alike . were besieged by a threaten­ elt by those who . animated the investigation of celestial motion. swear..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. Muskets . Act I. 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. when it is compared with the employment and advantage it yields being digged. It was the same of whom the mercantilists.was the same social sub ject who increasingly appeared as cbe source of all wealth. a 137 oaIy as a beast inert to the stimuli of work. f or the use of Ships.bo. . cast into Ordnance. transported. wherever they went.

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

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

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

This means that the mechanical body. of Ilu' jlldjlljdual and Iht tilll . as the main ele­ i" itselfthe prevailed in the medieval world. so that it could relinquish its h iture.have a ferocious attack on the body. "Knowledge" can only become "power" ifit can enf lbpt'escriptiol1s.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"./Orld. and ttnagllled the cosmos as a living organism. The body had to die so that labor-power could live. coudition of the existence of labor-pouJeT. This is why. as iIIuslrtlted ill oj tile celes­ this "61"-CClllury image of tile "zodj{wd I/ftlll. 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. then. and social subjects whose existence contradicted the • the peak of the "Age of Reason" . had continued to prevail on • uJar level through the Middle Ages. For in the background of the orce text" ofMechanical Philosophy. whereby what the philosophers clas­ ti6ed as "irrational" was branded as cri ion was the necessary "sub­ me. For while tMted ilnd first of all broken up. At the basis of magic was an animistic con­ :: � � n o� nature that did not adn'lit to any separation between matter and spirit. practices. it was destroyed.doctrine. " idden treasures. . In reality. the body-machine. well-supported by many who subscribed to the -. populated by occult f orces.it. to decide that ment of resistance to its expend the body is the body had no value.. 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. It was not sufficient. where every 141 . 0( pre-Clpitalist beliefS. This is how we must read the attack against witchcraf t and against that magical lie\v of the world which. it is also its lim. despite the eff orts of the Church.the age of scepticism and methodical doubt ­ .

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

pat to the institution ofa rigorous and spontaneously accepted work-discipline.. 143 apProval. Historically they have been a means by which the "poor" have externalized their . power because it undermined the principle ofindividual responsibility. "As f or witches. revolution. 'I1ws. the widespread belief in the possibility of finding hidden treas­ T ake. the :au o f the body i" space a"d time. or the 17th-century ruling class which." W<>rks VI: 399).. " I th ink not that their witchcraft is any real . space giving strialized indu the with return. The mechanization of the body is so constitutive of the individual jeop­ not does orces f occult in belief the to countries. this was not an option f and experimental phase of capitalist development. from a capitalist viewpoint. eople �laimed to have. � . f alse belief they have that they can or the f SUch nlischief. by the State . in the rationalization of space and time that characterized the philosophical spec­ aIItion of the 16th and 17th centuries. Uknt!ficatiol1.a terror applauded without reservations by many who are presently CIOasidered among the f ounders of scientific rationalism: Jean Bodin. served to f ormulate a program afotrUggie (Elton 1972: 1 42fl).IS Even the materialist Hobbes. existence ry 6e ve or example.. which. the CIIIy insofar as it is assumed that the future will be like the past.. Isaac Barrow.consumer of astral charts will automatically con"'1IrI"'"I� that even the most devoted that. watch before going to work.. and have been spurred to action. as magic placed die determinants of social action in the realm of the stars. joined with their purpose to do it if they can" (Leviathml 1963: 67). Hobbes recog­ IIiIed this when he warned that "There is nothing that . out of their reach and control. prophecy was replaced with the calculation ojprob­ lllilities whose advantage.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. the English Civil W ar (as already in the Middle Ages). gave but yet that they are justly punished.and Newton's er. of magtcal beliefS was a source of SOCial msubord matlon.. :.e time. or aspi d to have. while keeping his distance. particularly dur­ . . that is. is an essential condition f or the regularity of the work-process. "Behemot. that is. in this However. From their vlewpomt It hardly mattered jlea!ening was the use that the lower classes made ofprophedes. to allowed be can too Astrology social of behavior. so well directs men in their the principal cause of the events f oretold" (Hobbes. had not yet achieved the social . bourgeoisie had to combat the assumption that it is possible to be in two places at the -. 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. prophecy being many times desires. Equally r" magic into the orgamzatlon of SOCial life.er real or not. Mersenne. Similarly. given legitimacy to their plans. Prophecies are not simply the expression of a f atalistic res­ deliberations. f ." he wrote. 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. the bourgeoisie had to combat ipltion. as the f oresight of the sequels of their actions. by the help of magical charms (Thomas 1971: 234-37) . . . f or irbether the powers that p � . f or thefixation .This was certainly an imped­ . the individual's spatio-tempo­ . will upset the coordinates of individual decision-making. But regardless of the dangers which magic posed. nor c�uld tI�ey functionally inte­ . at threat.

"men would be much more than they are for civil obedience" (ibid. The stakes on which fitted eliminated of predictable and controUable mechanisms. and uniform behavior. which consigned the female body . were a laboratory in which much social discipline was sedimented. 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. in the chapter on the witch-hunt.into the hands of the state and the medica profession. homogeneous./Ig by MtIIJct itljosepll LnmUec. He added that if these superstitions were eliminated. An emblematic example of this resistance is analyzed by Peter Linebaugh in he Tyburn Riots Against the Surgeons.e torture chamber.fiT DE HfSJOfRES DES INQUISITIONS REUCn:USES D'/"ri1UE. I wiU return later to this point. indelibly marked with the memory of 1965: 189-90)." Linebaugh reports that in early lry 1 81h-ce£ltl 144 . A significant element in this context was the condemnation as tion and contraception. 1809 etlgrm'.). 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. Hobbes witches and other practitioners of magic died.the l machine for the reproduction of labor . D'Es/MCNE PoRJVGAL. 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. TI. and the chambers in which their tortures were executed. where the proletarian body in the modern era. And it was here again that the scientific use of torture was born. and much knowledge about the body was gained. Here those irrationalities were was weU advised.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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-


few objected to Descartes' mechanical view of the human body. and every man became ajudge of religion and an interpreter of the Scriptures to himself.ence and obedience due to the Reformed Church here." since the first context in which it is found is a satire of an English monastery in the time ofEdward If (Graus1967: 9). that would not walk in their steps? (Winstanley 1941: 197). Graus discusses the difference between [he medieval concept oC'Wonderland" and the modern concept of Utopia. Rosenfield points out: "this is one of the strange things about the whole quarrel. D' Igger ask5: Did the light of Reason make the earth f or some men to ingrosse up into bags and barns. 25. As L. 26. He added that "numbers of men used to go f orth of their own parishes and tow on working-days. Exemplary is Gerrard Winstanley's "New Law of Righteousness" (1649). arguing that: rieter Bruegel. 190). that he that clid lend should imprison the other. that others might be opprest with poverty? Did the light of Reason make this law. that some part of mankinde should kill and hang another part of mankinde. It is tempting to suggest that this suspicion concerning the humanity of the "lower classes" maybe the reason why. and to the bishops and pastors therein was cast off." (p. UND OF COCKAICl\'E (1567). leaving their calling"in order to hear mechanical preachers (p. 160 .C. � the most notOriOUS . and seems to have been used in par­ ody. E Graus (1 967) states that "The name 'Cockaigne' first occurred in the 13th century (Cucatlietlsis comes presumably from Kucken). in whi 4). 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). that if one man did not have such an abundance of the earth as to give to others he borrowed of. and starve his body in a close room? Did the light of Reason make this law. among the first critics of Cartesian mechan ism. 19 ns 24.

. for instance. which men and women step into on one side to emerge at dle ocher side as dance. . there is a150 the f ountain of youth.just as (SchfaralJenlalld). In this Cockaigne . . the ideal of Cockaigne does not embody any rational scheme or notion of"progress. The inhabitants of Utopia are marked by their justice and intelligence . f ood and drink in abun­ handsome which so well reflects the simple view ofan ideal life (Graus 1967: 7-8) .: 6). but only to gluttonize. THE FOUNTAIN OFYOU1H. youths and gids. 161 . .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. ." and "depicts a state of perf ection which in modern times knows no further advance (Graus ibid. 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." "lean [ing] heavily on the vil­ lage setting. there is (ibid." but is much more "concrete.Then the Story proceeds with its "Wishing T able" attinlde.). there is no desire to "nourish oneself" sensibly. In other words. Lucas CrillUlch.

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

1659). rather. sans costance. often worthy heirs of the 16th-cenUiry demonologists. sans craince. if . impiety and ruin.. the wiseman's Plague and the Grand Error of Nature (Walter Charleton. Though Women all above. the clogs to Virtue and the goads that drive us to all vices. sans foy. consumption. scalding.. You are the traitors of W isdom. Ki"g Lear) You are the true Hyenas.You are the Fool's Paradise. there is darkness.To this day. suggesting that it was a phenome­ -. There is hell. were mostly peasant women may account for the his- 163 . That the victims. of minor significance. Burning. in Europe. While deploring the exter- �� . you leap upon us. But to the girdle do the gods inherit.The Great Witch-Hunt in Europe Une here imparfaicte.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. world history. (Shakespeare. (French 17tlLcentury saying about women) Down from the waisce they are Centaurs. 1IDrians' past indifference towards this genocide. that allure us with the fairness of your skins and when folly has brought us within your reach. I . the impediment to Industry . Introduction 1be witch-hunt rarely appears in the hiscory of the proletariat. 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. There is the sulphurous pit. Beneath is all the fiends. Ephesian Malro". it remains one "the most understudied phenomena in European historyl or.. if not a matter of folklore. stench.

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

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

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

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

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

usually obtained 1IDder tonure. beCome me r extent. it is no exaggeration to daiIn that the witch-/amt lVas theflrst unifyillg terraill iu the politics oJtlte flelV Europeatlllatiotl­ sUItS. 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 . crossing aU boundaries. accllsed of having sold body and soul to the devil and. made potions with their flesh. caused the other abominations? (However. destroyed cattle and crops. the centralization of state-power. there no sure answers to these ques­ apinst the witches are so grotesque and unbelievable as to be inconunensurable with any motivation or crime. the InqulSltlOn always persecution sifying its cooperation the of the state to carry out the executions.Church (as in England) or me Church had become [he State (as in Geneva. A major obstacle in the way of an explanation has been the fact that the charges It must be inunediately stated that. example. at war against each other in every other respect. Thus. of a European unifi­ _Off. for all that Jemains of their voices are the confessions styled by the inquisitors. Switzerland. and no matter how well we listen . like Brian Levack. sucked their blood. which undermined the Catholic Church's power. where the State had � �rch joined arms and shared arguments co persecuce witches. England. by magical means. 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.13 : �Y explanatory theory. even today. some historians ask us to believe that the alive or hanged. ideolog religious The political nature of the wltch-hunt IS further demonstrated by the fact that protestant Reformation. as the clergy on oded of shedding blood. 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. hundreds oj thousands of women were tried. '!fier the schism brought about by the Reformation. raised storms. the 1987). The collaboration between the spared embarrassment be ed to and state was even closer in the areas of the Reformation. Here one branch of power legislated and executed. tortured. we have no way of establishing their authenticity. and performed many . the first both CathOlic and Protestant nations. Further. to this day. the even began to restrain the zeal of the authorities against witches� \��le inten­ �tion of Jews (Milano 1963:287-9). burned death of their neighbors. in le¥eral European countries.t2 How to account for the fact that for more than two centuries. For. 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.as Carlo Ginzburg ( 1991) has done confessions.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. Scodand.for instance. Scotland). murdered scores of children.11 Moreover. WItc h-hunt . and lesse a and. the witch-hunt spread from France and Italy to (lennaI1Y. abstain from present­ � system that occurred in the late Middle Ages. to y openly revealed i� political �onnotations. and Sweden.

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

It is signi6cant that.all·stEurope. wage laborers . She was struck 171 . and the . where no trace can be found of the perse­ on.. women t:be deepening of social distances. whereupon his bre\v1ng stand dried up. 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.. As for the diabolical crimes of the witches. most of the wltch tnals occurred IIIEssex.e that Scottish Lowlands." although the money he would give them on such occasions would soon turn to 1983: 95. the witches were usually old women on public assistance or women who sur­ was sowed among the population.Kittredge 1929: 163)..000 victims. Only as the persecution progressed.. popular beliefs and practook off.. It was in times of need if'tbey were married.. t'fe.Asked to return them she flung them down in angcr. to assure them that from now on they "should never WIDt. of witches (as weU as the fear of being accused of witchcraft. InEngland.' the curse of the beggar to whom an aIm has been refused.in the Highlands and in Ireland. where the subsistence economy \vas vanishing under the ilnpact of and the Scottish Western Highlands. Thus . where the hulk of the land had been enclosed. Jlent of one percent of the female population .cottars.. individuals who were part of the local power structures IDd often had close ties with the central State. : .while in the Anglicized and privatized -. 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. In vived by going from house to house begging for bits of food or a pot of wine or milk. with all its consequences (land expropriation. Later William Goodwin's servant denied her yeast. the demand for public assistance (Macf. did accusations also come from neighbors. The many ways in which the class struggle contributed to the � � of anEnglish witch are shown by the charges against Margaret Harken.since then no pears would grow in the field. that is. . or of "subversive asso­ ciation'') Eagland. their husbands were day laborers. It was by the initiative of this proto-capitalist class that the witch­ . T heir poverty stands out in the confessions. 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. 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". a derail perhaps related (t. the default on the nt of rent.. in the background of the witch-hunt is also proven by the fact that the majority of Ibose accused were poor peasant women .dane 1 970: 97. the witch-hunt claimed at least 4. but more often they were wid­ IIbes.willie those who ICCQSe(i them were wealthy and prestigious members of the conmlUnity. both as "a platform on which a wide range of and a weapon by which 65). Mandrou 1968: 77)..t . Thomas 1971: .� ce t o social and ec�nomic restructuring coul� be d�feated. the breakdown of coUective relations) was a decisive fac­ . That the spread of rural capitalism. likely because a coUective land-tenure system and kinship ties still prevailed in the presbyterian Reformation. the equiv­ were safe during the witch-burning times. 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.u. OWS and lived alone. often their employers or landlords.r Ibat the Devil appeared to them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spells. were blamed f or the f act chat so many cltildren died. weakness as the anglO of this perversIOn. � (1484) which complained that n by their incantations. (witches) destroy the offipring ofwomen . tra! role. 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. con jurations and other accursed supersti­ tions and horrid channs.cults that had existed in the Mediterranean areas f or thousands of years. the role that women played in the Middle Ages as conununity healers. in l#stern Europe (1921) proposed an explanation that has recently been revived by eeo­ f entinists and practitioners of"Wicca. i" other words. cenfilry ch ild-birth was considered a f emale " mystery. W1ty Sl4c/I a change in the tra jectoryfrom heresy to lvitchcrafi? WlI)'. whence neither husbands with their wives nor wives with their husbands can perf onn their sexual acts (Kors and Peters 1972: 107--{)8). and witchcraft first appeared i stressed women's moral and tnen� � uther �nd hum�nist writers . cenfilry witches were accused of conspiring to destroy the generative power of humans From then on. " They hinder men f rom generating and women f rom conceiving. hostile to new lif e. Witcl� it is argued. But this expIa leO el lab tion too does not go far enough. enormities and off enses. but wh. . jt! rht course o j a century. 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 . abortion. the Bull of Irmocent VI II The association between contraception.22 The presence of ntidwives among the accused. I n other words. did 'he heretic become a IWlna". I n the popuJar imagination as weU." 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.a stereotype later popularized by children's books.ich the Church opposed as pagan rites and a challenge to its power. being accompanied by the virtual demonization of contraceptive practices .tiable lust. died so sudde nly. who fed upon inf ant flesh or used children's bodies to make her magical potions . the witch came to be associated with a lecherous old woman. or were vulnerable to a broad array of ailments. reproductive crimes f eafilred prominently in the trials. It does not account f or the f act that women as in suppOrt of this view. But this hypothesis cannot explain the tinting of the witch-hunt.. By the 17th and animals. die l1a� shortly after birth." 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. But all smgled ou[ women as evil beings. spurred by a new f ear of doctrinal deviation. 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." 1 6dt all ofthese factors have been cited � 16th 17th d 180 . 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. of procuring abortions.

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

lJ o j i'ifn'" mortalilty is well-mplured by this ..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.e d"'".. TI." traditional ly 1975: 6£1)23.ltUlge 182 ."TIlt: Dallce o j Deal"/' iI series offorty-one designs first primed in Frollce in 1538. lile Youngerj. was acquiring in the political circles that instigated the from Halts Ho/be.

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

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

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

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

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

I I S ) A witch. until ' orced to return them to their owners. 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. Women f ' th• lcd. presumably.a contradiction with respect to the ideology ofthe Wit C rom women's insatiable lust. they do everything to I P or their vices COSt men them.nr bodies.". In a village or small town of a few thousand people.and perhaps their sexual organs (Ko.0'1I(1S Em stus's DIALOGUES lOUCHAN'f LE � POVitOtR DES SORCIlRr� (1570) 188 . they were f But who were these witches who castrated men or made them impotent? Potentially. every woman. their copulations with him . more curiously." or.J1 under duress. but only to undermine them. it also instigated Inen to ear women. either by f reezi ng their orces or causing their penis to come out and draw back as she wished. they attract men. are lovely to look at but co ntaminatin authors of the Malleus Maleficamm preacI g to the touch. printJrom 17. IMmlellfly Oil their brooms to list 5abbat qfter applyillg u"gut7lt. which they hid in great numbers in bird nests or boxes. and even to look at them as the destroyers of the male sex. could castrate men or make them Impotent. that they did not find any pleasure .S to tl.30 generative f �n � � � Some stole ma1e penises. f loss of their souls . no man could f or even a f itch.not dare to disobey the devil. and Peters 1972: 1 14. tf hunt which derived witchcraf Not only did the witch-hune sanctify ma1e supremacy. btl[ the pleasure they give is more bitter than death. 16'''-cetltury Frelld.

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

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. From UlriciJ Molitor. I. so that it sumably took place at the Sabbat.Wrote the Malleus: there are . aft f rnan of whom they did not approve. .!. . the venereal act and the conception of the womb: First. seven methods by which {witches] infect . But witches were was an . even their sexuality was tu r n orce. a dangerous. pract1ces. 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 .because of the Church's misogynous propaganda) were mobilized in this COntext. ."if seduces n woman (1489) 190 . centenng on copulanon WIth the devil and parnclpaaon erotic passion in men.im. . to accuse the latter of being a witch. N only were women accused of making men impocent. DE LAMI. as men were taught that a witch into an ob ject of f ear. . 111 affair to daUll ar a f amily wanting to terminate a son' s relation with a wo they had been bewitched. 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). I TIlt Dt. demonic f aga inst them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.THE Wn"CH'S HERBARY. mgnwittg by Harts WriJilz (1532).: 163). As ll. According to Merchant . "Neither in France ing profess that there were no witches. other mechanicaJ philosophers Ojke Joseph Glanvil and Thomas Hobbes) strongly supported the witch-hunt. n ot spoke in defense of the women accused as witches. 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. The (Ibid. ting a break: on witch triaJs never questioned the reality of witchcraft. Ihe "virtue" ojtile I. provoked.s(I of the witches in the paracligm shift the scientific revolution. This view has been argued most fo io uc fully by Carolyn Merchant in TIle Death oj Nature (1980) which roots the persec n. and particularly the of Cartesian mechanistic philosophy. because the rul­ a growing sense of security concerning its power. What ended the witch-hunt (as Brian mechanjstic view of Nature that came imo existence with the rise of modern science "clisenchamed the world. : slu ( 202 ." But there is no evidence that those who promoted it ever Indeed.us stralgthened by tile proper astral (Onjmldiot. 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. the witch-hum came to an end.e starry gloM su�ests. Like Newton and other scientists of the time. Descartes declared himself an agnos­ tic on this matter. In ing class by this time enjoyed Easlea has convincingly shown) was the annihilation of the world of the witches and other words.abs 1I. by the late 17th century. this because a more enJjghtcned view of the world had emerged. there is no evidence that the new science had a liberating efe f ct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

soothsayers and sorcerers was to be kept in check. and later in this kingdom in the time of Charlemagne and of Louis the Piteous. as part of the ideology of the slaves and an instrument of insubordination. who himself quoted Cato. king of the Gennans. . 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]. . because it had a dangerous influence on the slaves. and nature (Mies 1986: 69-7 0. . was f orced to assemble all h is f orces to rout them. He shall shun famil­ iarity with haruspices and sorcerers. The most important text documenting the tolerance of the Church toward mag­ ical beliefS is considered to be the CattOtl Episcopi (tenth century). and first and foremost over their generative powers. destroying cultures. . The expropriators move into the Third World. Little by little this forced the Christians to relax servitude and to f ree the slaves.ight flights.. . to the effect that fam.iliarity with astrologers. Erik Midelf ort has disputed the idea that the Church in the Middle Ages was skeptical and tolerant with regard to witch­ craft. magic had been held in suspicion by the ruling classes 5.he attracted so many ofthem that within a few years they made themselves lords of all the East. excepting only certain {orvees. we can hear the crackle of flames .a Roman agronomist of the Late Republic. shook the estates ofprinces and cities. where slaves. in the context of a new sexual and international division oflabor built upon the exploitation of women. Rumors of freedom and the conquests made by the slaves inflamed the hearts ofslaves in Europe. He shall receive neither soothsayers nor magicians. in his study of the Witch-hu nt in Southwestern Germany. who take advantage of men's superstititions to lead them into crime. However. as may be seen in the edicts issued at the time against sworn conspiracies among the slaves . If we turn on the radio. one ofMehemet's lieutenants. That is. While Starhawk examines the witch-hunt mostly in the context ofthe rise ofa mar­ orld Scale ket economy in Europe. which labelled as "infidels" those who believed in demons and n. arguing that such "illu­ sions" were products ofthe devil (Russell 1972: 76-7). and even Louis.78-88) . All at once this blaze broke out in Germany." (quoted in Dockes 1982: 237).. the colonies. arguing that it states the opposite of what it has been made to say. .. But the "roggle also lives on (Starhawk 1997: 218-9). 7.. plundering the resources of land and people. 209 . He has been particularly critical of the use that has been made of the CallOtl cpiscopi.. Pierre Dockes quotes De re rustica by ColUJnella. 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. prom­ ised freedom to the slaves who f ollowed him. . ollowing excerpt from Jean Bodin's Les Six Uvres de la Republique 6. 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. Columella reconmlended that the villicus "shall make no sacrifices without orders from his master.. two sorts of people who infect ignorant souls with the poison of baseless superstititions" (Quoted by Dockes 1982: 213). . Since the late Roman Empire.. having taken up arms .against the idle poor. whereupon they took up arms. first i n Spain in 78 1 . For as soon as captain Homar..

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

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

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

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

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

nature's secrets might be discovered consisted i n investigating 1980: 1 68). in a f ew days. Men whose ordinary diet was too often sparse reckless waste. On the in this context. above all t11eir nurses. and monotonous revelled i n the abundance of flesh. But other f actors need to be considered. while the children who accused them were often the children of t11eir employers. see Julian Cornwall's description of the rebel camp that peasants set up olk uprising of 1549. as it was undoubtedly the case in the Salem witch-trials.Baco n: Much of the imagery [Bacon] used i n delineating his scientific ro m the counraoms. and jectives and methods derives f ob emale to be tortured through because it treats nature as a f mechanical inventions. in the was 1 6th and 17th cen­ turies. Thus. Bacon stated that the method by which the secrets of witchcraf t by inquisition. there a growing preoccupation among the well-co-do with the physical intimacy between their children and their servants. who f ormally instituted more egalitarian relations bctween employers and their subordinates (f or instance. The camp caused much scandal among the during the Nort gentry. by levelling clothing styles) . nor would he sleep in the same room with them. III a relevant passage.Trevor Roper 2000). For a true-to-lif e Sabbat. Coh n has interpreted this phenomenon as a revolt of the young against the elderly. 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. Bands of rebels f oraged f or supplies and money. attack against animals. in which sexual elements and themes evoking class revolt combine. is It 34. which began to materialize in the 17th cemu ry. and in particular against parental audlority (N. who apparently looked at it as a veritable Sabbat. 3. It is also important to notice that dlOse charged as witches were mostly proletarian women. . It casted all the sweeter f or coming from the beasts which were the root of so much resentment (Cornwall 1 977: 1 47). it Was said. to say noth swans and thousands of bushels of corn. 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. and there was ZIS . It was alleged that the camp became the Mecca for cvery dissolute per­ SOn in the county. In the bourgeois household. as defined by Francis vided the model f torture witches. 60 and 70n. ing of pigs. . :· (Merchant . pp. Cohn 1 975 . but in reality increased the physical and psychological distance between them.Writes Cornwall: [T]he conduct of the rebels was misrepresented in every way. we can presume that children were manipulated by their parents to make charges which they dlemselves were reluctant to pursue. Norman significant. the master would no longer undress in front of his servants. 33. deer. 35. which was beginning to appear as a source of indiscipline.000 bullocks and 20. f owl. that witches were of ten accused by children. . The familiarity that had existed between masters and servants in the Middle Ages vanished with the rise of the bour­ geoisie. We must also consider that. see Chapter 2.000 sheep. . First. were driven in and consumed.

James I maintained that it was legitimate. In "Outrunning Atlanta: Feminine Destiny in Alchemic Transmutations. Holmes 1974: 85-86. In the Middle Ages when a child took over the family property . 39.. but with the rise of capitalism the attitude of t e monarchs changed. Missionaries reported that the Negros refused to be monogamous. but failed in his performance (Seligman 1948: 12611). Thus the great alchemist Paracelsus gives an affirmative answer to the ques216 . Kur t Seligman writes that from the middle of the 14th century to the 16th Ccntu alchemy was universally accepted. Astrology. alchemy became an object of ridkul e. a male magician could continue to carry on his work.. althOUgh with some difficulty and taJcing some risks at times.'eating humans'. This statute later became the basis upon which the persecution of witches was carried � on in the American colonies. 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..imposed the death penalty for all who "used spirits and magic" regardless of whether they had done any harm. irrational nature (ibid.This desired mastery is also depicted in such imageries as that of Zeus giving birth to Athena from his head . Rowse's Sex and Society in Shakespeare's Age (1974). 38. 37.. In his Demollology (1597). as proof of their instinctual.: 115). surrounded by strange vases and instruments. 121-23). was practiced into the 17th century. oblivious to every_ thing around him.or Adam being delivered of Eve from his chest.36. and told stories of Negroes having intercourse with apes (pp. He was often repre sente d at work in his study.. A detailed description of the life of an English astrologer at the end of the 16th century is found in A.while across the street his wife and children would be knOCking at the poor house. Thorndike 1923-58v: 69. Monter 1969: 5 7-58. too. L. The alchemist who exemplifies the primordial striving for control over the natural world seeks nothing less than the magic of maternity . The "beasts" were the much prized wool-producing sheep.. above all when confined to the study of seasons and weather forecasts. Here we learn that in the same period when the witch_ hunt was peaking. were excessively libidinous." Allen and Hubbs write that: The recurrent sy mbolism in alchemical works suggests an obses­ sion with reversing.. the feminine hegemony over the process of biological creation . 40. The statute which James I passed in 1604.who promised to change metals into gold. The alchemist was depicted as a smoke-seUer. I n Protestant countries. as Thomas Moore put it in his Utopia. or perhaps even arresting. which were indeed. as arable lands and conlIno n fields were being enclosed and turned to pasture in order to raise them. Ben Jonson's satirical portrait of the alchemist reflects this new attitude. while in the 16th cennlry the parents began to be abandoned and priority was given to invesonent into one's children (Macfarlane 1970: 205)..slhe would aut<>­ matically assume the care of the aging parents. The fondness of Mricans for music was also held against them. With reference to the West Indies.

217 .1 1 . Babyloll. and Rupert Christiansen's Pari. TIle Story o f the Pari. 41.oug/. 196-99). On the image ofthe petroleuse see Albert Boime's Art and tlte Fretlch Commutle (1995: 109-. 213).ides a g<Hlt t".A wire" . tlte sky. Woodcutfrom Fmllcesco-Maria CUlIZZOI COAtl>l1NDIUM MAUiFlCARUM (1610). ra/uillg a mill oj fire. COllllllulle (1 994: 352-53). 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.

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

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

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

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

and its influence subject (1994: 8). which they interpreted as God's punishment for the Indians beas Y conduct. 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.6 Also the debate [hat took place in 1550. heart. "involving human flesh.sodomy. and other body parts was not limited to fringe groups of society but ticed in the most respectable circles" (Gordon-Grube 1988: 406-407).17dt and even 18th cen­ turies.ln the HiSloria NaturalY Moral de lAs Illdias. prac­ wake of the Conquest. among the Spaniards. whose repressive machinery included the practice of human sacrifices (Martinez �t alI976). [a] negative demonic view of Amerindian culrures had triumphed. afrer the 1550s. 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). the drinking of human blood (especially the blood of those who had died of a was violent death) and mununy \vater. they had Similarly. by the mass sacrifices carried out. nently in the records of the Conquest. just to conquerTenochtitlan (Cockroft 1983: 19). there are descriptions that give us a vivid sense of the repulsion generated. according CO Cortez. however. Fernando Cervantes writes in TI. by the Jesuit Joseph de Acosta. in 1590. incest. particularly by th� Aztecs. a conunon cure for epilepsy and other illnesses in many European coulluies. at Valladolid. By the middle of the six­ teenth century. 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.4Yet. published in Sevilla. blood.5 T hus. in 1521. bone marrow. which involved thousands of youths (war captives or purchased children and slaves).e New World (1994 : before 1530 it would have been difficult to predict which one of these views would emerge as the dominant one. skull. this type of cannibalism. on the basis of the contemporary histories of the "Indies" . cannot be iC easily attributed to a cultural shock. was Furdlermore. the neW horror that the Spaniards felt for the aboriginal populations. obtained by soaking human flesh in various spirits. when we read Bartoleme De Las Casas' account of the destruction of the Indies or any other account of the Conquest. In ref e_ ence to this image-shift.lack of religious education .that rills change of perspective was prompted by the Europeans' encounter with imperialistic states like the Aztec and Inca. 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. cannibalism. was : . in Spain. must not have been too different from the med­ ical practices that were popular in Europe at the time.e Devil i" TI.imals and demons'? . cross dressing treated as all kinds of abominations. In the 16th. betwee Bartolome de Las Casas and the Spanish jurist Juan Gines de Sepulveda. on whether ab e not the "Indians" were to be considered as human beings. the cannibalistic rituals they discovered in America.such as De Gomara's (1556) and Acosta's (1590) . seen to descend like a thick fog on every statement officially and unofficially made on the It could be surmised.000 people. which figure promi­ slaughtered 100.

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

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.

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. as well. since it signaled to the "'as Over Population that the Spaniards were there to stay and that the rule of the old gods (ibid.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. In addition. Resistance .I E x p l oitation. they had subsistence economies which they had f adied. on the tribute systems put into place by the Aztecs and Incas. nUlling point. Stern 1982) . like the leg­ endary one at Potosi.!! a native millenarian move- 22S . so that work ClIne to an end and the regional economy mounted �da was disrupted. So cruel were the penalties inflicted (floggings so severe that lemained unfit for work. was the decision by the Spanish Crown. an anti-idolatry campaign was launched in the Yucatan peninsula. despite the massacres and the exploitation asso­ Stern 1982) J. hlStead. 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. by the priate the bulk ofthe Indians' labor f or the extraction of silver to be shipped to Spain.9 But mistance to colonization was mounting (Spalding 1984: 1 34--1 35. This was so dependent 15SOs. the plun­ CD dered wealth financed the Crown's European territorial expansion.500 people were rounded up and brutally torrured under they made the blood flow. the Spaniards had not completely clisrupted the (caciquez in Mexico. by the initiative of the Provincial Diego de Landa. Steve . 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. kuracas in Peru) delivered them quotaS of goods and labor supposedly compatible with the survival of the local econom ies. In Peru. and Dernonization It. others fled their homes or cOlrunitted suicide. the charge of practicing human sacrifices. the first large-scale attack on diabolism occurred in the 1 560s. ound in the areas they colonized. bue it was still not sufficient to satisfy their �. However. a war was declared on indige­ In Mexico.: 1 90). 1 0 It was in response to th is challenge that. . which bought f ood and goods no longer produced in Spain. Coi nCid ing with the rise of the Taki Onqoy movement. in the anti-Indian propaganda and anti-idolatry campaign thac accompa­ oed the colonization process. in the lS50s. 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). They were then subjected to a weU-orches­ of which more than 4. this turn occurred in 1562 when. to intro­ American colonies a far more severe system of exploitation. both in Mexico and Peru. By the 1 550s. whereby designated ch iefS fluomienda. for the wealth they accumulated. the persecution that was the foundation of a new colonial economy. 1984. in the COUrse DOUs cultures paving the way to a draconian intensification of colonial rule. The rribute which the Spaniards exacted was much higher than that the Aztecs and Incas bad ever demanded of those they conquered.

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

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

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

Ihat . It '-'Orn. people's faith in the ividual prac­ eff ectiveness of their gods weakened. much like a public IWIIging in medieval Europe (ibid. In the campaign launched in tice rather than a collective one. anonymous denunciations and public humiliations. according to Spalding." Yet. Ropes were put around their flecks. in the Huaroch iri area. a COlIC shaped I. TI. and they increasingly resembled the accusations made against witches in Europe. f or instance. 0" Ilteir f. dealt with curing.eads. as it had been in pre-conquest America. Faced with torture. Be"cath . . didactic theatre pieces directed to the audie"ce as much as to the participants.f. by the 1 650s the crimes of which they were accused revolved around "witchcraft. 17Jose !Vito were condemned to receive lashes had their mark o backs bared. "dle funns of what might be generally called village 'witchcraft'. many alliances and friendships broke down. . 1 660.onvard." a practice now presuming a secretive behavior. the Span iards were in part successf ul. crimes uncovered by the authorities .ood made o fpaslcbollrd. 40 or 100 lashes !Vi. most negatively affected by it.e idolatry campaiglls were exemplary rituals. f rom the changes that over time took place in the nature of the charges.ese hoods the hair lVas cuI o f 'mll/iliation.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). .vos the EI4ropeall Catholic mark ff. lite reli dayf gious authorities PUI a met/ieval coroza. . finding lost goods. and other teveaIed that despite the persecution. "dle ancestors and I Women and Witches in America aki Onqoy movement. 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. A backs bleediugfrom the 2 0. Women had held a powerful position in pre-Colwnbian societies. WIllie in the 1 550s people could openly acknowledge theirs and their CODUllUlUty'S attaclmlent to the traditional religion.: 265) Their ob jective was to intimidate the population.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. Spalding concludes that : 71. In this. some Ivith their crimes. as reflected by the existence of many important f emale deities in their religions. the same campaign IIVaks (lluneas) continued to be essential to their survival" (Spalding 1984: 261). 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. Reaching an island ofT 229 .h the cot-o'·" i"e-tails lvielded by tlte village executio"er (Spaldi"g 1984: 256). in the eyes of dIe cOllununities.au Aut/eat' cifitif amy ami disgrace. and worship turned into a secret ind How deeply the social f abric was aff ected by these terror campaigns can be deduced.

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

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

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

region of the Labourd (Basque Country). but he also mentions Francesco Maria Guano and citcs. he argues. Not the case of dle inquisitor Pierre Lancre who. Briefly put. politically. But its main contribution is that it broadens our awareness of the global character of capitaljst development and makes us �e that. the authorities and the clergy f ably. 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. in Parinetto's ple ofthe " boomerang effect" produced by the transplanting of the "vitch-hunt in America. the use nude by the demonologists in Europe of the reports from the Indies. Parinetto Evidence of a crucial connection between dle two persecutions is. as evidence of his thesis. a conviction which they then applied in their Christianization drive at home. and therefore was continually operating with knowledge gathered on an imer­ DatiOnal level in the elaboration of its models of dom ination. • SUfficient proof that the Europeans did not have to cross the oceans to find the will to . lance the decades between the I 560s and 1 620s saw a widespread impoverislunent and IociaJ dislocations throughout most of western Europe. the olf ering of children [0 the devil.mced by the Italian historian orld had a ma jor impact Luciano Parinetto. coming to believe in the existence of entire populations of orld. 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. Parinetto cites. exterminate those standing in their way.practically. irupired the ing in the lase decades of cl. as an exam­ view. Here I lirnit myself to a f ew observations. For in America.15 of the Huguenots and the massification of the witch-hunt start­ focuses onJean Bodin. in the second half of dle 16th cenmry. all of which. presW11massacre rience that the witch-hunt in Europe became a mass phenomenon in the second part of ound the confimution for the 16th cenrury. As for its claims. It is also possible to account f or the chronology � 233 ." another import &om the New W as a political srratl1!Y which. by the 16th century. and the identifica­ - tion ofhomosexualicy (sodomy) wieh diabolism in <he New W orld. was the adoption by the European state of extermillnrioll their views about devil-worship. a ruling class had formed in Europe that was at all points ormation of a world pro­ IDvolved . Parinetto's thesis is that it under the impact of the American expe­ witches. 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. denounced its entire population as witches.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. the reference CO oinonents and drugs. during a several mondtS' persecution in the bst.Thus. a set of themes clut. became prom.inent in dle repertoire of witchcraft in Europe: cannibalism.in the f letariat. and ideologically .e 16th century (parineno 1998: 417-35). described by missionaries as "the land of the devil. 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. who argues that witch-hunting in the New W of the witchcraft ideology in Europe.

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

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

f this greasing they could rurn into magicians (bru ) o. From then on. this was their ordinary greasing . razon" (Behar 1987). adding new details and giving more authority to them. . . . . 16What is plausible. 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. are the thematic and the iconographic corre� spondences between the two. . .Tlus grease was made ofpoisonous substances . tlle preoccupation with devil-worshipping \\I'OlJ1 d� 236 . 234--5). in the same region that had witnessed the great anti-idolatry campaigns a they could no longer pose a danger to colonial rule. . apparently estimating th . 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. . .sala­ courage . except when they went to sacrifice . 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. when the persistence ofdemographic decline and increased political and economic seCU­ the 16th and 17th cenruries. and it can account f or many other"coincidences.H untinq and Globalization rity on the side of the colonial power-structure combined to put an end to the perse­ of cution. or went to the caves where they kept their idols when they used a diff erent greasing to give themselves manders. pp. including the hair . Consider the f ollowing passage f ound in Acosta. by the 18th. . 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. . . I W i t ch .More suggestive.) and speak with the devil (Acosta. with rogs. vipers . because from antiquity it was by always an off ering to their gods and f or tills much worshipped. is that the reports from America did revitalize these charges. 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. Thus. in provoking a rethinking of the European witch-hunt from the viewpoint of witch-hunting in America. The theme of self -ointing is one of the most revealing. . . ." such as the f act that both in Europe and America witches were accused of sacrificing children to the devil (see figures pp. bodies (according to their accusers) in oroer to gain the power to fly to the Sabbat. instead. the Inquisition had renounced any attempts (0 at influence the moral and religious beliefS of the population. 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.They greased themselves f rom the f eet to the head.

who was among the first to be arrested. the global expansion of capitalism through colo­ nization and Christianization ensured that this persecution would be planted in the body of colonized societies. too. in f act. a wave of witch-burnings occurred in Western India. in time. in an English-speaking territory.e. that the Salem trials were sparked by the divina­ tions of a West Indian slave . resuJting in the decline of the wor­ ship off emale goddesses Witch-hunting also took hold in Africa.17 237 . The Salem trials were also explained by the local authorities on this ground. and caused an unprecedented impoverishment among the popu1ation. in this context.migrate to the developing slave plantations of Brazil. like status of women brought about by the rise of capitalism and the intensifying struggle f or �urces wluch. A5 Cotton Mather wrote. 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. a ritual that the planters feared and demonized as an incitement to rebellion. Cameroon. Sarah Bassett. and North America where (starting with King Philip 's Wars) . Nigeria. witch-hunting has accompanied the decline in the Igenda. f or instance. Witch hunting did not disappear f rom the repertoire of the bourgeoisie with the abolition of slavery. years later. 1 39-40) . recalling the events in Salem: I have met with some strange things . o f division in many countries especially those once implicated in the slave trade. with the argument that the New Englanders had setcled in the land of the devil. More women in tlus period were burned as witches than in the practice of sati (Skaria 1997: 1 l 0) . 145). Witch-hunts have also been reported in Kenya. It is significant. where seventy were burned just in the first f our months of 1994 (Diario de Aftxuo: 1980s and 1990s.A5 a consequence of clle lif e-and-death competition f or vanishing resources. the witch was becoming an African practitioner of obeah.generally old and poor .. In the 1 840s. and that the last execution of a witch. the Caribbean. killed in Bermuda in 1730 (Daly 1978: 179). which have made me think that this inexplicable war [i. . has been aggravated by the mposition i of the neo-liberal Nigeria and Southern Africa. 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).have been hunted down in clle 1990s in Northern Transvaal.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.Tituba . scores ofWomen . On the contrary. By the 1 8. . 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). and.h century. in the sures. Here. where it survives today as a key instrument (ibid. in recent years. would be carried out by the sub jugated conununi­ ties in their own names and against their own members. was that of a black slave.

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

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

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

was 8. And by this t mean par excellence of colonial splUe of death where the Indian. T aussig adds. 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). So intimate is the relation between a woman and the spirit pro­ tecting her garden that when she dies "her garden f ollows suit. with the excep­ tion of her unmarried daughter. 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. In the mountain villages of the Andes. harmonious. 10. "the necessary condition f or effective gardening depends on dens" (p. upon which many youths fled the village. and resources were hidden. and constant conunerce with Nunkui. When a man no longer tionship that she had not herselfiniriated. A powerful description of this resistance is contained in Enrique Mayer's Tribute to tile Ho usehold (1982). he has no cho. sister or daughter) to cultivate his garden and prepare us to think-through-terror.ce but to kill iumself" (Descola 1994: 175). urging them (ibid. This is the expression used by Michael T aussig in mony in the Americas: Shamallislfl. and white gave birth to a . children were rearranged in different homes.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. 9. 198). part of Amazonia. the tutelary spirit of gar­ 192). The name Taki Onqoy decribes the dancing trance that possessed the participants 12. African. Philippe Descola writes that among the Achuar.atns 1986: 138). the pro­ cession of horsemen was spotted.needing it to pay the mercenaries that f impounding the loads of bullion that arrived with private ships. 5) (italics nune). which describes the famous visitas which the encomeuderos used the Crown. hours bef ore its arrival. however. a conflict exploded between the expatriates and the Crown which resulted in new legislation limiting the f ormers' power to accumwate. 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. no other woman would dare step into such re. five years before the debate between Las Casas and was Sepulveda took place. has any woman (mOther. By the 1 5505.that it was its survival . . 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. the Indians The mine was (Will.la­ incapable of replacing their wives should the need arise . 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. to grow direct. discovered in 1545. wife. Colonialism and the Wild Mati (1991) to stress the function of terror in the establislunent of colonial hege­ his f ood. f or. they are "theref ore toully 1 3. . a population living in the upper in the movemenc." As f or the men. we would be unwise to overlook the role of terror. the Spanish Crown so dependent on the American bullion f or ought its wars . . 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. Thus.

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

IX de Tierra 243 .

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