Sample Essay On Malleus Maleficarum Influence on American Jurisprudence

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Literature, Books, United States, America, Criminal Justice, Supreme Court, Law, Witchcraft

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/04/30

The Malleus Maleficarum was a book that was streamlined towards witchcraft and witchcraft prosecution. It is worth noting that hunting of witches in Europe had not reached its peak, but there was a popular belief in witchcraft. The publication of Malleus Maleficarum tends to have influenced judicial law. The prosecution of witches became the business of civil courts and the elites in society. It was during this period that witchcraft hysteria spread. The Malleus Maleficarum book had a tremendous impact in various fields which include torture, confessions, victims, demonology, as well as activities in secular courts. It means that the Malleus Maleficarum book influences the American Jurisprudence in various ways. American Jurisprudence refers to an encyclopedia of American law that was published by the West. It has undergone several changes and discussions. The American Jurisprudence continues to be the reference source of the legal profession in the United States. The process of lawmaking is crucial in a country. American jurisprudence plays a vital role in the lawmaking process. It is because it helps lawmakers in comprehending the technicalities in legal precept and law. The paper is streamlined towards Malleus Maleficarum book and how it influenced American Jurisprudence.

Malleus Maleficarum Influence Essay Example

It is estimated that approximately 45,000 people were executed in Early Modern Europe for witchcraft. The issues of the witch hunts tend to fascinate historians and lawmakers after decades of debates. Notably, women were mostly represented during persecutions in the Malleus Maleficarum book (Levack, 2014). It was an indication that the criminal justice system was biased and discriminated women. The Malleus Maleficarum book tends to elaborate on how socioeconomic inequalities were linked to witchcraft, yet the main cause was political and religious conflict.

The Malleus Maleficarum book influenced American Jurisprudence by elaborating the extremist view in treaties and legal process. The evaluation of the witch-hunts in the book tends to focus on the role gender played in the prosecution process. It was a systemic war on women. In the past, it was believed that the devil lived among women, which led to discrimination in punishing witches in society. The Malleus Maleficarum book represented a worldwide view of women. The Malleus Maleficarum book became a tool to control women and encourage punitive powers in American Jurisprudence, especially on women. It means that the book streamlined American Jurisprudence towards the maintenance of the status quo.

Also, Malleus Maleficarum book influenced the American jurisprudence by changing the criminal procedure form the accused system to the inquisitorial system. It is worth noting that the trend began in Europe through with-hunting. It is because the law process in the past did not focus on determining innocence or guilt. The process was left to the divine intervention. It meant that the system did not embrace the due process in the administration of justice. The process was not successful in prosecuting crimes. The Malleus Maleficarum book impact on American Jurisprudence states at the inquisitorial process.

Also, Malleus Maleficarum book influenced American Jurisprudence through the search of the accused house. The book recommended that the house of an accused witch should be searched unexpectedly, whether in custody or not. The book tends to create a crucial platform that judges should consider during the trial. It means that the lawmaking the process in the United States was influenced by the book (Institoris, Sprenger, & Summers, 2017). The judge was expected to consider various issues, which include evidence of the fact, words of witness, and a bad reputation. From the book, it was clear that the witch should be punished if the witnesses provided suitable evidence and provided evidence without enmity. It created a platform for the development of American law and setting the guidelines in the punishment of criminals.

Also, the Malleus Maleficarum book influenced the America Jurisprudence in the sense that it creates the demonology that focuses on the elements of witchcraft. Form the same perspective; it is evident that the book tends to create some conditions that define a crime. The American Jurisprudence is guided by the Malleus Maleficarum book in setting the elements that are necessary for the existence of a crime (Levack, 2014). Witchcraft, in this case, is viewed as a type of crime in society. It provided practical guidelines in the American Jurisprudence for identifying criminals and classifying a crime.

The Malleus Maleficarum book influenced American Jurisprudence by providing guidelines on judicial procedures. Based on the book there are correct procedures that should be followed when prosecuting a witch. From the same school of thought, the lawmaking process in America focuses on developing a process that guides the judicial system in prosecuting criminals. The process includes assembling accusations, proper defensive council, interrogation of a witness, as well as formal charges (Levack, 2014). It means that the judicial process in the United States tends to have been developed based on the Malleus Maleficarum book.

The Malleus Maleficarum book influenced the American jurisprudence by focusing on issues of torture and confession. According to Malleus, torture and deception should be used to obtain confession (Institoris, Sprenger, & Summers, 2017). Torture seems to be an extreme measure that violates human rights, but it was a way of making suspected individuals confess. Based on that perspective the American jurisprudence found a platform that is streamlined towards making individuals confess.

The Malleus Maleficarum book gave the criminal justice system and the public a tangible, visible human force of evil in society. The agents of evil were believed to cause numerous problems. Therefore, the judicial system tends to focus on creating a punishment that will eradicate violence, murder and other forms of crime (Institoris, Sprenger, & Summers, 2017). It means that the American jurisprudence had a platform in the development of laws and punishment. The community began to benefit because of the lawmaking process.

On the same note, from the Malleus Maleficarum book, there was needed to change the judicial system to enhance free and fair trial. The Malleus Maleficarum book stated that it was difficult for the accused person to get a free trial. It is because they could not know their accusers. The rationale was to protect accusers in the community (Levack, 2014). The book focused on various issues, which include protection of witness and the need to implement a judicial process that is free and fair. From the critics raised in the book, American jurisprudence had an opportunity to improve the lawmaking process and guarantee the victim and accused free and fair trial.

In the general perspective, Malleus Maleficarum book influenced American jurisprudence in various ways. The created a platform where the American laws could be created. It brought numerous changes in the American judicial system, especially in administering punishments. Analytically, an accused witch could not find justice and fair trials because of the systems that existed in the past.


Levack, B. P. (2014). The Oxford handbook of witchcraft in early modern Europe and colonial America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Institoris, H., Sprenger, J., & Summers, M. (2017). The malleus maleficarum. New York: Cosimo.

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"Sample Essay On Malleus Maleficarum Influence on American Jurisprudence," Free Essay Examples -, 30-Apr-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 22-May-2022].
Sample Essay On Malleus Maleficarum Influence on American Jurisprudence. Free Essay Examples - Published Apr 30, 2020. Accessed May 22, 2022.

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