Conspiracies Against Women In 15th And 17th Century Europe

912 words - 4 pages

When historians look into the period between the 15th century and 17th century Europe, they analyze who was marginalized and how they were marginalized. The individuals who suffered at the hands of various forces that seemed beyond their control, came from a large group representing at least one-half of humanity known as women. The female gender had been a largely marginalized and went on during the time between the 15th and 17th centuries, as described by historians, “It consists of comparing woman's situation implicitly or explicitly to men's by focusing on law, prescriptive literature, iconographic representation, institutional structure, and political participation.”1 Economic developments, and emerging scientific techniques would eventually begin to improve the status of women during the 18th century. It is important to note that women could hardly respond to marginalization before the 18th century when the male entities at that point were too powerful to overcome and that it many women accepted these facts.
Until the 18th century had arrived, cultural traditions, law, and religion would conspire to keep women in the inferior position they had occupied for many millennium. John Nox was a Scottish clergyman during the Protestant Reformation in Scotland said in this recorded statement about women at the time, “And first, where I affirm the empire of a woman to be a thing repugnant to nature, I meant not only that God, by the order of his creation, has spoiled woman of authority and dominion, but also that man has seen, proved, and pronounced just causes why it should be.”2 Nox goes on to say that, “Man, I say, in many other cases, does in this behalf see very clearly.”3 Man is the dominant figure in these ages and certainly sees himself as the one in charge.
For economic reasons it was the priority for the father who headed the household to find the wealthiest families. Before a marriage a male (likely being chaperoned by his father) would look to see a satisfactory dowry that was offered from the woman's family for their daughter that they would later marry into or for the attachments to another family that might have establish better connections throughout their community.4 Sometimes it became difficult for many families that had a high number of females in the household that became very costly to the family's few resources. Some daughters were put into convents which would later turn them into nuns as a result of many fathers unable to find a male suitor for their daughter or for other reasons. One of the reasons explained by Laven Venetian was, “Given the preference for young brides, elder daughters were more likely to be sent to the nunnery- a...

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