under household government sex and family in puritan massachusetts

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Under Household Government

Author : M. Michelle Jarrett Morris
ISBN : 9780674067899
Genre : History
File Size : 25. 42 MB
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The Puritans were not as busy policing their neighbors’ behavior as Nathaniel Hawthorne or many early American historians would have us believe. Keeping their own households in line occupied too much of their time. Under Household Government reveals that family members took on the role of watchdogs in matters of sexual indiscretion.

Under Household Government

Author : M. Michelle Jarrett Morris
ISBN : 0674066332
Genre : History
File Size : 20. 5 MB
Format : PDF
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The Puritans were not as busy policing their neighbors’ behavior as Nathaniel Hawthorne or many early American historians would have us believe. Keeping their own households in line occupied too much of their time. Under Household Government reveals that family members took on the role of watchdogs in matters of sexual indiscretion.

Under Household Government

Author : Mary Michelle Jarrett Morris
ISBN : OCLC:124504940
Genre : Families
File Size : 54. 84 MB
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This thesis explores how families in late seventeenth-century Massachusetts reacted when their kin became involved in sexual misbehavior. When confronted with children accused of sexual indiscretions, kin experiencing marital problems, or those accused of more serious crimes such as rape or infanticide, families closed ranks around their erring (or victimized) kinfolk with a fiercely single-minded devotion. Families negotiated hasty marriages for pregnant young women or appeared in court to testify on behalf of young men accused of fathering bastards. They posted bond and petitioned for clemency on behalf of their misbehaving kin. But there was a darker side to family loyalty as well. If most men and women giving their depositions told the truth as they saw it, albeit as interested parties, some alibied those they must have known or suspected were guilty. Others resorted to more extreme behaviors such as deliberate slander, jury tampering or intimidation to achieve their ends. Early American historians have long treated as gospel the idea that seventeenth-century New Englanders acted as their brothers' (and sisters') keepers. I have investigated the genealogical background of defendant after defendant and have discovered that in most cases the people who appeared in court to testify were usually family members of those involved or other interested parties rather than random neighbors protecting the moral integrity of the community. Family members, not the community at large, provided the backbone of the sexual policing system. Courts could be allies or adversaries in the battle to vindicate kinfolk; other families were usually the enemy. When one family used the courts to have a man named the father of a pregnant daughter's bastard child, her partner's family marshaled their resources to counter that charge and convince the courts, often impugning witnesses and indulging in character assassination along the way. Even ostensibly criminal cases, which theoretically involved only the accused and the crown, often played out as contests between the family of the victim and that of the accused. The resemblance between families and commonwealths was never more striking than when families dealt with the sexual misbehavior of their own members. The police force was made up of the extended family. Court trials resembled nothing so much as international relations in which competing families negotiated with allies and sought to best the families of those sexually involved with their own sons or daughters and, sometimes, servants or slaves---usually by fair means but sometimes by foul.

Sex In Middlesex

Author : Roger Thompson
ISBN : 0870236563
Genre : History
File Size : 35. 70 MB
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Social historian Roger Thompson brings the forgotten and faceless men and women in 17th-century Massachusetts to suggest that records from Middlesex County of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay show that the puritan social system was not so rigid and the relationships between sexes not so regulated as some historians have suggested. The argument of 'Sex in Middlesex' is revisionist: the 'puritans' and 'theocrats' who throng its pages do not behave in accordance with popular stereotype or conform tot he interpretations of major historians.

The Handmaid S Tale

Author : Margaret Atwood
ISBN : 9780547345666
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 47. 28 MB
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The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

Faithful Bodies

Author : Heather Miyano Kopelson
ISBN : 9781479852345
Genre : History
File Size : 85. 12 MB
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In the seventeenth-century English Atlantic, religious beliefs and practices played a central role in creating racial identity. English Protestantism provided a vocabulary and structure to describe and maintain boundaries between insider and outsider. In this path-breaking study, Heather Miyano Kopelson peels back the layers of conflicting definitions of bodies and competing practices of faith in the puritan Atlantic, demonstrating how the categories of “white,” “black,” and “Indian” developed alongside religious boundaries between “Christian” and “heathen” and between “Catholic” and “Protestant.” Faithful Bodies focuses on three communities of Protestant dissent in the Atlantic World: Bermuda, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In this “puritan Atlantic,” religion determined insider and outsider status: at times Africans and Natives could belong as long as they embraced the Protestant faith, while Irish Catholics and English Quakers remained suspect. Colonists’ interactions with indigenous peoples of the Americas and with West Central Africans shaped their understandings of human difference and its acceptable boundaries. Prayer, religious instruction, sexual behavior, and other public and private acts became markers of whether or not blacks and Indians were sinning Christians or godless heathens. As slavery became law, transgressing people of color counted less and less as sinners in English puritans’ eyes, even as some of them made Christianity an integral part of their communities. As Kopelson shows, this transformation proceeded unevenly but inexorably during the long seventeenth century.

Between Two Worlds

Author : Malcolm Gaskill
ISBN : 9780199672967
Genre : History
File Size : 82. 64 MB
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Out of this World - the story of modern America's first century. Beginning with the shaky start at Jamestown in 1607, and ending with the cultural crisis of the Salem witch-trials in 1692, Malcolm Gaskill recreates the fascinating transatlantic story of the English plantations in north America. From Maine in the north right down to the Caribbean, the book charts the evolving attitudes to transatlantic adventures in England as the colonies grew in size,wealth and confidence, as well as the evolving attitudes to the mother country in the colonies themselves. It is a story teeming with people on the move, making decisions, indulging or resisting their desires anddreams - and one which has often been neglected or misunderstood on both sides of the Atlantic in the centuries since.

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