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 : 50. 1 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 : 40. 57 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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 : 68. 64 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.

Faithful Bodies

Author : Heather Miyano Kopelson
ISBN : 9781479852345
Genre : History
File Size : 27. 5 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.

Taming Passion For The Public Good

Author : Mark E. Kann
ISBN : 9780814764671
Genre : History
File Size : 42. 29 MB
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“Kann's latest tour de force explores the ambivalence, during the founding of our nation, about whether political freedom should augur sexual freedom. Tracing the roots of patriarchal sexual repression back to revolutionary America, Kann asks highly contemporary questions about the boundaries between public and private life, suggesting, provocatively, that political and sexual freedom should go hand in hand. This is a must-read for those interested in the interwining of politics, public life, and sexuality.”—Ben Agger, University of Texas at Arlington The American Revolution was fought in the name of liberty. In popular imagination, the Revolution stands for the triumph of populism and the death of patriarchal elites. But this is not the case, argues Mark E. Kann. Rather, in the aftermath of the Revolution, America developed a society and system of laws that kept patriarchal authority alive and well—especially when it came to the sex lives of citizens. In Taming Passion for the Public Good, Kann contends that that despite the rhetoric of classical liberalism, the founding generation did not trust ordinary citizens with extensive liberty. Through the policing of sex, elites sought to maintain control of individuals' private lives, ensuring that citizens would be productive, moral, and orderly in the new nation. New American elites applauded traditional marriages in which men were the public face of the family and women managed the home. They frowned on interracial and interclass sexual unions. They saw masturbation as evidence of a lack of self-control over one’s passions, and they considered prostitution the result of aggressive female sexuality. Both were punishable offenses. By seeking to police sex, elites were able to keep alive what Kann calls a “resilient patriarchy.” Under the guise of paternalism, they were able simultaneously to retain social control while espousing liberal principles, with the goal of ultimately molding the country into the new American ideal: a moral and orderly citizenry that voluntarily did what was best for the public good.

Sex In Middlesex

Author : Roger Thompson
ISBN : 0870236563
Genre : History
File Size : 42. 37 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 : 9781446485477
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 69. 1 MB
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NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES ON CHANNEL 4 Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America explores a world in which oppression of women, and repression of the truth, have become justified. 'Compulsively readable' Daily Telegraph

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