Name: Emmanuel iyoyo Date: 01/28/1014
Title: The Puritans and Sex
Author: Edmund S. Morgan
When the Puritan came to the New World after being rejected in England for their beliefs, they knew the demand of perfection in God’s eyes could never be fully accomplish. Humans could never live up to the standards that God set out. After settling in New England, the Puritan became well aware they needed to have law enforcement with religious obligations, and most importantly the sexual temptations. Knowing that human could never fully obey God’s word and always be tempted, the puritans enforced certain punishments for certain sexual crimes, including fornication, adultery, rape and buggery or sodomy.
In 1630, when the puritans were around, it was required that in order to indulge in such actions of pleasure you must first be married. Many male and women servants would have sexual ...view middle of the document...
Either have illicit sex or get married and have legal sex while being in risk for getting caught for both.
The Puritan established the Massachusetts Bay Colony to practice and love God in their own way. They had a very strict government, with next to no democracy. They believed in hard work and maintaining education. The members who showed weakness and did not practice self-denial would be punished. They also were punished for being guilty of gambling, drunkenness, or enjoying theatrical performances. The strictest strict laws of the Puritans were the objectification of sex. They believe in marriage to be a spiritual partnership and for sex to be a minor part. They began to realize though that human could never be able to abide by the word of God since the time of Adam. It is human nature to be tempted and sin. For one example most men who came to the New World at that time left their wife and children back in England and would still have sexual temptations. They knew they had to make adjustments for the community to follow the ways of the religion. They enforced laws and if broken would have severe punishments. Throughout the years the Puritans had many court cases due to the laws on sex out of their marriage. A few would be charged between slaves, some for not being married, which would need permission from the master and others cases included the masters or non slaves taking advantage of them.
Truly this left the male with two unlawful decisions that left him with no right choice. As fornication laws got more strict, parents of children decided to marry their children at a very young stage, therefore young adults would not participate in illegal sexual activities if the "right husband or wife was chosen". Edmund Morgan says that instead of trying to make punishments for people who fornicated and participated in other prohibited acts, they would try to prevent this from happening before they had punished. All the laws and legal threats did not prevent people from illegitimate sex as it wouldn't in our period of time.
Morgan's message in this article is that there are many misconceptions in different life styles. This article proves that even though the Puritans practiced strict religious discipline, there were still flaws and illegal acts committed as there are in almost every society of religious and secular people.