“the Puritans and Sex”, Edmund S. Morgan Essay

780 Words Mar 27th, 2013 4 Pages
“The Puritans and Sex”, 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, the Puritan established the Massachusetts Bay Colony to practice and love God in
…show more content…
Since all of these cases over time the Puritan have change and added to laws to help prevent sexual crimes. A very common one was the arrangement of marriage. This made it easier for the men and women to get married younger, to ensure they would keep their vow of virginity. As it says in the book, “ As marriage was the way to prevent fornication, successful marriage was the way to prevent adultery”. After helping to prevent fornication, they also put in other laws to help prevent adultery. One was if the husband or wife leaves the home or leave puritan county lines for an amount of time, they would be immediately sent back to their families and punished. Also for husband who came to the New World alone and left their families in England would be set back if they were on Puritan grounds. All of these charges would be punished by paying a certain amount of pounds and receiving a certain about or stripes(whippings) depending on the case. Another issue that occurred during this time was the friendship of two members of the opposite sex who weren’t married or had other significant others. The real issue wasn’t necessarily the friendship, but more of two different sexes being alone together. For example November of 1630, the court prohibited Mr. Clark from keeping Mrs. Freeman company or he would endure pain of the
Open Document