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1 Beaverton US History- Colonial America

This title in other editions

Sexual Revolution in Early America

by

Sexual Revolution in Early America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Colonial history will never quite be the same... The most thorough compendium of sexual incidents, attitudes, laws, and literature in British America before 1800... This work will be the central reference point for our understanding of sexuality in early America for many years to come." — Washington Times

Book News Annotation:

Godbeer (history, U. of California-Riverside) explains that the early English colonists in North America brought with them a debate concerning sexual conduct that was raging in the mother country at the time. Among his topics are popular sexual mores, Anglo-Indian sexual relations, and sexual freedom in post-independence Philadelphia.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

In 1695, John Miller, a clergyman traveling through New York, found it appalling that so many couples lived together without ever being married and that no one viewed ante-nuptial fornication as anything scandalous or sinful. Charles Woodmason, an Anglican minister in South Carolina in 1766, described the region as a stage of debauchery in which polygamy was very common, concubinage general, and bastardy no disrepute. These depictions of colonial North America's sexual culture sharply contradict the stereotype of Puritanical abstinence that persists in the popular imagination.

In Sexual Revolution in Early America, Richard Godbeer boldly overturns conventional wisdom about the sexual values and customs of colonial Americans. His eye-opening historical account spans two centuries and most of British North America, from New England to the Caribbean, exploring the social, political, and legal dynamics that shaped a diverse sexual culture. Drawing on exhaustive research into diaries, letters, and other private papers, as well as legal records and official documents, Godbeer's absorbing narrative uncovers a persistent struggle between the moral authorities and the widespread expression of popular customs and individual urges.

Godbeer begins with a discussion of the complex attitude that the Puritans had toward sexuality. For example, although believing that sex could be morally corrupting, they also considered it to be such an essential element of a healthy marriage that they excommunicated those who denied conjugal fellowship to their spouses. He next examines the ways in which race and class affected the debate about sexual mores, from anxieties about Anglo-Indian sexual relations to the sense of sexual entitlement that planters held over their African slaves. He concludes by detailing the fundamental shift in sexual culture during the eighteenth century towards the acceptance of a more individualistic concept of sexual desire and fulfillment. Today's moral critics, in their attempts to convince Americans of the social and spiritual consequences of unregulated sexual behavior, often harken back to a more innocent age; as this groundbreaking work makes clear, America's sexual culture has always been rich, vibrant, and contentious.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780801868009
Author:
Godbeer, Richard
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Location:
Baltimore, Md.
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Human Sexuality
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
United States - Colonial Period
Subject:
Sex customs
Subject:
Sex role
Subject:
United States Social life and customs.
Subject:
Sex customs -- United States -- History.
Subject:
US History-Colonial America
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Gender Relations in the American Experience (Hardcover)
Series Volume:
106-767
Publication Date:
20020431
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.20x6.34x1.39 in. 1.64 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » World History » General

Sexual Revolution in Early America Used Hardcover
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Product details 432 pages Johns Hopkins University Press - English 9780801868009 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In 1695, John Miller, a clergyman traveling through New York, found it appalling that so many couples lived together without ever being married and that no one viewed ante-nuptial fornication as anything scandalous or sinful. Charles Woodmason, an Anglican minister in South Carolina in 1766, described the region as a stage of debauchery in which polygamy was very common, concubinage general, and bastardy no disrepute. These depictions of colonial North America's sexual culture sharply contradict the stereotype of Puritanical abstinence that persists in the popular imagination.

In Sexual Revolution in Early America, Richard Godbeer boldly overturns conventional wisdom about the sexual values and customs of colonial Americans. His eye-opening historical account spans two centuries and most of British North America, from New England to the Caribbean, exploring the social, political, and legal dynamics that shaped a diverse sexual culture. Drawing on exhaustive research into diaries, letters, and other private papers, as well as legal records and official documents, Godbeer's absorbing narrative uncovers a persistent struggle between the moral authorities and the widespread expression of popular customs and individual urges.

Godbeer begins with a discussion of the complex attitude that the Puritans had toward sexuality. For example, although believing that sex could be morally corrupting, they also considered it to be such an essential element of a healthy marriage that they excommunicated those who denied conjugal fellowship to their spouses. He next examines the ways in which race and class affected the debate about sexual mores, from anxieties about Anglo-Indian sexual relations to the sense of sexual entitlement that planters held over their African slaves. He concludes by detailing the fundamental shift in sexual culture during the eighteenth century towards the acceptance of a more individualistic concept of sexual desire and fulfillment. Today's moral critics, in their attempts to convince Americans of the social and spiritual consequences of unregulated sexual behavior, often harken back to a more innocent age; as this groundbreaking work makes clear, America's sexual culture has always been rich, vibrant, and contentious.

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