Table of Contents
- Political System
- Social Structure
- Economic Situation
The term Utopia was first used in the book Utopia by Thomas More. He was a English Jurist with great carrier and was canonized because he fought for the church. The book Utopia was published in 1516 and it was written in Latin. He narrates the book about the islands geography and geology and the experience of how it is to be there. The book portrays it’s fictional island society, it’s religious, social structure, cultural traditions, economic situation, and political system. Utopia is an imagined place where everything is perfect without any conflict. Yet, in his perspectives here, may seem conservative by modern standards.
Utopia’s political system is very much descent with its rules, regulations and restrictions. Each of the city has six thousand households with 10- 16 per households. Colonies that are overpopulated are set up in the main land and for underpopulated colonies they are recalled. Where, native people are originated to be part of the Utopian colonies. Utopia’s government is hierarchically structured. The elected mayor ruled for life and other officers were elected annually. No negotiation were allowed outside of the senate or popular assemblies. Utopia’s Justice system was very simple for everyone to understand, and there were no lawyers as well. Slavory was part of the utopian society, where every household had two slaves. Criminals were differentiated and punished for their wrongdoings. But they were periodically free for their good behavior. Slavery has existed since the beginning of human history and still happening until today’s date. People are enslaved for a number of reasons, such as they might be captured in battles, they owes a debt, or they were born to slave parents. But in my opinion, none of these reasons justifies why a person should get treated in such a way which is extremely unfair and disrespectful. And yet, the society has failed to do justice to slavory in both fictional and nonfictional. I think if utopia was actually the ideal society, the term slavery shouldn’t have existed.
In utopia’s social structure they’ve got the same rights, everyone gets a basic education, the best ones are allowed to be a priest or a politician. Everyone was treated the same way both male and female. “Wives are subjects to their husbands and husbands are subjects to their wives.” But their marriage structure was quite different and had some rules and bounds. women do not marry before they are 18 and men before 22. But those who forbiddend the rules or the culture, they were severely punished, whether before or after marriage. They believe that if such freedoms were overlooked, it would discourage other people from marrying. Divorce was not permitted except in cases of adultery or unbearable perverseness of one side. Provision is made for a couple to separate if they find themselves incompatible, provided they can obtain the consent of the Senate, but that is allowed rarely and only after serious thought. If one person’s side in a marriage is found guilty of adultery, he or she is condenmed to slavery, while the innocent spouse is free to marry again. Permarital sex would be punished with a lifetime of enforced celibacy. Premarital sex has sevaral negative possible outcomes such as, Premarital sex may lead you to sexually diseases, leads to unwanted pregnancy, abortion or single parenhood, separates one from God, causes of emotional preblems like aniety, fear, guilt, shame ect. We live in a society where people do not see anything bad in ungodliness they do see premarital sex as sin. Utopia set the rule to avoid all these possible causes of negativity that can happen in the society, and by the strict rule people may fear and avoid doing so.
A number of religions exist in Utopia. They all are similar in that they believe in a single god, but the nature of that god is very different, ranging from a sort of animism, to worship of an ancient hero, moon-worshipers, sun-worshipers, ancestor-worshipers, ineffable god. According to Hythloday, This last religion, is in the process of becoming dominant, however every one of the religions practice complete tolerance of the various religions. After Hythloday and his colleagues addressed the Utopians about Christ, a great number changed over and started to learn as much as they could. These converts likewise were treated with the most extreme respect by the faithful of other Utopian religions. In fact, the only belief that is not tolerated is atheism, as it is seen as immoral. If someone believes there is no afterlife, according to the Utopians, then that person will act selfishly in search of immediate physical and mental pleasure and not act virtuously in hope of future reward. The different religions meet in the identical churches run by the same priests, and offering emphasizes the similarities between the religions. If a few religion needs a rite or prayer that might be offensive to any other, then that rite ought to be performed in a domestic at home or in private, not in the church. Utopian priests are men of the highest moral and religious caliber, and, hence, there are very few of them. Almost no women are priests, but it is allowed that a woman could become a priest. The priests hold the highest power in the land. They maintain the religious centers, educate the children, and praise good behavior while criticizing bad.
Utopians make sure that they will produce an abundance of goods and provisions for the needs of the whole nation, and any shortage in one region is supplied without charge by another that is well stocked. They further arranged to store sufficient surplus to supply the country for a long time, as a safety measure against a harvest failure. Any stocks beyond those requirements are traded abroad. Since the Utopians are basically independent, they need no imports with the exception of iron therefore, most of what they ship to other countries is exchanged for gold and silver, to be used only in times of war, mainly for hired soldiers. The Utopians have not disposed of cash from their economy, they have conceived psychological strategies to teach their people to despise those valuable metals that are used for money in other countries. In commenting on this passage, Hythloday notes some of the absurdities in attitudes found in countries where certain people are appreciated, adored, because they have a large store of gold, even though they might be ineffectively supplied with judgment or liberality.
I think More’s reason for writing it was a kind of comment or criticism of the European society, how the world’s problems could be solved. Today, the term “Utopia” is very popular among everyone. In the 16th century the “new world” might be an improvement but I personally think that our society is much better and much developed or improved. There is also no guarantee, if More’s ideas would work as well.