The Geography of Utopia

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Book II
1. Describe the geography of Utopia -
“ The island of Utopia is in the middle 200 miles broad, and holds almost at the same breadth over a great part of it; but it grows narrower toward both ends. Its figure is not unlike a crescent: between its horns, the sea comes in eleven miles broad, and spreads itself into a great bay, which is environed with land to the compass of about 500 miles, and is well secured from winds. In this bay there is no great current; the whole coast is, as it were, one continued harbor, which gives all that live in the island great convenience for mutual commerce; but the entry into the bay, occasioned by rocks on the one hand, and shallows on the other, is very dangerous. In the middle of it there is one single rock which appears above water, and may therefore be easily avoided, and on the top of it there is a tower in which a garrison is kept; the other rocks lie under water, and are very dangerous. The channel is known only to the natives, so that if any stranger should enter into the bay, without one of their pilots, he would run great danger of shipwreck; for even they themselves could not pass it safe, if some marks that are on the coast did not direct their way; and if these should be but a little shifted, any fleet that might come against them, how great soever it were, would be certainly lost. On the other side of the island there are likewise many harbors; and the coast is so fortified, both by nature and art, that a small number of men can hinder the descent of a great army. But they report (and there remain good marks of it to make it credible) that this was no island at first, but a part of the continent.” 2. Describe how the Utopians approach the following matters- City Structure and government – Each year, each group of thirty families elects a representative leader called a syphogrant. Groups of ten syphogrants in turn elect a tranibor, and the 200 syphogrants elect the prince. The tranibors, with rotating representatives of the syphogrants, meet secretly with the prince to manage the commonwealth’s affairs. To prevent corruption, the council must discuss legislation on at least three separate days, and members are prohibited from discussing political matters outside of the council meeting or they face the death penalty. Occupations – All Utopians work on farms and are knowledgeable with one trade. Therefore they can fulfill the needs of others with ease. The children of Utopia will generally apprentice under their parents, men will learn the trades that require physical strength (carpentry) and the women will do the other traditional trades (weaving). The duration of a typical work day is about six hours with a no laziness tolerance policy. They all share the work equally, and only strive for a perfect product. In a typical workday, the archphilarchs (similar to managers in modern day society) overlook to make sure that absolutely no one is wasting precious time and that others are not working too hard. Only people who are very intelligent or royalty are exempt from this form of work. The Utopians also all have the same clothes that are appropriate for both summer and winter weather. Husbandry is the main occupation followed by weaving, masonry, ironwork and carpentry. Social relations – In every city there is a limit of 6,000 households, and if the population becomes to large some people will relocate into another city. If the population as a whole grows too large some Utopians will move to the mainland. Everything is distributed fairly throughout the country such as food and clothing. Many generations of families will live under the same roof with the most respect paid to the eldest relative. If the same house exceeds more than ten people at once, someone will be moved to another family. This is also true with the rest of their population, someone will be moved to another city or perhaps brought back to the island if needed. The eldest man in the family is also...
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