Utopia Theory in History Christianopolis

About the theoretical utopian society Christianopolis devised by Johann Andrea, about the social, political, and economic structure.


Who Created: Johann Valentin Andrea (1586-1654). Humanist scholar, traveler, social reformer, and Lutheran preacher.

Described in: Christianopolis (c. 1618).

Population: 400.

Physical Layout: Square-shaped city, 700' on a side, located on an island. Well-fortified with 4 towers and a wall. Two rows of buildings, plus a government building and storehouses. All buildings are 3 stories, with public balconies leading to them. Plenty of fresh air and ventilation. A system of zoning separates the food-supply area, drill and exercise area, and public area from industrial areas.

Political and Social Structure: "A republic of workers, living in equality, desiring peace and renouncing riches." Citizens meet in guild halls to "act on sacred as well as civil matters." Twenty-four councilmen-at-large and a triumvirate of Minister, Judge, and Director of Learning.

Property and Distribution of Goods: The only money is in the republic's treasury. Houses are publicly owned and allocated along with furniture. Meals are private, but food is obtained from public storehouses.

Production: Industrial areas divided into: 1. agriculture and animal husbandry; 2. food shops and light industry; and 3. heavy industry (metallurgy, glass, earthenware). "The men are not driven to a work with which they are unfamiliar, like pack animals to their task, but they have been trained before in an accurate knowledge of sceintific matters. . . . Their artisans are almost entirely educated men." Every week each workman receives out of a common stock what is necessary for his work, "For the whole city is, as it were, one common workshop." A special group makes sure there is sufficient stock for what is to be produced. If there is sufficient stock, "the workmen are permitted to indulge and give free play to their inventive genius." Their labors "seem to benefit rather than harm their physical bodies." Working hours are few, so that the rougher trades do not create rough men.

Family/Marriage/Sex: Nuclear family. Lack of chastity is severely punished. The purpose of marriage is reproduction. Even married people "may not injure or weaken themselves by too frequent intercourse."

Place of Women: Share college education with men, but they can't vote and they have the special functions of cloth work and housework. "No woman is ashamed of her household duties, nor does she tire of attending the wants of her husband."

Education and Culture: After the age of 6, the children move to a community-run school where the teachers are respected members of the community and not "the dregs of human society nor such as are useless for other occupations." The students learn all intellectual disciplines as well as a trade. Neither letters nor work is such "that one man, if given enough time, cannot master both." Within his centers of learning Andrea has invented (a century and a half before the British Museum) the 1st museums. "Instruction enters altogether more easily through the eyes than through the ears."

Crime and Punishment: The judges "punish most severely those misdeeds which are directed straight against God, less severely those which injure men, and lightest of all those who harm property." The death sentence is rare.

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