Man and Wife in America

A History

Author: Hendrik Hartog

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674038394

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 8517

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In nineteenth-century America, the law insisted that marriage was a permanent relationship defined by the husband's authority and the wife's dependence. Yet at the same time the law created the means to escape that relationship. How was this possible? And how did wives and husbands experience marriage within that legal regime? These are the complexities that Hendrik Hartog plumbs in a study of the powers of law and its limits. Exploring a century and a half of marriage through stories of struggle and conflict mined from case records, Hartog shatters the myth of a golden age of stable marriage. He describes the myriad ways the law shaped and defined marital relations and spousal identities, and how individuals manipulated and reshaped the rules of the American states to fit their needs. We witness a compelling cast of characters: wives who attempted to leave abusive husbands, women who manipulated their marital status for personal advantage, accidental and intentional bigamists, men who killed their wives' lovers, couples who insisted on divorce in a legal culture that denied them that right. As we watch and listen to these men and women, enmeshed in law and escaping from marriages, we catch reflected images both of ourselves and our parents, of our desires and our anxieties about marriage. Hartog shows how our own conflicts and confusions about marital roles and identities are rooted in the history of marriage and the legal struggles that defined and transformed it.
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Strange Bedfellows

Marriage in the Age of Women's Liberation

Author: Alison Lefkovitz

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 081225015X

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 280

View: 1309

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Strange Bedfellows recounts the unlikely ways in which the efforts of feminists and divorced men's activists dovetailed with the activity of lawmakers, judges, welfare activists, immigrant spouses, the LGBTQ community, the Reagan coalition, and other Americans, to redefine family and marriage without relying on traditional gender norms.
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The Sedgwicks in Love

Courtship, Engagement, and Marriage in the Early Republic

Author: Timothy Kenslea

Publisher: UPNE

ISBN: 9781584654940

Category: History

Page: 269

View: 9433

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The courtships, engagements, and marriages of the sons and daughters of Theodore and Pamela are the subject of this book."
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Kate Chase and William Sprague

Politics and Gender in a Civil War Marriage

Author: Peg A. Lamphier

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 9780803229471

Category: History

Page: 315

View: 7766

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Motherless from an early age, she became her father's official hostess during the Civil War and Reconstruction years as well as his unofficial campaign manager. As the opening of the Civil War, her husband, William Sprague, was a wealthy industrialist, the "boy governor" of Rhode Island, a dashing military figure, and an alcoholic.".
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Separate Peoples, One Land

The Minds of Cherokees, Blacks, and Whites on the Tennessee Frontier

Author: Cynthia Cumfer

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469606593

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 5038

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Exploring the mental worlds of the major groups interacting in a borderland setting, Cynthia Cumfer offers a broad, multiracial intellectual and cultural history of the Tennessee frontier in the Revolutionary and early national periods, leading up to the era of rapid westward expansion and Cherokee removal. Attentive to the complexities of race, gender, class, and spirituality, Cumfer offers a rare glimpse into the cultural logic of Native American, African American, and Euro-American men and women as contact with one another powerfully transformed their ideas about themselves and the territory they came to share. The Tennessee frontier shaped both Cherokee and white assumptions about diplomacy and nationhood. After contact, both groups moved away from local and personal notions about polity to embrace nationhood. Excluded from the nationalization process, slaves revived and modified African and American premises about patronage and community, while free blacks fashioned an African American doctrine of freedom that was both communal and individual. Paying particular attention to the influence of older European concepts of civilization, Cumfer shows how Tennesseans, along with other Americans and Europeans, modified European assumptions to contribute to a discourse about civilization, one both dynamic and destructive, which has profoundly shaped world history.
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Families in Crisis in the Old South

Divorce, Slavery, and the Law

Author: Loren Schweninger

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 0807837504

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 8693

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In the antebellum South, divorce was an explosive issue. As one lawmaker put it, divorce was to be viewed as a form of "madness," and as another asserted, divorce reduced communities to the "lowest ebb of degeneracy." How was it that in this climate, the number of divorces rose steadily during the antebellum era? In Families in Crisis in the Old South, Loren Schweninger uses previously unexplored records to argue that the difficulties these divorcing families faced reveal much about the reality of life in a slave-holding society as well as the myriad difficulties confronted by white southern families who chose not to divorce. Basing his argument on almost 800 divorce cases from the southern United States, Schweninger explores the impact of divorce and separation on white families and on the enslaved and provides insights on issues including domestic violence, interracial adultery, alcoholism, insanity, and property relations. He examines how divorce and separation laws changed, how married women's property rights expanded, how definitions of inhuman treatment of wives evolved, and how these divorces challenged conventional mores.
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In Pursuit of Right and Justice

Edward Weinfeld as Lawyer and Judge

Author: William E Nelson

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814758282

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 291

View: 5533

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"His bond with the city mirrored his parents' relationship to their towns in the Old World, except that Manhatten offered him a future they could only imagine. Merely by working hard within a few square miles of New York, the young Weinfeld could become a great lawyer and ultimately a judge of national repute. Weinfeld's personal growth and socioeconomic mobility illustrates how the children of Catholic and Jewish immigrants were assimilated into mainstream American life during the course of the twentieth century. His unique approach to jurisprudence offers a model for the equal legal protection of all Americans."--BOOK JACKET.
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Taming Passion for the Public Good

Policing Sex in the Early Republic

Author: Mark E. Kann

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814764673

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 8276

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“Kann's latest tour de force explores the ambivalence, during the founding of our nation, about whether political freedom should augur sexual freedom. Tracing the roots of patriarchal sexual repression back to revolutionary America, Kann asks highly contemporary questions about the boundaries between public and private life, suggesting, provocatively, that political and sexual freedom should go hand in hand. This is a must-read for those interested in the interwining of politics, public life, and sexuality.”—Ben Agger, University of Texas at Arlington The American Revolution was fought in the name of liberty. In popular imagination, the Revolution stands for the triumph of populism and the death of patriarchal elites. But this is not the case, argues Mark E. Kann. Rather, in the aftermath of the Revolution, America developed a society and system of laws that kept patriarchal authority alive and well—especially when it came to the sex lives of citizens. In Taming Passion for the Public Good, Kann contends that that despite the rhetoric of classical liberalism, the founding generation did not trust ordinary citizens with extensive liberty. Through the policing of sex, elites sought to maintain control of individuals' private lives, ensuring that citizens would be productive, moral, and orderly in the new nation. New American elites applauded traditional marriages in which men were the public face of the family and women managed the home. They frowned on interracial and interclass sexual unions. They saw masturbation as evidence of a lack of self-control over one’s passions, and they considered prostitution the result of aggressive female sexuality. Both were punishable offenses. By seeking to police sex, elites were able to keep alive what Kann calls a “resilient patriarchy.” Under the guise of paternalism, they were able simultaneously to retain social control while espousing liberal principles, with the goal of ultimately molding the country into the new American ideal: a moral and orderly citizenry that voluntarily did what was best for the public good.
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Almighty God Created the Races

Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law

Author: Fay Botham

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 9780807899229

Category: Religion

Page: 288

View: 6005

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In this fascinating cultural history of interracial marriage and its legal regulation in the United States, Fay Botham argues that religion--specifically, Protestant and Catholic beliefs about marriage and race--had a significant effect on legal decisions concerning miscegenation and marriage in the century following the Civil War. She contends that the white southern Protestant notion that God "dispersed" the races and the American Catholic emphasis on human unity and common origins point to ways that religion influenced the course of litigation and illuminate the religious bases for Christian racist and antiracist movements.
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