Economies of Marriage: Managing Marital Status

Julie Hardwick

in Family Business

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199558070
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191721038 | DOI:
 Economies of Marriage: Managing Marital Status

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter explores the role of marriage in family business. Marriage itself was a risk, fraught with uncertainty, with negotiation, and with the prospect of failure as well as success. Marriage as an institution, a lived experience, and an economy was in transition: under pressure from the desire of ruling authorities to remake marriage, from economic changes, from increasing use of courts as a strategy and as a remedy, and from the emergence of new expectations about privacy and violence. This chapter interrogates the specific issues surrounding separations as well as other resolutions of marital difficulties for spouses, families, neighbours, and local officials. While stable households were of paramount concern to almost everyone, in reality marriages were under many pressures. They were more subject to spousal and neighbourhood correction as well as to alternative formations than hindsight or history often seem to suggest.

Keywords: marriage; separations; spouses; households; courts; violence; privacy

Chapter.  18993 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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