Chapter

Illegitimacy and the Political History of the Family

Matthew Gerber

in Bastards

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755370
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932603 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755370.003.0000
Illegitimacy and the Political History of the Family

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In the absence of a unified Civil Code, the rights and legal disabilities of children born out of wedlock were matters of perennial debate and litigation in early modern France. Because of commonplace analogies between fatherhood and kingship, household and realm, these legal conflicts had both a social and a political dimension. Study of these conflicts promises to shed light not only on the history of the family, but also on the process of early modern state formation and the gradual transition from an adjudicatory to a legislative ideal of law.

Keywords: bastard; natural child; foundling; state building; law; litigation

Chapter.  7747 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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